Event Upgraded in Celebration of O’Neill’s 60th Anniversary
The 2012 O’Neill Coldwater Classic will return to Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, Calif. as an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) event November 1-11. The world’s best surfers will travel to Northern California for the second to last stop on the 2012 ASP WCT, which may well determine the 2012 World Champion.
This year at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic, expect to see all of the biggest names in surfing from around the globe in action, including the current ASP Top 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA), Mick Fanning (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Taj Burrow (AUS), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), and Jeremy Flores (FRA).
O’Neill Team Rider John John Florence at Steamer Lane 2011
After the last event in France, which wrapped up last week, Australian Joel Parkinson took over the frontrunner position on the 2012 ASP WCT ratings. As stop number nine of 10 on the Tour, the O’Neill Coldwater Classic will prove pivotal in the final standings, and with a win at the 2000 O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Parkinson has established his abilities at Steamer Lane before.
“I’ve been to Santa Cruz once when I was 18 years old, but not for 12 years. It has been a long time,” Parkinson said. “I really enjoyed my time. I won when I was there, so it would be nice to go two for two. All the right points I feel comfortable at. I can’t wait for it. It suits my surfing.”
With a long and rich history, the O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane is known for producing powerful and consistent conditions in a classic Northern California setting. Originating in 1987, the event has taken on various incarnations over the past three decades. It was once an ASP WCT event (prior to the ASP creating a two-tier system), but for the past few years, it has run as an ASP Star or Prime event. With this year’s upgrade to the highest echelon of professional surfing, it will not only bring the top caliber of talent to Steamer Lane, but a lofty $425,000 prize purse as well.
Granger Larsen at Steamer Lane 2010
“We’re very happy to confirm the 2012 O’Neill Coldwater Classic Santa Cruz as an ASP World Title event,” said Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager. “Santa Cruz offers a variety of world-class waves for our surfers to perform on and we’re hopeful that conditions will deliver for the world’s best to do battle in.”
The event’s upgrade coincides with O’Neill’s 60th anniversary. The globally recognized lifestyle brand, founded in 1952 by Jack O’Neill, revolutionized modern day surfing with the invention of the first wetsuit allowing surfers to spend more time in the cold waters of Northern California.
“We are excited to see a World Tour level event return to Santa Cruz as part of O’Neill’s 60 year anniversary,” said Pat O’Neill, President & CEO of O’Neill Wetsuits. “Santa Cruz, with its rich surf history and tradition, is the perfect venue for this pivotal event. Mainland surfing started in Santa Cruz, Jack O’Neill developed many pioneering surf inventions here and it’s been home to the O’Neill brand for over half a century. Santa Cruz has always been regarded as a true surf community and was named the number one surf town in the U.S. by Surfer magazine. With a World Tour event in 2012 and the possibility of the World Champion being crowned, we expect to see an exciting chapter in surfing history written right in our front yard.”
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In addition to O’Neill, the event is supported by Philips O’Neill, Surfer Magazine, Surfline. Australian Surfing Life, Surf Session, Surf Portugal, Fluir, Waves, Santa Cruz Conference and Visitor’s Council, and the Dream Inn hotel.