Top seeds show unbreakable power in O'Neill Cold Water Classic California

November 7, 2009 | Surfing

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California

After calling a lay day for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic California yesterday, today’s action saw Steamer Lane come alive to deliver a pumping four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) swell while the event’s top seeds displayed an amazing performance of progressive surfing for the local Santa Cruz crowd.

The event’s ASP 6-Star PRIME status has attracted the finest pedigree of global surfing talent in search of the valuable ratings points on offer for the 2010 ASP World Tour.

Sebastian Zietz (Kilauea, HI), 21, relied on his unbelievable above-the-lip approach to surfing to secure the day’s highest scores of a near perfect 9.77 out of 10 with three critical fins-free turns on a cranking righthander. The Hawaiian added an additional top score allowing him to clinch the event’s highest heat total of a near-perfect 18.74 out of 20 after a seesaw battle with Australian talent Yadin Nicol (Margaret River, AUS), 23.

“The waves were going off and it’s that in-between-tide where it’s not really kelpy yet,” Zietz said. “All of the guys were ripping and pretty intimidating early on. I got that first one where I kind of fell on my first turn and somehow made it happen and found my feet at the end.”

Zietz had a slow start to his Round of 48 heat, but was able to out-position fellow Hawaiian Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 19, to find the waves needed to surpass Nicol to take out the heat win while advancing through to the Round of 24.

“I was kind of getting a little sneaky on Granger (Larsen) on a couple,” Zietz said. “It was tough because it looked like they were going to break on the outside, but they would fade out and wall up perfect throughout the inside. I was lucky to get those ones right under him.”

Nicol, who secured the event’s second-highest heat total of 17.73, nearly claimed the heat win, but advanced in second behind Zietz in a wave-for-wave tradeoff in the battle of the regular-footers in the stacked 25 minute matchup.

“I really only caught two waves that were good ones and made the most of them,” Nicol said. “Seabass (Sebastian Zietz) had some good ones and Granger (Larsen) had some good ones. It was really fun to get through it.”

Although Nicol finished in second, he was excited to be a part of the progressive surfing movement unfolding at Steamer Lane in today’s ideal conditions.

“It pushes your level out there when everyone’s surfing that well,” Nicol said. “You really want to just get the best waves and when the waves are good like that you can open up a little bit more and have a bit more fun with it.”

Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), claimed an impressive heat victory when he usurped a list of iconic surfers including Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), 21, who advanced in second, Pipeline prodigy John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 16, and legendary three-time ASP World Champion and event wildcard Tom Curren (Santa Barbara, CA), 45, in the quality Steamer Lane surf.

“It’s funny because everyone’s been talking about that heat,” Ward said. “Jordy (Smith) is one of the best surfers in the world, hands down, and Tom (Curren) is one of the best surfers of all time, and John John (Florence) is kind of the prodigy, and I was kind of the underdog, but I like it.”

Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, looked hungry to win the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships when he won a stacked Quarterfinals heat at his homebreak of Steamer Lane today. The goofy-footer topped current ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings leader Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, who advanced in second, young prodigy Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 15, and defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 19.

“I’d love to win this contest,” Young said. “I’m pretty bummed about what happened earlier this week. I tried my hardest, but I’d like to come back to win the Junior.”

Young capitalized on his local knowledge of Steamer Lane today and crushed the increasing swell on his backhand to take out the critical heat win.

“I try to catch the ones that I know are good that I’d want to ride if I were free-surfing,” Young said. “Right now, it’s against the cliff, that’s where everybody is and there are some fun ones.”

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Centeio (HAW) 17.26, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, James Taipan Wood (AUS) 9.04, David Richards (ZAF) 5.40
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.46, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.13, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 10.26, Blake Wilson (AUS) 9.90
Heat 3: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 18.74, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.73, Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.10, Kyle Knox (USA) 12.83
Heat 4: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.26, Marcio Farney (BRA) 10.06, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.70, Micah Byrne (USA) 9.60
Heat 5: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 12.83, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.04, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.17, Christophe Allary (REU) 8.97
Heat 6: Andre Silva (BRA) 12.94, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 12.64, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 11.63, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 8.00
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.83, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.77, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.94, Tim Reyes (USA) 7.00
Heat 8: Heath Joske (AUS) 13.30, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 12.70, Brian Toth (PRI) 11.16, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.33

O’Neill Cold Water Classic California Round of 96 Results:
Heat 16: Mason Ho (HAW) 16.00, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 10.66, Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.54, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 5.66
Heat 17: Torrey Meister (HAW) 15.67, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.06, Jack Perry (AUS) 9.70, Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.10
Heat 18: Adam Robertson (AUS) 13.23, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 10.56, Chris Waring (USA) 8.25, Anthony Petruso (USA) 7.93
Heat 19: Mark Mathews (AUS) 12.73, Jesse Heilman (USA) 9.17, Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 8.67, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 8.27
Heat 20: Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.17, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.60, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.24, Izuki Tanaka (JPN) 3.90
Heat 21: Austin Ware (USA) 11.67, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 10.63, T.J. Barron (HAW) 9.33, Sean Holmes (ZAF) 8.40
Heat 22: Kieran Horn (USA) 13.27, Luke Munro (AUS) 12.27, Alex Gray (USA) 10.57, Eric Geiselman (USA) 5.97
Heat 23: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 11.60, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.87, Blake Jones (USA) 7.70, Jason Miller (USA) 5.17
Heat 24: Shaun Ward (USA) 15.77, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.57, John John Florence (HAW) 9.93, Tom Curren (USA) 9.40

Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.20, Tonino Benson (HAW) 11.83, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.70, Andrew Doheny (USA) 4.17
QF 2: Luke Davis (USA) 15.20, Cody Thompson (USA) 12.90, Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.60, Matt Meola (HAW) 5.93
QF 3: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.60, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.53, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.94, Evan Thompson (USA) 5.67
QF 4: Nat Young (USA) 15.57, Dillon Perillo (USA) 13.57, Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.23, Cory Arrambide (USA) 5.60

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