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Melling posted 15.20 out of a possible 20 points for a win made even more special given he was celebrating his 26th birthday. "I am 26 today and I won the final… I am stoked" said Melling after being chaired up the beach by his mates. "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."© 2014 O'Neill
At the prize giving after an emotional haka performed by an inspired local Maori, Melling was awarded with a traditional Maori weapon called a tewhatewha, in the tradition of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Series where the winners receive meaningful awards from the host country. 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.© 2014 O'Neill
After the win Melling was full of praise for the Gisborne Region. "It is a perfect spot for the comp - not too cold but still with some freezing mornings. So many different waves on offer and you can hide from the weather." 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 back up and I got 5.0 on my second wave. "Adam is a great surfer and on the world tour. In the last seconds 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 loving the New Zealand coastline.© 2014 O'Neill
By way of his third place, Whitaker jumped one place on the ratings to 32nd pushing Bobby Martinez (USA) to 33rd. However this was the last thing on Whitaker's mind after losing to his good mate Adam Melling. "Yeah mate it is his birthday, we sat 200m apart we didn't want a piece of each other in that heat and he got the waves, I didn't. It is the only way you want to lose to a good buddy. To watch him go on and win it is epic, we are going to have a good time tonight. Kennedy on the other hand was left wondering what might have been after losing to Cardoso. "I don't know, I didn't think one of his scores was a six, but that is what the judges are there for and they do their thing. I don't know, I was in the water right there." Despite the afterthoughts Kennedy was still happy with the third placing. "I am pretty happy with third, would have been good to have a final with Adam on his birthday but I will be there to chair him up the beach when he wins" said Kennedy who also gave glowing reviews of the event held over the past week. "New Zealand is great. I can't wait to come back next year. This place is perfect for it you know."© 2014 O'Neill
Welcome to the plateau. It's where we gather to watch Yago Dora soar above our heads.
These are the fortunate few. Many epic sessions have fallen by the wayside, victims to our ruthless monthly culls, but the results are wondrous to behold.
Patagonia is a challenging lover, said the English novelist, Bruce Chatwin. It haunts you, it bewitches you, it wraps you in its arms and does not let you go.
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith