March 16, 2011 – Thurso, Scotland – As the snow stops falling, the ice begins to melt, and the air temperature starts to hover just above zero, it can only be time once again for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland.
Returning to the icy waters and the lauded wave of Thurso East on the remote northern tip of Scotland, this is a journey into the wild that is one of the most anticipated stops on the world surfing tour each year.
“It’s a combination of the quality of surf on the reef up in Scotland as well as the feeling of adventure and pushing the limits that appeals,” says 2010 Cold Water Classic Series winner Shaun Cansdell. “Last year there was snow, most years there is some sort of hail storm. It is wild and it is most definitely cold.”
This second stop on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series 2011, following its kick off in New Zealand, definitely involves embracing the elements. But the reward for the voyage into the wild is massive.
Not only do surfers from all over the world have the chance to experience some of the best waves on the planet in isolated surrounds and battle for the $145,000 prize money and ASP rankings points on offer, but moreover they have the opportunity to lift the coveted Highland Sword, and become a Lord.
The two finalists in the 6 Star ASP Event will each receive a plot of land in the Scottish Highlands and with it, the title of Lord. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series Scotland has so far produced Lord Adam Melling, Lord Royden Bryson, Lord Luke Munro and Lord Yuri Sodre.
“That title and the land and the sword really make this whole event special. They bring it into the local area. You feel like you are part of something bigger than just a surf event,” said Australian surfer Jarrad Howse. “It is one of the best prizes on the tour – and one I desperately want to win.”
Jarrad is just one of the top surfers in the world who will be making the trek to the most northerly point on the Scottish coast. Also potential Lords-in-Waiting include Cory Lopez, Roy Powers, Tim Boal, Shaun Cansdell and Stuart Kennedy, making for what is guaranteed to be spectacular viewing at the event and around the world through the live webcast.
This is now the third year of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series and the third year the surfers will be working towards the $50,000 prize money for the series event winner – Blake Thornton walking away with the prize money in 2009, and last year Shaun Cansdell.
The 2011 CWC Series is once again pushing boundaries to find new waves in remote locations in which to host a competition of this level. The series starts in Gisborne, New Zealand on March 23rd before moving here, the opposite side of the world, in Thurso.
Canada once again welcomes the Series for 2011, and as always it culminates at the spiritual home of O’Neill, and hometown of founder Jack O’Neill, in Santa Cruz, California.