O’Neill has turned the Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz, CA) into an invitational event, they pick 15 unsponsored surfers and one wildcard video entry to compete for a sponsorship with the company and $50 grand budget. This year I was invited to compete along with my long time friend and traveling partner Nate Yeomans. Nate and I took the chance and drove up the coast. I enjoyed the quality of the event, it felt like a WCT event, with locker rooms, man-on-man heats, packaged gifts and parties for the athletes.
The first day saw a nice head high swell that came from Hurricane Ana that had produced south swell for Cali a week before the event and then slowed down, headed out to Hawaii and then regrouped and turned into a small storm again in the north and gave us some west swell for the comp. A unusually storm pattern to double on swell for Cali but that the season Cali has had this year. I know its called the Coldwater Classic but this year the ocean water has been unseasonable warm and I was overheating in a 3/2 Vapor X wetsuit from Bodyglove. Usually my hands and feet are frozen blocks but this year was more like the “coolwater classic” 😉
Nate is a former Coldwater Classic in 2009 and looked like the guy to beat from the start of this event, dropping 8’s and 9 point rides each heat. I had some slow heats with the waves but I was able to put together one solid wave a heat but that wasn’t enough to get past my 3rd round heat. On the final day, Nate came out swinging, like he could taste the sponsorship and the day finished with Nate spraying champagne in the crowd and a new sticker on his board. Congrats Nate on the epic win!
The Golden Ticket
It wouldn’t be a classic without a fog bank
Heat Draw and format
Nate and Rick Yeomans checking the Lane
Nate Spraying the fans after the big win over local Shaun Burns
Snapping at Steamers photo by Ryan Craig
Swooping photo by Marc Prefontaine
Surf Photos: Marc Prefontaine (Oneill.com) and RyanCraigPhotography