Day 1: Saturday October 9 Cold Water Classic Canada: Lay Day
So we headed to the beach to watch practice sessions.
With storms raging through night producing wild winds, pouring rain and massive surf, it was no surprise that the Tofino OʼNeill Cold Water Classic Canada 2010 decided on a lay day on what was to be the first day of competition. With storm watching an event in itself in Tofino it was a sure thing that the surf contest would be postponed when we looked at the upcoming weather conditions.
That didn't stop the surfers getting out at North Chesterman and making those big, wild waves look quite surfable. The international crew was showing the crowd gathered on the beach some sweet moves in some stormy conditions.
"It was crazy driving across Vancouver Island to get here last night," said Timmy Reyes, who is in Tofino for the first time ever. "It felt like there were 100 knot winds, it was like a hurricane," he said. "There were trees blowing all over the place and so many leaves in the road. Plus all these waterfalls were coming down from the mountains onto the road. We basically got shacked the whole way coming here!" Julian Wilson - another surfer who is in Tofino for the first time - also added another ʻfirstʼ to his trip: "This is the first time Iʼve ever worn boots, a hood or gloves in my life," said Julian. "Itʼs not as bad as I thought. I was worried it would be really restricting." (And if you caught Julian at MacKenie today you saw that the extra gear didn't slow him down in the slightest!)
Bears Are Out in Tofino
Julian is also the first surfer to clock up a bear sighting on this trip. "We saw one as we were driving up here," he said. "It was in a town walking across the street as we were driving through. We tried to speed up to get closer to it, but it went off."
"I think itʼs an awesome place," said Julian. "I chose to come here over Brazil because everyone who came here last year was telling me how amazing it was. And it looks like there will be a lot of swell for the contest, which looks good."
Whilst this first day of the 6 Star ASP contest was called off, contest director Matt Wilson is optimistic about the days ahead: "Today was a solid 6 foot, and some of the beaches were not handling it so well," he said. "Tomorrow and the days ahead look a bit more promising."