Youth Lead The Charge At O’Neill CWC

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, eliminated current ASP World Tour standout Brett Simpson (USA), 25, in ASP PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic California competition.

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, eliminated current ASP World Tour standout Brett Simpson (USA), 25, in ASP PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic California competition.

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Watch Live Now!
ASP PRIME (Men’s)
Santa Cruz, California, United States of America
October 18 -24, 2010

Next Generation Leads At ASP PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California

SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Friday, October 22, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California charged through another marathon day of competition in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves with the event’s youngest surfers taking the day’s top honors while besting several ASP Dream Tour competitors.

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California’s ASP PRIME status has attracted surfing’s biggest names in search of the valuable points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking.

Billy Stairmand (Raglan, NZL), 21, stormed his way through two heats today, igniting the day’s highest single wave score of an 8.60 out of 10 by combining committed tail-drifting forehand turns and powerful carves on a long righthand wall on the way to posting the day’s highest heat total of 15.27 out of 20 in the Round of 48 before eliminating current ASP Dream Tour surfer Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 30, in the Round of 24.

“I was just lucky to get one of the first waves of the sets that ran down the point and then I found another one,” Stairmand said. “I took off out the back on the one 8 and knew it had a bit of wall and just tried to surf it solid.”

Stairmand, who spends the majority of his time at home in New Zealand’s saturated lefthand pointbreak coast is enjoying the righthand points of Santa Cruz.

“This is my first time in Santa Cruz and I love it,” Stairmand said. “The people are really nice and the waves are fun. I live in Raglan and there are lots of lefthand points, so it’s nice to go right.”

Stairmand, who won the ASP 6-Star Ferrolterra Movistar Pantin Classic earlier this year, is competing in only his second career ASP PRIME event and is hoping he can continue his form to climb the ASP World Ranking.

“I’ve only been in one PRIME event before this at Margaret River and was lucky enough to get a result,” Stairmand said. “It’s nice to move into that next round and hopefully I can get another good result here.”

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, who won his Round of 96 heat over current ASP World No. 2 Jordy Smith yesterday, continued his impressive showing against some of surfing’s most elite names to win his Round of 24 heat over current ASP World Tour surfers Roy Powers (Hanalei, HI), 29, and Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, by posting a solid 8.10 out of 10 in the final minutes of his heat to clinch the victory.

“I’m so stoked to get through that heat,” Young said. “I let Roy (Powers) go on one that ended up being a good one. I can usually tell which ones are going to be the good ones out there and I guess I didn’t see that one. Luckily towards the end I got that one at the end and it was a perfect wave.”

Young, who is a former O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion, continued his form at his home break and his advancement into the Round of 16 marks his personal best in an ASP PRIME rated event.

“I can’t wait to get into the man-on-man round,” Young said. “I’m excited. This is my best result in a PRIME event so I’m happy. It’s good for my rating.”

Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20, was another Pro Junior standout to take down big names today, eliminating current ASP World No. 17 and former O’Neill Cold Water Classic winner Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 28, with a solid 15.16 out of 20 heat total in the Round of 48 and followed with a second win in the Round of 24.

“I wanted to start off and get a wave right away and ended up getting a 7,” Larsen said. “Nic Muscroft ended up getting the better of that exchange and got a 7.6, but I backed it up right away. I felt in rhythm with the ocean out there and kept getting waves. Then that bomb came through and I was able to get another 7. I’m stoked to get through that one.”

The talented Hawaiian, who has family from Santa Cruz, has spent ample time in Santa Cruz’s tricky pointbreaks and his comfort at Steamer Lane was obvious in today’s stacked heats.

“I feel comfortable coming here,” Larsen said. “I really like pointbreaks. My home break is a pointbreak and I’m pretty used to it. I kind of know which waves are good out there. I watch the locals and see what they’re doing and that’s how I learn from this wave. I’ve done well here before, so hopefully I can make another round here.”

Larsen, who is currently ranked 74th on the ASP World Ranking, posted his career best result at the US Open of Surfing earlier in the year with an equal 5th place finish and hopes he can match his performance at this year’s O’Neill Cold Water Classic California to help his chances at qualification for the ASP Dream Tour in 2011.

“The US Open was the best result of my career and hopefully I can match that or do better here,” Larsen said. “It’s double the points with it being a PRIME, so hopefully this will help me overall on the World Ranking so that I can try and qualify for the World Tour next year.”

Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, was another up-and-comer to clinch two heat victories in the business end of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California. The prodigious Californian eliminated current ASP Dream Tour surfer Luke Stedman (Sydney, AUS), 34, in the Round of 48 and topped defending O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 19, who advanced in second, in the Round of 24 with a 14.07 heat total and attributes the victories to sticking to his heat strategy despite facing some of the event’s biggest names.

“I caught a lot of waves in that heat,” Andino said. “I was able to do a couple of little airs and then it went flat. A couple of guys fell on a few waves, so I’m stoked to make it through that heat. I always try to just get a quick start in my heats. I don’t really change my strategy no matter who I’m surfing against.”

Jonny Craft (Carmel, CA), 23, who won the local trials, has continued his form against the O’Neill Cold Water Classic California’s top seeds and won his Round of 24 heat today to advance through to the Round of 16.

“I’m so psyched,” Craft said. The waves have been really good and I’m just psyched to be in it. It gives me a lot of confidence to see that I can compete with these guys and to keep up with them is pretty cool.”

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California holds a waiting period from October 18 through 24, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.oneill.com/cwc/california

For all of your ASP inquiries log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 12.93, Roy Powers (HAW) 12.83, Brett Simpson (USA) 11.27
Heat 2: Jonny Craft (USA) 11.44, Brian Toth (PRI) 9.64, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.30
Heat 3: Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.84, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.73, Luke Davis (USA) 9.04
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.94, Mason Ho (HAW) 8.90, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 8.37
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.07, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.83, Cory Lopez (USA) 8.67
Heat 6: Chris Waring (USA) 10.84, Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.57, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 6.33
Heat 7: Richard Christie (NZL) 12.67, Adam Robertson (AUS) 9.10, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 6.56
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.27, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 10.83, Gabe Kling (USA) 8.27

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 12.00, Jonny Craft (USA) 8.90, Joel Centeio (HAW) 7.33, Alain Riou (PYF) 4.43
Heat 2: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.00, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.47, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 9.13, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 0.00
Heat 3: Brian Toth (PRI) 12.07, Brett Simpson (USA) 11.20, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.67, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 8.83
Heat 4: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.03, Mason Ho (HAW) 9.84, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 9.60, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 6.10
Heat 5: Granger Larsen (HAW) 15.16, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 12.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 9.70, Heitor Alves (BRA) 6.70
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00, Luke Davis (USA) 9.77, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 8.50, Joan Duru (FRA) 8.27
Heat 7: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.06, Tonino Benson (HAW) 12.67, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 8.60, Andre Silva (BRA) 5.63
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.66, Chris Waring (USA) 10.17, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 7.93, Luke Stedman (AUS) 5.73
Heat 9: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.77, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 9.54, Austin Ware (USA) 8.97, Daniel Ross (AUS) 5.63
Heat 10: Adam Robertson (AUS) 13.17, Gabe Kling (USA) 10.40, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.03, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 9.10
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.27, Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.90, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 9.36, Peter Mel (USA) 2.27
Heat 12: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 15.27, Richard Christie (NZL) 12.76, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.77, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 4.83

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 96 Results:
Heat 23: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 11.33, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.47, Kieran Horn (USA) 8.43, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 6.06
Heat 24: Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 10.10, Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.10, Josh Loya (USA) 8.20, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 7.77