EMERALD Beach surfer Shaun Cansdell is celebrating one of the biggest pay days of his career.
The 27-year-old Coffs Harbour lifeguard is $50,000 richer after taking out the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series in the United States.
Cansdell relied on other results to fall his way in the fifth and final series event at Santa Cruz, California, early yesterday Australian time.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Cansdell said after topping the podium.
“I’m really stoked to have ended up winning. I’m at a loss for words.”
Riding out the nervous wait here at home were friends and families who caught all the action of the contest via live streaming online.
But for his biggest supporters, wife Heidi and kids, Paris, 4, and Oscar, 1, the suspense was too much to bear.
“It’s just an amazing result, we are just so proud, we cracked the champers after I got a call from Shaun about 3.30am,” Heidi said.
“I watched his heat. He surfed well, but because he was waiting on other results I just couldn’t watch. I thought it might bring too many bad vibes if I did.
“I waited and waited and then the phone rang, I raced to it and I just knew it straight away he was just so excited.”
While the family have shared the victory from a distance, it will be another two weeks before Shaun returns home. He’s now set to jet off to the Canary Island for another ASP Prime tour event.
Brother Josh said the win was a huge boost for Shaun in his goal of joining the top 32 surfers on the ASP World Tour.
“He is surfing the best he has, he is just so relaxed about it all, being happy in life as a dad must have a lot to do with it,” he said.
Good mate Lee Winkler, who knows what it takes to compete on the world stage, said it was a massive result, given Shaun’s sponsors O’Neill hosted the series.
“This result should show O’Neill that Shaun is an asset surfer, a surfing super talent, I hope it helps them to push him up to the top group of surfers in the world,” Lee said. “He has a big profile with the surfing filmmakers in the US, who have massive influence, and is well regarded by his peers, this win is big in that regard.”.