Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Mar 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Surf’s Up

blog surfsupThe Coldwater Classic makes waves in Santa Cruz

Local pro surfer Nat Young, who was awarded the Wild Card to compete in this year's O'Neill Coldwater Classic competition at Steamer Lane the day before, wowed spectators' and fueled Santa Cruz pride on Thursday, Nov. 1, when he came out on top during his heat against 11-time world champion Kelly Slater. It made for an exciting start to the 10-day event.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the 21-year-old went up against 11 other surfers, including locals Bud Freitas, Noi Kaulukukui, Adam Replogle, Josh Mulcoy, Randy Bonds, Shaun Burns, Josh Loya and Jimmy Herrick, to compete for an O'Neill Wild Card, which is designed to place more Santa Cruz locals like Young in the contest. The other Wild Card was issued to Jason “Rat Boy” Collins.

The Coldwater Classic helped to launch Young's surfing career when he won the event four years ago. But now, for the first time in almost 20 years, the competition is the ninth of 10 stops on the Association of Surfing Professionals’ World Championship Tour, bolstering its profile. It's a big step up for Young, but not unexpected, says Kieran Horn, the O'Neill brand manager for the Americas.

blog coldwater3He says all eyes were on Young during the trial on Halloween day.

“Nat is the guy to be,” Horn says. “He's our competitor representing Santa Cruz. It's great to have him on the World Tour.”

Among the 34 elite surfers Young will compete against are Joel Parkinson, of Australia, John John Florence, of Hawaii, and Mick Fanning, also from Australia. Fanning came in first last month at both the Quiksilver Pro France and Hurley Pro in Southern California and has won the ASP World Championship twice—in 2007 and 2009.

During a high tide lull in the swell Wednesday morning, Fanning and Florence, both 20, sat down in the O'Neill tent for a press conference. Slater and Parkinson were expected to be in attendance but were held up—Slater by Hurricane Sandy complications in New York.

Contest director Chris Gallagher, who moderated the conference, said Florence's performance throughout the tour has been extremely impressive, making lots of wins.
At the start of the meeting, Florence sat behind the table wearing an orange button-up shirt and a ghoulish pumpkin mask over his head.

He said he has watched and idolized many of the surfers he is now competing against.

blog coldwater2“It's wild surfing with a lot of these guys,” he said. To keep it up, Florence said he will just try to stay focused and keep having fun.

Florence said that Fanning, who was sitting to his left with a black cap and big black sunglasses, was a surfer he has looked up to for a long time. Fanning, in turn, noted that he learns something new from Florence every day.

“It's great to see the way new guys [like Florence] come through and look at the wave differently,” Fanning said.

Florence said he has traveled to surf Steamer Lane all his life but that the break offers up some tricky waves and always presents a learning curve. Fanning said he hadn't surfed in Santa Cruz for more than a decade.

Horn called the Coldwater Classic a critical event on the World Tour, as it is the last stop before the Triple Crown in Hawaii, which begins the day after Coldwater finishes. The winner of the event will take away a whopping $425,000 prize. The holding period goes until Sunday, Nov. 11 and conditions look favorable. Heats begin as early at 7:30 a.m. depending on the swell.

For more information or to watch a live stream of the competition, visit oneill.com/cwc.  

PHOTOS BY KEANA PARKER. Top and bottom photos of John John Florence. Middle photo of Florence and Mick Fanning.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals