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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Mavericks Surf Contest

On just 24 hours notice between November 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, 24 of the world’s best big-wave surfers will be summoned to Half Moon Bay, home of Mavericks, one of the most majestic and infamous surf breaks on Earth.  There, they will test their individual skills and vie to be crowned champion of the 2009/2010 Mavericks Surf Contest® Presented by Sony Ericsson.  Competitors will face the dangerous elements of the frigid northern California waters in search of the perfect ride on waves reaching heights of 30 to 40 feet or more.

“The 24” make the call.  And according to Mavericks CEO Keir J. Beadling, this contest seasons adds a new and exciting element:  “This season we’re embarking on a new chapter, as the Mavericks competitors will choose the day.  Once potentially contestable conditions are identified, ‘the 24’ will vote and determine whether to pull the trigger.  If they say ‘go,’ we go, and that’s exactly the way it should be at Mavericks.”   Commented longtime Mavericks surfer and Contest competitor Kenny “Skindog” Collins, “This Mavericks Contest combined with this season’s El Niño is going to be historic!”

El Niño in-play.  Official Surf Forecaster Mark Sponsler of Stormsurf.com says there is good reason to be hopeful:  “The El Niño season, which has already begun, should bring a higher number of storms moving from the International Dateline into the Gulf of Alaska than in years previous. Those storms should have the potential to push larger and more consistent surf down the Pacific Coast into California. It's likely there will be several good opportunities to hold the contest between now and March 31 when the contest window closes.”

Once the contestants receive the green light alert, they have just 24 hours to arrive for the event.  The international roster of invited surfers consists of, in alphabetical order: Matt Ambrose, Ben Andrews, Grant Baker, Ion Banner, Chris Bertish, Carlos Burle, Kenny Collins, Shane Desmond, Nathan Fletcher, Brock Little, Greg Long, Josh Loya, Peter Mel, Shawn Rhodes, Ryan Seelbach, Evan Slater, Tyler Smith, Jamie Sterling, Anthony Tashnick, Darryl Virostko, Grant Washburn, Dave Wassell, Tim West, Zach Wormhoudt.

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