O’Neill Cold Water Classic Returns to Canada

Following the resounding success of the inaugural Cold Water Classic Series blending adventure, exploration, surf and competition, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series makes a much-anticipated return for 2010.

Last year saw the series push the boundaries of surfing in a way never seen before with five ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events exploring spectacular surf spots throughout remote corners of the globe with the word’s best surfers competing for the prestige of winning the O’Neill CWC Series and the $50,000 prize money.

“It’s pretty much the next best thing to winning the ASP World Title,” says World Tour star Jordy Smith.

It’s not only the prize money and accolade, but the integration of exploration and adventure into surf competitions that the surfers themselves relish.

“To bring that feeling of searching out waves with your friends into competition is amazing,” says Jordy Smith.

With each location on the series serving up some of the most challenging high quality waves on the tour last year, the CWC Series will once again return to the start in the wilds of Tasmania, Australia on March 23rd before heading to Scotland, South Africa, Canada and Santa Cruz, California.

“The inaugural year of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic threw up incredible waves in some of the most remote and wild locations you could ever imagine to travel let alone host a surf competition,” said O’Neill Global Event Manager Bernhard Ritzer. “These are locations where most of the professional surfers who spend their lives travelling around the world have never even been,” he said.

“And within each location the quality of waves was beyond anything we could have even wished for,” said Bernhard. “This year we want to delve deeper into each location. With the mobile event format we can discover more potential and share this globally with the live webcasts.”

O’Neill Coldwater Classic Tasmania March 23 – 28, 2010
Starting in the northwest corner of Tasmania – Australia’s Island state – the series will commence with all the ingredients of an explorative surf trip as Jarrad Howse – last year’s CWC Series runner up discovered:

“Landing in Launceston I had that grommet like feeling I used to get when my dad would take us camping as kids – excited about exploring, surfing new waves and happy to be off the beaten track miles from the city and out of phone reception,” said Jarrad.

Exposed to the savage weather and the abundance of Southern Ocean swell, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Tasmania encapsulates all that this series represents. In the isolated town of Marrawah, both uncrowded on land and sea, the world-class powerful reef and beach breaks are fully exploited with the mobile format of the event.

Jordy who plans to return to retain his title said: “Winning the event in Tasmania was cool. I’d never been there before, so it was good to experience their waves and culture. The waves I got in Tasmania were some of the best waves I had all year.”

And are the cold raw conditions in any way a deterrent? “Yes, yes and yes,” says Jordy. “But with amazing waves you can definitely deal with it.”

O’Neill Coldwater Classic Scotland April 13 – 19, 2010
The cold is one of the defining features of this, the most northern event in professional surfing. Straight from Tasmania, the CWC Series heads to Thurso – the most northerly town on the British mainland. With the powerful reef breaks of Thurso East and Brims Ness, as well as a multitude of beach breaks available for the mobile format, the quality of the event is worth the endurance of the water temperatures which hover around 7 degrees celsius at this time.

O’Neill Coldwater Classic South Africa July 26 – Aug 1, 2010
A South African winter in Cape Town awaits surfers on the next stop of the Series. Last year represented the first time in 25 years that an event had been held in the Cape Town area. It was also probably the last time that a storm of that scale blew into the area to create a perfect final to the event, and also reiterate its billing as the wildest event in professional surfing.

O’Neill Coldwater Classic Canada October 9 – 15, 2010
Then it’s up to the northern hemisphere’s winter for the fourth stop on the series, on Vancouver Island, Canada. Better known for its snow than surf – and thus justifiably the coldest event in surfing – last year saw this series stop mark the first ever ASP sanctioned event in Canada. And in a fairytale ending it was local Tofino surfer, Peter Devries who won the competition.

O’Neill Coldwater Classic California October 19 – 24, 2010
And finally to Santa Cruz, the birthplace of O’Neill and the home of founder and wetsuit inventor Jack O’Neill as well as the perfect point break of Steamer Lane. Santa Cruz plays host to the final stop on the tour where the series winner will be crowned in October and awarded the $50,000 prize money.