O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada

Surfers battled through stormy two-to-four foot (1metre) conditions at North Chesterman’s beach to decide the quarterfinalists for the inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada today.

The ASP6-Star event held in Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia plays a crucial role in surfers’ chances of qualification for the 2010 ASP World Tour due to the bountiful ratings points on offer at the premier event.

Glenn Hall (IRE), 27, who was a standout in yesterday’s action, continued to dominate the Canadian beachbreak today when he claimed the day’s highest scores. Hall blasted a near-perfect 9.50 out of 10 en route to smashing the highest heat total of the event, an amazing 18.10 out of 20.

“I really enjoyed the waves I had,” Hall said. “I had fun. That 9.5 was actually an inside wave and I wasn’t going to take it, but I was able to get two good turns and got the score.”

Hall, who is currently sitting in the No. 14 position on the ASP WQS is in a critical position on The Grind and is looking to solidify his spot within the top 15 on the ratings. The lightning-fast goofy-footer’s goal was originally to make the Quarterfinals entering the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada and now that he’s met his goal Hall is looking to continue his campaign to help his cause on The Grind.

“I’m happy to have made the Quarterfinals, but I don’t want to stop now,” Hall said. “I’m just trying to stay focused and I’d like to keep moving on.”

Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 20, who is currently sitting in the No. 12 position on the ASP WQS, relied on his crisp backhand attack on two lefthanders to advance through to the Quarterfinals over Spaniard Gony Zubizaretta (ESP), 29, in the windy conditions, helping his chances towards qualification for next year’s ASP World Tour.

“The conditions have changed a million times in this event, but you’ve just got to adjust,” Payne said. “I was able to get that one 8 under Gony’s (Zubizaretta) priority and was able to get through with that.”

Payne was extremely ive in his heat, riding only three waves throughout the 25-minute bout and his impeccable wave-ion played a crucial role in his heat win.

“It’s pretty slim pickings out there, so I just tried to be patient,” Payne said. “I was really lucky to just get that one good wave.”

Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, who has been turning heads as the local standout in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada throughout the entire event, issued the upset of the day when he eliminated current ASP WQS No. 8 Joan Duru (FRA), 20, to earn his quarterfinals berth.

“It’s pretty crazy to come up against these guys because I don’t get to see a lot of them surf that often,” Devries said. “I catch the odd heat online, but these guys are the workhorses of the surf world and it’s nice to see them all here and I’m just happy to be able to compete with them. It shows me that all of the work has paid off over the years.”

Devries’ heat victory was no easy feat however, as he not only had to top one of Europe’s finest up-and-coming surfers, but also had to learn how to use priority in his first career man-on-man heat.

“I made some mistakes under my priority,” Devries said. “I got excited and stood up on a couple of waves that I shouldn’t have. It’s nice though to only have one other guy out there. I got a couple of small scores at the ning, which wasn’t really my plan, I wanted to get a good score right away, but I ended up building momentum through the heat.”

O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.00 def. Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.43
Heat 2: Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.33 def. Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.16
Heat 3: Glenn Hall (IRE) 18.10 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 12.10
Heat 4: Peter Devries (CAN) 12.67 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 8.44
Heat 5: Mark Mathews (AUS) 10.44 def. Killian Garland (USA) 8.27
Heat 6: Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 14.17 def. Austin Ware (ZAF) 11.56
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.93 def. Heath Joske (AUS) 9.56
Heat 8: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.74 def. Jarrad Howse (AUS) 12.70

O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round of 24 Results:
Heat 6: Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 13.50, Killian Garland (USA) 11.47, Charles Martin (GLP) 11.17
Heat 7: Heath Joske (AUS) 13.17, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 11.37, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 5.80
Heat 8: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.34, Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.10, Eric Geiselman (USA) 10.03