Cold Water Classic: Big scores and big upsets
Day Three of the Cold Water Classic, saw Hawaiian standout Sebastian Zietz, 20, stamp the day's top honors by claiming both the highest single wave score and highest heat total of the event.
The Cold Water Classic marks the third stop on the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series, North America’s only specialty series, which offers an additional prize purse awarded to the series’ top three competitors. 2005 Trifecta champion Asher Nolan (Jacksonville, FL), 30, who is currently in second on the series, surfs tomorrow and could potentially win the series considering that Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, is not surfing in this week’s event and Horn, who is in third, was unable to advance through his Round 4 heat today.
Zietz jumped out to an early lead in his heat with a solid score of an 8.33 out of a possible 10 in Round 3 with several clean frontside maneuvers. He followed up with two massive fins-free turns on his next wave to claim the event’s highest single wave score of a 9.50. The two scores earned Zietz the highest heat total of 17.83 out of a possible 20, placing his fellow competitors in a combination situation.
“I’m just really lucky I guess,” Zietz said. “It’s tough out there, jockeying and everything. I’ve been watching tons of heats and it feels good to just get in the water. I was trying to work out a game plan but it’s so hard when everyone is getting all deep and jockeying and you just go on anything you can get. Luckily the ones I got went all the way through.”
Zietz has just returned from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and made the transition between drastic water temperatures seamlessly.
“It’s quite a shocker because I just got back from Bali,” Zietz said. “It’s definitely really cold, but a lot better than last year. It’s been sunny, just like Hawaii.”
Zietz will also be competing in the Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships and is leading the junior division in the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series. The Hawaiian talent feels as though his standout performance today was the perfect warm up for his upcoming heats in both the men’s and junior’s divisions.
“It’s definitely a good warm up for the rest of the event,” Zietz said. “It gives me a chance to get my boards figured out and get the right mentality for the rest of the event. It gives me a chance to get used to the paddle battling and jockeying and everything too.”
Andino issued a shocking upset today by eliminating ASP WQS veteran and Santa Cruz local standout Kieran Horn. The young San Clemente surfer combined innovative turns and airs to earn the heat victory over the event favorite who is 20 years his senior.
“I let Kieran (Horn) go on the first one because I know he’s a local and he rips out here,” Andino said. “I just got the second one and got a good score.”
Andino plans on changing up his strategy in the Round of 32, where he will try to exercise more patience in his Round 5 heat and attempt to pick off more set waves instead of taking smaller inside waves.
“One thing I noticed after I got the 7.50 is that the heats are long so you can just wait out there and get sets and you can get two good scores,” Andino said. “All of the guys are bigger so I can’t really hassle them, so I’ll just wait I guess.”
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Daniel Ross (Yamba, AUS), 25, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Ocean & Earth Pro pres. by La Caja de Canarias in pumping five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at the world famous venue of El Confital today.
After six hours of patience, officials and surfers agreed to call the event off for the second day of the waiting period. Some small but inconsistent waves eventually started breaking at Carcavelos, but not enough to get top seeds to paddle out.