April 16, 2010 – Thurso, Scotland - Following an unexpected lay-day yesterday at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland, the surfers were back in the water today as the competition moved to the famed Thurso East in windy, 4 foot but absolutely freezing cold surf.
And with temperatures predicted to drop significantly tomorrow, and even snow forecast in Thurso for Sunday, things aren’t exactly going to get any easier for the surfers.
“I would love the surf to get better and the water to get warmer,” said Cory Lopez, the former World Tour surfer who cruised through his heat in the round of 96. “But actually I have heard it’s going to be snowing on Sunday so that would be really cool to surf in.”
In stark contrast to yesterday’s designated sightseeing day – whiskey distillery tour and castle dinner included – it was an early wake-up call for a 7.30am start as the round of 96 at this 6 Star ASP event got underway.
Despite the intention to make the most of the long Scottish days this far north, the event was put on hold at 2.30pm as the wind kicked in and the tide change ruined conditions just before heat 14.
However it was not before last year’s Cold Water Classic Series and $50,000 winner Blake Thornton went through into the round of 48 along with the likes of Shaun Cansdell, Chris Ward and Joan Duru who also battled the conditions to impress the judges.
Although the cold is coming, it looks as though the forecast swell has not materialized as hoped. “The forecast hasn’t quite held true” said contest director Matt Wilson. “It’s not as strong a system as predicted. Thurso East is a frustrating wave and has a small window of swell so everything has to be so precise. A degree or two here or there makes a big difference and we are left at the mercy of the tides,” he said.
“On paper today it looked better than it ended up being,” said Matt. “However, tomorrow is looking better than today. But today was a reality check for everyone.”
And whilst surfers are looking forward to some classic Thurso East conditions in this 6 Star ASP event, it is the cold they are still wary of.
“It’s my first time here in Scotland,” said former World Tour surfer Timmy Reyes. “And the cold is definitely extreme.”
“Changing into your wetsuit in the car park with this cold wind blowing in, there is definitely some shrinkage,” said Timmy. “You have to get into your wetsuit pretty quick. But once I am in my suit in the water, it’s actually quite warm.”
Next call 6.30am tomorrow April 17, 2010 for a possible 7am start at Thurso East.
THE O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND WILL BE SHOWN LIVE AT www.oneill.com/live
UPCOMING ROUND 2 HEATS OF O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND
Heat 14: Alain Riou (PYF), John John Florence (HAW), Frederic Robin (REU), Russell Malony (AUS).
Heat 15: Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Marlon Lipke (DEU), Izuki Tanaka (JPN), Indar Perez (EUK).
Heat 16: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Mason Ho (HAW), Christophe Allary (REU), Sam Lamiroy (GBR).
Heat 17: Sunny Garcia (HAW), Nat Young (USA), Russel Winter (GBR), Chase Wilson (USA).
Heat 18: Eneko Acero (EUK), Adam Robertson (AUS), Chris Noble (SCO), Matt Johnson (USA).
Heat 19: Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Ricardo dos Santos (BRA), Gabriel Villaran (PER).
Heat 20: Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Jack Perry (AUS), Eric Rebiere (FRA), Jay Quinn (NZL).
Heat 21: Mickey Picon (FRA), Bernardo Miranda (BRA), Justin Mujica (PRT), Damien Chaudoy (REU).
Heat 22: Dyyan Neve (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT), Alan Stokes (GBR), Nick Vasicek (AUS).
Heat 23: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Romain Cloitre (FRA), Haritz Mendiluze (EUK), Killian Garland (USA).
Heat 24: Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Bruno Rodrigues (BRA), Tim Boal (FRA), Pablo Gutierrez (ESP).
RESULTS ROUND 2 OF O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND
Heat 1: T.J Barron (HAW) 12.43, Blake Thorton (AUS) 10.77, Anthony Walsh (AUS) 10.50, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 7.87
Heat 2: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.16, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 9.57, Brad Ettinger (USA) 7.67, Charlie Carroll (HAW) 7.60
Heat 3: Cadey Grant (ZAF) 10.10, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.33, Blake Jones (USA) 7.86, Borja Agote (EUK) 4.23
Heat 4: Abdel El Harim (MAR) 12.50, Austin Ware (USA) 11.03, Eric Geiselman (USA) 9.76, Gordan Fontaine (FRA) 5.83
Heat 5: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.40, Hugo Savalli (REU) 10.03, Medi Vemenardi (REU) 7.77, Patrick Beven (FRA) 5.30
Heat 6: Brian Toth (PRI) 12.50, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 10.06, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 9.47, Diego Rosa (BRA) 5.23
Heat 7: Glen Hall (IRL) 13.83, Richard Christie (NZL) 11.60, Brendon Gibbens (ZAF) 7.40, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 6.50
Heat 8: Tim Reyes (USA) 10.40, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.50, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 7.77, Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) 5.70
Heat 9: Chris Ward (USA) 9.67, David Weare (ZAF) 8.64, Jatyr Soares (ESP) 7.40, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 3.43
Heat 10: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.16, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.60, Balaram Stack (USA) 6.13, Miguel Ximenez (PRT) 4.84
Heat 11: Dylan Graves (PRI) 10.83, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 9.84, Rowan Aish (NZL) 5.40, Ryah Arthur (USA) 4.70
Heat 12: Cory Lopez (USA) 11.34, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 10.17, Parrish Byrne (AUS) 10.17, Adrien Toyon (REU) 8.23
Heat 13: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.73, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 11.13, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 6.55, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 6.27