World’s best drop in to tame Tofino’s waves
Vancouver Island’s top shredders ready to match their skills against the pros in the first tour stop on Canadian shores
BY IAN WALKER, VANCOUVER SUN
OCTOBER 24, 2009
It started out on a remote corner at the edge of the world, where the Indian Ocean pounds the isolated Tasmanian shoreline. Then up to the northern town of Thurso, Scotland, renowned for its reef breaks. South Africa’s treacherous Cape Peninsula was the next stop, surfers attacking the powerful swells under the towering cliffs of the Table Mountain Range.
Fog, snow, freezing temperatures and ice-cold water are just a sample of what could await competitors during the fourth stop of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic, which gets under way today through next weekend in Tofino.
That’s right, Tofino. The 6 Star ASP World Qualifying Series event is the first pro surf contest to grace Canadian shores and is being dubbed the sport’s coldest by organizers. While that’s up for debate — to be honest, the waters of Scotland were colder — Vancouver Island’s rugged western coastline, idyllic beach breaks, cedar-lined shore and majestic snow-capped mountains make it one of the coolest surf contests on the planet.
“Maybe some people take it for granted due to a lack of understanding, but everyone here knows how big this is,” said Noah Cohen, an O’Neill-sponsored surfer who was born and raised in Tofino. “Not only is it a World Qualifying Series stop, but it’s a six star event — and there’s not many of them around the world. For surfers in the area it’s huge. Not just for the chance to compete, but to see a surf contest of this level with a world-class international field.”
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