O’Neill Cold Water Classic Kicks Off In Clean Barrels At Thurso, Scotland

I don’t know about you, but irie blue-green water and little wedgers like these look pretty damn fun to me. These guys are going balls to the wall in Thurso, Scotland at the 6* Prime WQS event, O’Neill Cold Water Classic. Instead of opting for the cushy, sun and babe drenched beaches of Lower Trestles (for the Nike 6.0 6* Prime), these guys chose the frigid waters of Scotland for a chance to compete in one of the most bad ass contests in the surfing world. I mean, what other surf contest (or any sporting event for that matter) awards the winner with a sword that resembles that of William Wallace? Is there any better trophy? Spot on ya boys, and keep warm! Stay tuned to transworldsurf.com for continuous coverage of the O’Neill CWC as it goes down over in Scotland.

ASP Press Release:

THURSO, Brims Ness, Scotland (Thursday, April 30, 2009) – The O'Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland by Swatch got underway in Thurso today, the renowned slab of Brims Ness offering consistent three foot (one meter) clean sets with barreling sections to Round 1 competitors. From deep barrels to vertical re-entries, surfing's complete repertoire was displayed for the kick-off of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime rated event, a couple of men only breaking the 15.00 point mark with former ASP World Tour member Luke Munro (Gold Coast, AUS) leading proceedings with the day's highest wave score.

Munro, who dropped back to the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) last year after a couple of consecutive seasons among the elite ASP Top 45, left no chance to fellow heat competitors in Heat 16 scoring an 8.67 point ride thanks to a deep four foot face barrel before backing it up with a solid 7.33 point wave to advance through to Round 2 and get his re-qualifying campaign underway.

"It is one of my favorite events on tour and I look forward to surfing here all year long," Munro said. "The waves are good and with the wetsuits we have these days the water temperature is really not a problem. It's good to get the campaign underway with a win."

Munro, who dominated Heat 8 with a promising 16.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20), confirmed his status as favorite in the O'Neill Cold Water Classic (CWC) Scotland by Swatch and will meet Hugo Savalli (REU), Rhys Bombaci (AUS) and other Round 1 surfer to advance today Madison Williams (AUS).

"My goal this year is to win the WQS and get back into the ASP Top 45," Munro said. "That said, this event is my favorite one out of any tour. We chase summer all year round and it is so good when it comes to something different. Brims Ness is a world class wave and hopefully we get to see Thurso East wake up. I think I could come and live here for a couple of months every year."

Munro's performance was not left alone on Day 1 of competition, Australia's Jay Davies bettering the regular-footed Gold Coast based surfer with a 16.50 point heat combination (out of a possible 20) to secure his own berth into Round 2. Davies, 22, managed to nail a couple of 8+ scores (both out of a possible 10) getting one clean deep tube ride to join event top seeds Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY), 27, and Brazil's Jorge Spanner (BRA) in Round 2.

With more points up for grabs than any other ASP WQS event this year thanks to its Prime status, the O'Neill CWC Scotland by Swatch attracted some of surfing's biggest legends including former ASP World Champion and last year's equal 5th Sunny Garcia (Oahu, USA).

Garcia, 39, who now resides in California, was much expected for his return to Europe after a knee surgery and appeared in good form having no trouble to secure his Round 1 win over Japan's Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) and Scottish champion Mark Cameron (SCO). He will now meet with event top seeds in next round.

"The water is not too cold and the waves were fun during the heat," Garcia said. "It's always nice to win a heat with a couple of average scores, I can't complain about that. I just got through knee surgery and I am glad to be back here. I like the waves better that's why I chose to come here rather than stay at home and surf Trestles."

With ten heats only held today due to the outgoing tide not allowing any further heat to run, officials are confident the expected new swell starts breaking in the next couple of days with a good chance of seeing the world famous wave of Thurso East deliver excellent to classic conditions soon. Another call will be made at 9 AM tomorrow Friday, May 1, 2009.

Heat 1: Drew Courtney (AUS), Dale Lovelock (AUS), Eneko Acero (EUK), Jayce Robinson (GBR)
Heat 2: Joao Guedes (PRT), Jarrad Howse (AUS), Alex Gray (USA), Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Heat 3: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Patrick Beven (FRA), John John Florence (HAW), Yujiro Tsuji (JPN)
Heat 4: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Jorge Spanner (BRA), Nick White (NZL), Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 5: Joan Duru (FRA), Brent Dorrington (AUS), Simon Marchand (FRA), Omer Bar (ISR)
Heat 6: Jack Perry (AUS), Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF), Marco Giorgi (URY), Heath Joske (AUS)
Heat 7: Luke Campbell (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Michael Bailey (USA), Angelo Lozano (MEX)
Heat 8: Brandon Jackson (ZAF), Eric Rebiere (FRA), Oli Adams (GBR), Matt Mohagen (USA)
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Clancy Dawson (AUS), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), Gordon Fontaine (FRA)
Heat 10: Yuri Sodre (BRA), Blake Wilson (AUS), Love Hodel (HAW), Matt Capel (GBR)
Heat 11: Hugo Savalli (REU), Rhys Bombaci (AUS), Madison Williams (AUS), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 12: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Justin Mujica (PRT), Txaber Trojaola (EUK), Freddie Meadows (SWE)
Heat 13: Adam Melling (AUS), Ruben Gonzales (PRT), Dylan Melamed (HAW), Brandon Roberts (ZAF)
Heat 14: Shaun Gossmann (AUS), Renato Galvao (BRA), Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Alek Parker (USA)
Heat 15: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Jean Sebastien Estienne (BLM), Russell Winter (GBR), Damien Chaudoy (REU)
Heat 16: Glenn Hall (IRE), Christophe Allary (REU), Izuki Tanaka (JPN), TBA
Heat 17: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Rowan Aish (NZL), Joaquim Guichard (DNK), TBA
Heat 18: Brian Toth (PRI), Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF), TBA, TBA
Heat 19: Romain Cloitre (REU), Royden Bryson (ZAF), TBA
Heat 20: Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY), Romain Laulhe (FRA), TBA
Heat 21: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Jarrad Sullivan (AUS), Blake Howard (USA), TBA
Heat 22: Blake Thornton (AUS), Mark Mathews (AUS), Joao Gutemberg (BRA), TBA
Heat 23: Andre Silva (BRA), Adam Robertson (AUS), TBA, TBA
Heat 24: Owen Wright (AUS), Diego Rosa (BRA), Miguel Ximenes (PRT), TBA

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