Peter Devries

The inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada saw a fairytale ending today when local standout Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, went on an absolute rampage to claim the event over Jay Thompson (Burleigh Heads, AUS), 27, in front of his home crowd in Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Devries stormed through an unbelievable list of some of the world’s finest surfing talent to take out the win today, besting former ASP World Tour Standout Cory Lopez (Dana Point, CA), 32, and current ASP WQS No. 12 Glen Hall (IRE), 27, before topping Thompson at his local break of North Chesterman’s beach. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada was the first time an ASP event had touched Canadian soil and Devries made history as the first Canadian to claim an ASP WQS win.

“I can’t believe it,” Devries said. “This contest was just such a great opportunity for me and thanks so much to everyone, my friends, family, sponsors and everyone in town for all of the support and helping me get to where I am. I’m just so stoked to have all of these guys competing here and I can’t believe I came out on top with all of these incredible guys surfing here.”

The Canadian regular-footer wasted no time getting to work in his match against Thompson and had the current ASP World No. 32 in a combination situation within the first 10 minutes of their heat with devastating forehand maneuvers on the wedgy Tofino peaks.

“I was really stoked with those couple of little rights that I had,” Devries said. “They were nice and clean and had a clean open face. I surfed semi-conservatively to start. Then I was looking for an air section or something a little bigger and then I got that one that went all the way to the beach."

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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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