For immediate release
Date: 25th October 2010
From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: International Surfing
Event: O’Neill Cold Water Classic – ASP World Tour 6-star PRIME
Location: Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, California, USA
Websites: www.surfingnz.co.nz or www.oneill.com/cwc/california
Kiwis Surf To Huge Results At Santa Cruz ASP World Tour Event
New Zealand surfers Richard Christie (Gisborne/Mahia) and Billy Stairmand (Raglan) have surfed to excellent results on the ASP World Tour with official rankings being released overnight having them ranked 53rd and 62nd in the world respectively.
The jump in the rankings for the two surfers comes after yesterdays (Sunday 24th October) completion of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic held at Santa Cruz, California, USA where Billy Stairmand placed third and Christie ninth. Prior to the event the surfers were ranked 62nd and 97th on the rankings.
The Santa Cruz event was a 6-Star Prime on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. Prime events are a tier down from the top echelon of surfing and the equivalent of a Masters event on the ATP Tennis Tour.
Australian surfer and current world number 18 Matt Wilkinson won the event.
Stairmand was eliminated in the semifinals by young Hawaiian surfer Tonino Benson after incurring an interference at the start of the heat that put him on the back foot from the outset.
“Oh that interference was stupid” said Stairmand. “It was a close-out and I went straight under him. I don't think it should have been called, but that’s competitions for you. It (the interference) had me rattled all heat. I was pissed” added Stairmand.
Stairmand surfed three heats throughout the day in the frigid energy-zapping waters. “Yeah energy was definitely a key factor. My legs were shaking all day. I had to go to the car and just chill away from everyone. But just before my heats started I would warm up with the boys and the rugby ball. The rugga ball is so key” added Stairmand.
One of his heats was a head to head match up with travelling companion Christie, Stairmand getting the nod before going on to defeat Adam Robertson (AUS) in the quarterfinals.
“It sucks that us two were in the same heat, but one of us had to make it and fortunately it was me.”
“It’s always good to beat Ritchie ‘cause he is one of the best on the Tour. We were chatting all heat but at the end it was down to business. We were chopping and changing from first to second, yeah it’s good to beat him” added Stairmand.
The two surfers have come up against each other six times throughout the 2010 Tour with the count at three a piece.
Despite losing Christie said the heat against Stairmand was good. “We kinda have the same routine so we just stick to that, go out there and try and get some waves like any other heat” said Christie.
“I was definitely not going to paddle him up the beach for 30 minutes, but it is a heat, so if it did have to be done, I'm sure he would understand. We were cracking jokes and talking shit the whole heat so we were cruising this time round.
The rankings rise for the two surfers has them as the highest ranked Kiwis on the ASP World Tour since Maz Quinn (Gis) placed seventh on the ASP World Qualifying Series in 2001 under a format that has since been altered to become a ‘one world ranking’ system.
“Yeah, stoked to be moving up the rankings after each event” commented Christie. “I just gotta keep pushing forward, step by step. I'm just trying to do my best” added Christie of the major task ahead of climbing into the top 32 and a shot at the World Title in 2011.
Stairmand on the other hand was a little less concerned in regards to his ranking – this being his first year on tour.
“I don’t really look at the rankings. I just take every comp as it comes and take it heat by heat. But the result definitely gives me and the boys more confidence going into the next few” said Stairmand.
Jay Quinn (Gis) was the third Kiwi at the event placing 49th overall and he sits two places outside the top 100 in 102nd.
The three surfers now head to the Canary Islands for the second time this year. They will contest one 6-star prime event before returning home for a few days and then they head to Hawaii for a month to contest the final two events.
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For further information regarding Billy Stairmand and Richard Christie please contact Ben Kennings at Surfing New Zealand 07 8250018, 0212278732 or email email@example.com.
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