Santa Cruz, California - October 27, 2011 - Once again it was the setting for a perfect day of competition - clear blue skies, and whales out in the bay - on day two of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, Santa Cruz.
A high tide meant that despite at 7am start for the call, Steamer Lane wasn't working its magic until after lunch when local surfer Jonny Craft got into the water and took out the first heat of the day.
"I was really stoked that I got my first wave right when the horn blew," said Jonny. "I got a 5th place here last year and now I am looking to better that."
Another competitor out in the water today with steely determination was the winner of the first stop on the O'Neill CWC Series out in New Zealand, Adam Melling
With current Series leader Brent Dorrington out of the event Adam Melling is now eyeing up the $50,000 prize money on offer to the CWC Series winner as he sits a mere 920 points behind Brent.
And he made his intent known in the early stages of his heat, pulling out the highest wave score of the event with a 9.50. "I knew it was going to be pretty slow out there so I thought the guy who goes through is going to get the set. Luckily that set had a few waves in it and the last one was the best one. I was glad to get it," said Adam
"I am definitely getting into the water with a fight. It might not have looked like it as I didn't catch another wave until the last 5 minutes. I would really need the points for my ASP World Ranking, so I am probably going to think about that more than the money. But that $50,000 would definitely be a good bonus for the end of the year.
Another fighter out in the water was Josh Kerr. Sitting in first, he picked up an interference and slid down to 4th place. And then pulled out the second highest wave score of the event, a 9.30.
"There was a little bit of hassling going on behind the rock. Cory and me were having a little tussle the whole heat. We were pushing each other too deep and I thought he wasn't quite going to get it, so I was going no matter what. Sure enough he got it and I got an interference.
And then they ended up hassling themselves all too deep and I ended up getting the best wave of the heat."
Whilst the weather might have provided the perfect backdrop to the day, the waves were a challenge for the surfers as the young World Tour surfer John John Florence was finding.
"It's great to be back at the CWC in Santa Cruz again," said John John after his heat. "It's just a challenge with four men in the water instead of two and the waves are a lot more challenging."
With a decreasing swell on the horizon, the event organisers are eying up the back up location of Waddell Creek just north of Santa Cruz.
The next call will be tomorrow October 28th at 7am for a possible 7.15 start.