This weekend, Santa Cruz hosted the O’Neill Coldwater Classic, a North America Qualifying Series 1,000 event. In the end, Autumn Hays and Michael Dunphy emerged victorious in their respective events.
On The women’s side, the final came down to Santa Cruz local Autumn Hays and San Clemente native Kirra Pinkerton. Pinkerton, who is now ranked number two in the North America QS, started off the heat strong with a 5.5 and a 4.0 that granted her the lead. However, Hays managed to land a 5.37 and a 5.33 to clinch the victory.
“It feels really good to win a competition, I was 18 when I won my last one and this one means a lot more to win in front of my home crowd,” said Hays to the WSL. “Just catching waves and hearing how psyched up everyone got actually got me so fired up even when I needed a score. It was the coolest thing ever hearing everyone like that. Thank you to the Santa Cruz community for coming down and cheering me on, it means the world. I’m so stoked I can say I won the Cold Water now.”
The mens final was a standoff between New Smyrna-based Michael Dunphy and Davi Toledo, younger brother of CT champ Filipe Toledo. Dunphy posted a 6.33 and 8.33, impressive scores that put Toledo on his back foot. Toledo was able to score a 7.0 in response, but was ultimately unable to best Dunphy’s combined score. The win puts Dunphy at number one in the North America QS rankings.
“I can’t thank the local community enough for taking me in and getting some waves, I’m so pumped” said Dunphy. “It’s really special. I’ve been coming here for a really long time hanging with Nat [Young] and I’ve been coming here since I was 15, spending a month on the couch and just surfing The Lane a bunch. I never won a QS in California before so I’m stoked to do it and a perfect day for it.”