Valuable points had been gained by many at the close of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic.
ASP Dream Tour surfer Matt Wilkinson (Copacabana, AUS), 22, won the ASP PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California over young Hawaiian Tonino Benson (Kailua, HI), 20, in tricky two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California.
Matt Wilkinson. Photo courtesy O’Neill.
But it wasn’t easy…
The waves didn’t deliver and it’s pretty difficult to show off on a flat sea! However, opportunities were grabbed wherever they were offered and the progressive goofy-footer launched out to a quick start in his bout against young Hawaiian, Tonino Benson, blasting a solid 7 point ride. Benson quickly matched the Aussie’s score, but Wilkinson notched a backup score of 6.67, to take out the win after a week of impressive backhand surfing at Steamer Lane.
Other surfers were not so lucky. “The waves were terrible and I fell on all of my waves,” Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, said. “I’m pretty bummed. It’s a good result, but I just wish the waves were a little better.”
However, it was Shaun Cansdell (AUS), 27, who took top honors in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series to win the $50,000 prize purse for finishing first in the five-event series. “I don’t even know what to say,” Cansdell said. “I’m really stoked to have ended up winning the Cold Water Series. I’m at a loss for words.”
O’Neill Cold Water Classic series Champion Shaun Cansdell. Photo courtesy O’Neill.
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic, although one of its kind, is important for the surfers as it helps them gain valuable points towards the ASP ratings which collate as the year goes on. The present ratings are as follows:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
3. Mick Fanning (AUS)
4. Taj Burrow (AUS)
5. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
3. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
4. Silvana Lima (BRA)
5. Carissa Moore (HAW)
The ASP tour continues in the Caribbean today with its second consecutive mammoth day of world-class surfing today with the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico clocking in another 20 heats of competition.
The ASP is the Association of Surfing Professionals. It is the foremost governing body in professional surfing. It boasts the sanctioning of six professional surfing circuits including: the ASP World Tour, the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT), the ASP Pro Junior.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, has, as of yesterday, successfully claimed her fourth consecutive ASP Women’s World Title, making history at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico.
“I’m really at a loss for words right now,” Gilmore said. “Mel (Bartels) is one of the most dangerous surfers in the world and has had my number on several occasions. Even on that last wave there, I was certain she’d got the score. I was blown away when they called it out and I’m rapt right now.”