Santa Cruz, California – October 30, 2011 – Miguel Pupo has won the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz as well as the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series 2011, walking away with a total of $90,000 prize money at this ASP Prime Event.
“I didn’t even realise that I was in to win $50,000 for the CWC Series win until I got into the semi final,” said Miguel Pupo. “I can’t believe that just happened right now. I am feeling so great,” he said. With Steamer Lane not breaking properly, the final day of competition took place under bright sunshine at the beach break of Waddell Creek. “I’ve been surfing a beach break my whole life so I know how to surf these waves,” said Miguel. “It was perfect for me it moved to here. The story could be different if they moved to the Lane. I am lucky to come down here.”
Going into the competition Miguel was a long shot for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series title. The 19-year-old Brazilian had been sitting in 17th place on the CWC rankings list following a 5th place in New Zealand, “I didn’t go to Scotland because it was way too cold for me,” said Miguel.
To win the CWC Series, Miguel needed to win the event – and that he did in his $90,000 final against Tiago Pires as he pulled out a 9.3 and a 9.6.“It feels kind of weird to have a Brazilian guy win the Cold Water Classic Series,” said Miguel. “Brazilians are just used to surfing in boardshorts. I am surfing in my 4:3 with booties on which is definitely not natural for me!” “I have loved the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series,” said Miguel. “I was in New Zealand before this, he said. “But I didn’t go to Scotland. IT was too cold. Here I am in a thick wetsuit so I am ok. But it is incredible to be here in California surfing this event.” En-route to the final Miguel knocked out some big names including local star Nat Young in the quarterfinals as well as fellow countryman Willian Cardoso in the semi finals, who would have taken the Series win had Miguel not gone on to win the final. In the other semi-final Tiago Pires took out South African, Jordy Smith. “I am happy to come here to an event I wasn’t expecting to surf and finish third,” said Jordy. With a small swell, the 7am call in the morning at Steamer Lane saw event organisers forced to move the competition up north to Waddell Creek once again to complete this iconic event for 2011.