Adam Melling: cold water specialist

Adam Melling has won the inaugural 2011 O’Neill Cold Water Classic at Gisborne, New Zealand. The victory was sealed in the last 30 seconds over Brazilian surfer William Cardoso.

The Australian surfer completed an incredible turn, at The Pines, on Wainui Beach, in clean 1.5m waves with offshore winds. Melling posted 15.20 out of a possible 20 points for the win, made even more special given he was celebrating his 26th birthday.

"I am 26 today and I won the final. I am stoked", said Melling after being chaired up the beach by his mates. "Pretty fun out there, it turned on for the final. Even though the tide come up there were still sets. It was a little slow at the start but came on in the end, last 90 seconds anyway” added Melling of his last minute victory after scoring an 8.03 point ride for two huge forehand turns with only seconds to spare."

"At the start of the heat there, I was looking back in at the beach and I was thinking wow I don’t have any waves. I missed one at the start and I was freaking out a bit and Willian was down the beach but I knew I was in a good spot and if a ‘sucky’ one came in I knew I could bang out the turns and get the score."

At the prize giving after an emotional haka performed by an inspired local Maori, Melling was awarded with a traditional Maori weapon called a tewhatewha, in the tradition of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series where the winners receive meaningful awards from the host country.

After the win Melling was full of praise for the Gisborne Region. "It is a perfect spot for the comp. Not too cold but some freezing mornings still. So many different waves on offer and you can hide from the weather."

Placing third today were Australians Tom Whitaker and Stu Kennedy.

Final
Adam Melling, AUS defeated Willian Cardoso, BRA

Semifinals
Heat 1 - Adam Melling, AUS defeated Tom Whitaker, AUS
Heat 2 - Willian Cardoso, BRA defeated Stu Kennedy, AUS