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.”

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O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada stormed through the Round of 48 before completing the first five heats of Round 4 and saw Glen Hall (IRE), 27, and Cory Lopez (Dana Point, CA), 32, lead their competitors into the Round of 16 while local surfer Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, convincingly continued through to the Round of 16.

Lopez, who is famous for his massive aerial maneuvers, took to the air in his Round of 24 heat to claim the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.50 with a huge backside air. As the competition began to heat up in the latter rounds, Lopez knew he needed a big score to advance though his heat and the critical maneuver allowed him to claim the heat win.

“I knew both of those guys (T.J. Barron and Gony Zubizarreta) started with a few big scores, so I knew I needed something big,” Lopez said. “I had the wave and I knew it only offered one maneuver and it was kind of barreling and when I hit it I thought ‘oh no, it’s barreling’ but it gave me just enough to pull it, but I was fortunate to make it through that heat.”

Lopez’s relaxed approach to competition has seen the veteran contest surfer blast some major results on The Grind this year and after a lengthy career on the ASP Dream Tour, Lopez still enjoys competition.

“I’m pretty lucky because O’Neill doesn’t put too much pressure on me to do events,” Lopez said. “I still really want to do well, but there’s no pressure. I’m enjoying competition more now. There’s less pressure and it’s more fun. I’d love to be back on the World Tour at spots like Teahupoo and Pipeline, that’s what I live for. Maybe one day, you never know.”

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Coco Ho

Coco Ho (HAW), 18, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, collected her inaugural victory on the ASP Women’s World Tour today, taking out the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search over former ASP Women’s World Champion (2005) Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, in punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at Belgas.

Event No. 4 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search saw some of the best conditions of the year at the backup venue of Belgas, and throughout the two days of competition, it was the youngster Ho who proved most adept at navigating the hollow beachbreak peaks.

Ho exercised excellent judgment in the Final, patiently waiting while her elder opponent kept herself busy. With conditions deteriorating, the young Hawaiian let loose with a barrage of backhand hits on the dumpy lefthanders, collecting a 7.50 and an 8.33 to combo Hedges and take the win.

“I knew Chelsea (Hedges) would be dangerous on the left after seeing her this morning getting those barrels,” Ho said. “This afternoon it turned into a more rippable wave and it was hard on the forehand, but I was lucky to get the waves I did.”

With this win, Ho moves from 5th to 3rd on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings and announces herself as a major force heading into the final three events of the year.

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