Patrick Gudauskas of San Clemente placed equal 13th at the O’Neill Coldwater Classic after his Round 3 elimination on Monday. Photo © ASP/ Rowland

By Andrea Swayne

Local professional surfers Patrick Gudauskas and Kolohe Andino both came out swinging at the November 1 start of the O’Neill Coldwater Classic 2012 at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz.  But the event wrapped up Tuesday—sans the San Clemente surfers—as  Australian, Taj Burrow took top honors over compatriot Matt Wilkinson, 13.10 to 12.70.

Gudauskas was first on the attack winning his Round 1 heat—and a pass to Round 3—with a two wave score of 13.16 (out of 20) taking out Brazilian, Heitor Alves, 12.96, and Hawaiian, John John Florence, 7.0.

Andino faced 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater and Santa Cruz local Nat Young in his Round 1 heat.  Young took the heat with a score of 12.17. Slater was the runner up with a 10.0 and Andino finished less than a point behind with 9.57. Young advanced to Round 3 and Andino and Slater moved on to Round 2 for another chance at advancement.

Round 2 of the competition saw Andino’s campaign come to an end at the hands of Jeremy Flores of France, who beat him by less than one point, 13.47 to 12.53.

Slater was out in Round 5 just short of the Quarterfinals.

Gudauskas’ run ended with an equal 13th result after a Round 3 defeat by Brazilian, Adriano De Souza, 16.97 to 15.23.

This year the event, in honor of O’Neill’s 60th anniversary, was upgraded to an Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour event with a $425,000 total prize purse attached. It was the second to last event of the 10-contest tour.

With Coldwater Classic points added to the ASP World Championship Tour ranking, Andino and Gudauskas are the only two local surfers ranked among the Top 36. Andino shares the No. 25 ranking with Australia’s Kieren Perrow and Gudauskas is in a four-way tie for the No. 32 spot with Adam Melling of Australia, Andre Jadson of Brazil and Dusty Payne of Hawaii.

The final event of the season is the Hawaii Billabong Pipe Masters, December 8-20 at Banzai Pipeline, Oahu.

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