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Saturday, November 3, 2012
Lay days at the Lane


John Florence
After a rough go of things in round one, John Florence has been putting in the practice time in hopes of seeing his world title dreams go to Pipeline.

After a dramatic opening day in which four of the top five surfers in the world -- all of whom are deeply embroiled in the 2012 title struggle -- were relegated to the round two, the loser's round, all of a sudden Joel Parkinson's chances of securing his first world title in Santa Cruz, looked a whole lot bright. Then the Cold Water Classic went on hold.

If Jason "Ratboy" Collins, a Steamer Lane veteran and local wildcard, was making the call this morning we might be writing a different story. Paired up against 11-time world champ Slater in the opening heat of the day, Ratboy was chomping at the bit to pick up where Nat Young left out.

"With the dropping swell and incoming tide we have decided to call competition off for today," told ASP International Head Judge Rich Porta. "We'll be back tomorrow morning at 6:15 am to make the call for a possible start to Round 2."

In a nutshell, Coldwater Classic Organizers didn't want to chance a world title being decided by two-foot, high tide mushburgers. So they decided to call a lay day, put the cable cam back in the shed, and wait for better days to come. More than likely it will be Sunday morning as a solid northwest swell is forecast to be filling in through the day.

Kelly Slater
There's only one thing on this man's mind.

But not all was lost. Some have spent the early morning hours in the water at the Lane, figuring out the lines of the tricky wave. John John Florence has been out early and has been resetting his focus. After the call was made everybody's been scattering in all directions to find surf, of which there is ample when you get out of town limits. A few black-wetsuited locals were more than surprised when Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning and Slater showed up at a few of the area's outlining breaks, busting big airs and attracting a few photographers with some free time.

According to most everybody, the Cold Water Classic will more than likely run full days on Sunday and Monday, and we could be done by Tuesday. Either way, Ratboy will be ready and waiting, Slater better be too.

O'NEILL COLDWATER CLASSIC ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jason Collins (USA)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)