Adam Melling wins O’Neill Cold Water Classic.....

The first event of the 2011 O’Neill Cold Water Classic at Gisborne, New Zealand was clinched by Aussie surfer Adam Melling today, claiming the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) six-star event over Brazilian surfer Willian Cardoso.

The Pines on Wainui Beach was the set stage for the final in clean 1.5m waves. Despite a horrid forecast of gale force onshore winds for today, a miraculous turn around in weather had the beach crowded with spectators, witnessing and absorbing the action that unfolded in the last seven heats.

Melling pulled off a 15.20 out of a possible 20 points to secure the win, and it made the win even more special given he was celebrating his 26th birthday. “I am 26 today and I won the final… I am stoked” said Melling.

“Pretty fun out there, it turned on for the final.  Even though the tide come up there were still sets.  It was a little slow at the start but came on in the end, last 90 seconds anyway” added Melling of his last minute victory after scoring an 8.03 point ride for two huge forehand turns with only seconds to spare.”

“At the start of the heat there, I was looking back in at the beach and I was thinking wow I don’t have any waves.  I missed one at the start and I was freaking out a bit and Willian was down the beach but I knew I was in a good spot and if a ‘sucky’ one came in I knew I could bang out the turns and get the score.”

Melling received $20,000 USD for the win and moves up one place on the ASP One World Rankings to 23rd and hopes to be able to attend more O’Neill Cold Water Classic events in a bid to win the Series and claim the $50,000 USD prize money for the Series win.

Despite placing second scoring 13.67 points after holding the lead for more than 29 minutes, Cardoso was still happy with his result today. “I am so stoked, it was a really really fun day.”

  “I did my best in the final and I take an 8.5 on my first wave and only need a backup and I got 5.0 on my second wave.  Adam is a great surfer and on the world tour.  The last second he changed the result but I am stoked to get a great start to the year” said Cardoso who has been travelling in motor homes with eleven of his Brazilian friends enjoying waking up at the beach each day and enjoying the New Zealand coastline.

In third place were Australians Tom Whitaker and Stu Kennedy. By way of his third place, Whitaker jumped one place on the ratings to 32nd pushing Bobby Martinez (USA) to 33rd.

Final results from the O’Neill Cold Water Classic – Gisborne completed today (Tuesday 29th March).

Heat 1 - Adam Melling, AUS defeated Gony Zubizarreta, ESP
Heat 2 - Tom Whitaker, AUS defeated Joan Duru, FRA
Heat 3 - Willian Cardoso, BRA defeated Thiago Camarao, BRA
Heat 4 - Stu Kennedy, AUS defeated Miguel Pupo, BRA

Heat 1 - Adam Melling, AUS defeated Tom Whitaker, AUS
Heat 2 - Willian Cardoso, BRA defeated Stu Kennedy, AUS

Adam Melling, AUS defeated Willian Cardoso, BRA