Hall and Lopez Lead Latter Rounds of O'Neill Cold Water Classic Canada
TOFINO, British Columbia– The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada stormed through the Round of 48 before completing the first five heats of Round 4 and saw Glen Hall (IRE), 27, and Cory Lopez (Dana Point, CA), 32, lead their competitors into the Round of 16 while local surfer Peter Devries (Tofino, BC), 26, convincingly continued through to the Round of 16.
Lopez, who is famous for his massive aerial maneuvers, took to the air in his Round of 24 heat to claim the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.50 with a huge backside air. As the competition began to heat up in the latter rounds, Lopez knew he needed a big score to advance though his heat and the critical maneuver allowed him to claim the heat win.
“I knew both of those guys (T.J. Barron and Gony Zubizarreta) started with a few big scores, so I knew I needed something big,” Lopez said. “I had the wave and I knew it only offered one maneuver and it was kind of barreling and when I hit it I thought ‘oh no, it’s barreling’ but it gave me just enough to pull it, but I was fortunate to make it through that heat.”
Lopez’s relaxed approach to competition has seen the veteran contest surfer blast some major results on The Grind this year and after a lengthy career on the ASP Dream Tour, Lopez still enjoys competition.
“I’m pretty lucky because O’Neill doesn’t put too much pressure on me to do events,” Lopez said. “I still really want to do well, but there’s no pressure. I’m enjoying competition more now. There’s less pressure and it’s more fun. I’d love to be back on the World Tour at spots like Teahupoo and Pipeline, that’s what I live for. Maybe one day, you never know.”
Hall’s lightning-quick surfing saw earned him claim two heat victories today while grabbing the day’s highest heat total of a 16.67 out of 20 in the Round of 24.
“That heat was wild,” Hall said. “We all paddled out and didn’t know what to do. We ended up setting up halfway out the back and I did my best and ended up getting a couple of scores.”
The Australian goofy-footer who now represents his Irish nationality on the ASP WQS relied on both his forehand and backhand to dominate two heats today. Hall is currently sitting in 14th on the ASP WQS and is hungry to add another solid result into his score line to solidify his spot on next year’s ASP Dream Tour before the end of the year.
“It’s crunch time for me really,” Hall said. “The position that I’m in on the ratings is where you don’t want to be going into Hawaii, so I’d love a big result here and in the next comp before Hawaii.”
Hall’s heat victories were no easy task however, as his Round of 24 heat win came over local standout Peter Devries, who advanced in second, and has been on fire throughout the event’s entirety.
“It’s impressive to see him (Pete Devries) and all of us surfers are talking about him,” Hall said. “There’s always that odd local that gets through, but doesn’t really impress everyone, but Pete’s surfing is as proper as anyone. One of the waves he caught in his last heat was one of the best I’ve seen and he deserves every bit of it.”
Devries, who has posted some of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada’s top scores in front of his home crowd, continued his tear on the competition today by winning his Round of 48 heat and confidently advanced though to the Round of 16 behind Hall. Devries has utilized his local knowledge in all types of conditions and his local knowledge has played a huge role in his success.
“It’s been interesting,” Devries said. “These are conditions that I’m totally used to. I had those little right wedges with no power earlier and I’ve just been trying to get speed on my board and it’s just going so fast and so good and I’m feeling really comfortable.”
O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) 15.23, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.94, T.J. Barron (HAW) 9.67
Heat 2: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.84, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 11.27, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 10.57
Heat 3: Glen Hall (IRE) 16.67, Peter Devries (CAN) 12.94, Brian Toth (PRI) 12.00
Heat 4: Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.84, Joan Duru (FRA) 13.90, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 10.70
Heat 5: Mark Mathews (AUS) 13.10, Austin Ware (USA) 10.97, Luke Munro (AUS) 10.60