All that glitters is cold


Dion Atkinson, heating up in a very cold place.

"Looking forward to I don't know what! Lost my mind surfing at Snapper with a million people everyday." posted Bobby Martinez to his Twitter page, referring to his eager departure to Tasmania and the O'Neill Cold Water Classic.

And that pretty much sums up the appeal of the southern-most stop on the ASP schedule. Tasmania is about as far removed from "the circus" as a wandering pro surfer can hope to get. The beaches are isolated and untouched, the swell is energy-packed and unruly, and the population is minimal.

In it's second incarnation this year, the Cold Water Classic Tasmania is well on its way to another intriguing final few days. Defending champ Jordy Smith is still hot to trot, and after the tear he was on at the Quik Pro, could easily win this thing ... again. There's a conglomeration of Aussies who seem to have caught fire, including Shaun Cansdell, Heath Joske and Dion Atkinson. But for my money the intrigue comes in the form of one Sunny Garcia. After a thundering, trunk-losing performance at the Drug Aware Pro just last week the man's migrated even further Down Under and seems to be doing even more damage. Last year Garcia had an outside chance of re-qualifying for the World Tour, and this year, more fit than ever, he appears dead-set on accomplishing that goal.

"I love it out here," reiterated Martinez, shortly after gliding into the Round of 48. "I came here with my wife straight from the Gold Coast and it's so peaceful here, it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders -- so different to all the hustle and bustle of the other surf towns."

There's two more days of competition left, stay tuned.

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