Premier surf professionals from all over the globe will converge on Santa Cruz, California, to compete in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), four-star O’Neill Cold Water Classic Presented by Jeep. Santa Cruz’s legendary Steamer Lane will host the World Qualifying Series (WQS) event from October 17-22nd, 2006, with over 160 of the world’s most talented surfers expected to compete for the $75,000 prize purse.

Touted as Northern California’s premier surfing event, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic will run in conjunction with the Grade 2 Oakley Pro Junior ASP North American Championships with an elite field of 48 competitors vying for part of a $10,000 prize purse.

Since its inception in 1987, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic has been centre stage for some of the world’s best surfing talent. Previous winners include Santa Cruz locals Kieran Horn and Adam Replogle, legends such as Martin Potter and Tom Curren, World Championship Tour (WCT) stand-outs Joel Parkinson, Taylor Knox, and the 2005 O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion Bobby Martinez.

"The O’Neill Cold Water Classic is a critical contest for American surfers looking to earn WQS points towards their year end rating before heading off to Brazil and Hawaii for the last few events on tour. With so few events on the North American tour it’s important we provide an opportunity for the surfers looking to get closer to the WCT," says Mark Prefontaine, O’Neill marketing manager.

Top local surfers will have the opportunity to compete in a trials round with the hopes of securing a berth into the event. A limited field will compete for one of four coveted slots into the WQS Men's round of 160. The Local's Trial round is sure to be exciting with the incredible amount of surfing talent and passionate fans in Santa Cruz.

The Oakley Pro Junior ASP North American Championships at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Presented by Jeep is the final opportunity for North America’s elite junior competitors to advance to the Billabong Junior World Championships in Sydney Australia. The competition will be fierce as junior competitors chase points towards securing one of four ASP North America seeds into the World Championships. The small field of 48 and competitive draw will ensure an exciting and dramatic finish to the 2006 season.

For the first time in the events history fans will be able to catch all the excitement and drama of this year's contest with streaming video and live scoring starting October 17th at: www.oneill.com.