Devries advances to Round 3 of the Cold Water Classic

Action from Day 2 of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tofino, BC. Photo courtesy of O'Neill.

Action from Day 2 of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tofino, BC. Photo courtesy of O'Neill.

There’s no place like home.

Canadian surfer Peter Devries has advanced to Round 3 of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in his hometown of Tofino, British Columbia.

Devries advanced by capturing first place on Tuesday in his Round 2 heat against Hawaiian Dusty Payne, South African Damien Fahrenfort and American Matt Myers.

“I was a bit more nervous than usual before the heat. I didn’t want to go in and just pull out a few low scores,” said Devries. “I could see the crowds on the beach but I couldn’t hear them from the water. It was great to come out and have people cheering me up the beach.”

Devries is now the only Canadian remaining in what is the first pro surfing contest ever held in Canada.

Two other Canadians, both from Tofino, were also in action on Tuesday but were eliminated from competition. Sepp Bruhwiler and event ambassador Noah Cohen finished third and fourth respectively in their four-man heat.

Halifax-area surfer Logan Landry, the only surfer in the contest from Canada’s East Coast, was eliminated in Round 1 on Monday.

Unlike some of the competitors, who have come from all over the world to compete, Devries was clearly comfortable in the cold water on Tuesday.

“It’s not too bad out there at the moment,” said Devries. “It’s actually quite warm for this time of year.”

For guys like Payne, however, is was all pain.

“This is the coldest water I have ever touched in my life,” said Payne, who made it through his heat behind Devries. “I don’t think I could ever acclimate to this. I was so cold out there I forgot sometimes that I was surfing a heat; I was just trying to stay warm.”

The swell on Tuesday had dropped slightly from Day 1, but so had the wind. When the first heat kicked off there were one meter waves at Chesterman Beach.

As the day progressed, the winds picked up until the surf became uncontestable and the day was called off following Heat 13 in Round 2 (also known as the Round of 96).

The next call will be at 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday morning with Heat 14 in the Round of 96.

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