Miguel Pupo: flying in 2ft waves

Miguel Pupo has claimed the 2011 O’Neill Cold Water Classic California, in peaky one-to-three foot (.5 metre) waves, at the backup location of Waddell Creek. The Brazilian surfer defeated the "Portuguese Tiger", Tiago Pires.

With limited swell and unfavorable tides surfers had to perform at both the iconic pointbreak of Steamer Lane as well as the beachbreak of Waddell Creek in order to earn a top result.

Pupo dominated the final against the Portuguese veteran and relied on his patented aerial game on the lefthand ramps of Waddell Creek to solidify his victory with two near-perfect scores of 9.33 and 9.60, the highest single-wave score of the event, after an amazing showing throughout the contest’s entirety.

“I feel unbelievable right now,” Pupo said. “I was feeling comfortable out there and I was just trying to surf my best and I won. I’ve been surfing a beachbreak my whole life and I’m used to these waves. I was really lucky that we moved to here (Waddell Creek). It could have been a different story if we ran at The Lane.”

In addition to Pupo’s dominant effort in the Final, the high-flying Brazilian rampaged to a near-perfect heat of 19.14 (out of 20), the event’s highest, to kick off his run on the final day. Pupo topped local favorite Nat Young and fellow countrymen Willian Cardoso, before defeating fellow ASP World Tour campaigner Pires in the Final.

“I was really nervous to surf against Nat (Young) and I knew it was going to be a hard heat,” Pupo said. “He’s one of the best juniors in the world and a local out here. Luckily I caught a couple of waves and eventually got those two 9’s.”

Pires relied on impeccable wave selection as well as classic rail-to-rail power-surfing en route to his equal 3rd place finish, topping ASP World No. 6 Jordy Smith, in his Semifinals bout, but was unable to surpass Pupo for the win.

“I’m stoked, with these kinds of conditions I didn’t see myself in the final today and I was just really happy to be out there,” Pires said. “Miguel (Pupo) put on a show and I have to take my hat off to him. He’s one of the best surfers in the world in these conditions and he deserves it. I’m stoked I got second and this result is going to help my result on the World Rankings so I’m really happy.”

O’NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC FINAL RESULT
1 – Miguel Pupo (BRA) 18.93
2 – Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.20

O’NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.33 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.80
SF 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.33 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.43