April 18, 2010 – Thurso, Scotland – The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland has a reputation for throwing up some of the coldest and most challenging conditions on the tour. But today hit new levels for both the event and professional surfing’s record books with snow storms setting in as the event reached its closing stages.
“It was crazy paddling out with snow coming into your eyes,” said Shaun Cansdell who made it into the semi final with a last minute wave against Irish surfer Glenn Hall. “We don’t have snow where I am from in Australia so I have never surfed in conditions like this. The cold isn’t too bad. It’s just my big toes that go numb!”
“I was loving it,” said Glenn Hall shivering on the reef. “It was such an incredible feeling to sit out there with the snow falling. Plus if it’s going to be cold it may as well go all the way and snow as well. It’s better than the rain.”
With a 7am start back again at Thurso East the 6 Star ASP event started with the round of 24, moving all the way through to the end of the quarterfinals to set up the final assault for tomorrow.
With similar conditions of 4 to 5 foot swell and light winds forecast for the final day, Royden Bryson, and Shaun Cansdell will surf in the first semifinal.
The second semi final is an all-Brazilian affair. Yuri Sodre beat Marc Lacomare in his quarterfinal. He will surf against Raoni Monteiro who was the in-form surfer of the day winning a thrilling and close quarterfinal against the Cold Water Classic Tasmania winner Stuart Kennedy.
“I was so excited to get that final wave score,” said Raoni. “And so excited to be in the semi finals at this event.”
Now all eyes are firmly set upon one of the most coveted trophies in the world of professional surfing: the Highland Sword.
“I am so cold and I am so tired right now,” said South African Royden Bryson after winning his quarterfinal heat against Nathanial Curren. “But I am one step closer to the sword. I really want that sword. I would sleep with that thing under my bed,” he said.
For Yuri Sodre, the sword has been on his mind since before even arriving in Thurso: “I stopped in Edinburgh on the way up here with my girlfriend,” he said. “We saw a lot of the Scottish heritage and I actually wanted to buy a Highland sword when I was there. It was my girlfriend who said to me - why don’t you just try to win one instead?”
“It would be such a great prize to have with all the heritage and history involved in it. And great that we don’t need to kill anyone or fight to get it –just surf and have fun.”
The call for the semi finals and finals will be made tomorrow April 19th at 7am