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).
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.