ASP Prime O'Neill Cold Water Classic California 2010: Round 1

The ASP Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic California completed the last four heats of Round 1 today due to a small unexpected south swell which delivered crisp two-to-three foot right-handers to Steamer Lane.

Peter Mel.  Photo: ASP/ShadleySurfers competing in the ASP Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic California are out to capitalize on the crucial ratings points towards their ASP World Ranking in an attempt to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Tour.

Peter Mel battled his way through the high-tide conditions while slaying the day’s highest scores of 7.60 out of 10 only to follow up with a 7.20 to earn the highest heat total of Round 1 with classic power surfing on Steamer Lane’s righthand walls.

“I looked at the buoys so I knew that we’d be on,” Mel said. “When you’re surfing high-tide south-swell at The Lane, it’s a full battle. I hit the cliff, there were interferences, but it’s the lane. It’s just nice to see that they still score rail work.”

Peter Mel, who is renowned for charging big waves, displayed his versatility in smaller conditions today while capitalizing on his local knowledge to advance through to the Round of 96.

“It’s a big time advantage being a local out here,” Mel said. “At the high-tide with a south-swell, there are certain waves that don’t look like much off of the cliff, but they have an angle, but you know as a local that they'll be good. That was how my first wave was. No one else even looked at it and I knew it was going to have the inside part of it.”

Cory Arrambide, former ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, stayed busy in his heat despite often long lulls to take out his Round of 128 heat victory over former ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger who advanced in second.

“It seemed inconsistent when I was watching the first heat from the cliff,” Arrambide said. “I just decided to sit inside of everyone on the first waves and caught a couple off of the bat and I’m stoked to get through.”

Arrambide, who is fresh off of an impressive equal 9th place finish at the ASP 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, entered the ASP PRIME event with a newfound confidence after his Canadian run.

“Before Canada, I hadn’t really done many contests this year,” Arrambide said. “I had been a little nervous and getting a good result up there gave me a little confidence again.”

Event organizers will reconvene at 7am tomorrow morning to potentially start competition at 8am. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic California is the last of five stops on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series, with the series’ winner taking an additional $50,000.

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