First days of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic

Peter Devries gives the locals of Tofino a scare before advancing in the dying minutes, as the O’Neill Cold Water Classic gets underway in 6-foot swell and sunshine.

Tofino, Canada – October 10, 2010 – The storms might have calmed for this second day at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, but the local community of Tofino were anything but calm as Peter Devries took to the water.

Last year’s CWC Canada winner and Tofino local, Devries gave the crowds on the beach a little bit of a fright as he looked set to be knocked out of his first round heat, before calmly pulling out the score he needed in the dying minutes behind one of the standouts of the morning – Timmy Reyes.

“I had a complete shocker out there today,” said Devries. “I just wasn’t feeling good on waves. I was lucky to get through. That last wave was good and I felt like I surfed it pretty bad so I wasn’t expecting the score,” he said.

In stark contrast to the stormy last few days in this remote western corner of Canada, the 6 Star ASP O’Neill Cold Water Classic awoke to gentle winds, clear blue skies and 6-foot surf for a 9am start at Chesterman’s Beach.

Australian former World Tour surfer, Jarrad Howse got things going in the first heat, posting the highest wave score, 8.17, and highest heat total of the day.

Also in the water and going through top of his heat was Australian Stuart Kennedy – currently second in the running for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series title and just back from an ankle injury: “It’s good to be in Canada,” he said. “I’ve got my dad with me. He works too much so I thought I would take him on holiday with me. Hopefully he’s my good luck charm!”

Talking about the CWC Series winner prize money to be awarded at the final event in Santa Cruz next week, Stuart said; “The $50,000 was in my head but it’s so hard to have that pressure. It’s something that I realized now is not worth worrying about.”

What was a worry on Chesterman’s Beach, however, was the tide. Exploring wild remote locations around the world was never meant to be straightforward, and the tide was the latest obstacle for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series to overcome.

With the new moon and huge swell, the high tide covers the entire beach, forcing contest director Matt Wilson to stop proceedings after heat 4, to remove everything from the beach, before the water did.

The next call will be tomorrow October 11 at 9am for heat 5 in the round of 96.
Source: O’