The first 8 heats of round one of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic (CWC) Scotland an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star event were completed today at the back-up location of Brims Ness where young New Zealand surfer Billy Stairmand lead the opening round charge of a strong international field.
Competition began at 7:30 am on a crisp, clear Scottish morning with waves in the 3-4ft (1-1.2m) range as the high tide provided excellent conditions with a light breeze and water temperature at a mere 7 º Celsius.
Billy Stairmand (NZL) stormed through to the following round with a solid performance scoring the highest two wave total of 14.66 out of 20. The youngster from New Zealand had never surfed Brims Ness before until todays heat and found himself comfortable in the challenging conditions.
“This is the first time I have been to Scotland and the first time I have actually surfed this wave so I’m happy because I got a couple of waves and the scores I needed. We have been surfing down the coast a little at a beach break going right so I was really excited to get out there.”
Stairmand has had little or no preparation for the event here in Scotland however feels at home surfing in extremely cold water and demonstrated his cool, relaxed approach when wearing the competition vest.
“I went into the water really relaxed. I felt like I was free surfing out there with a couple other guys. I didn’t have a plan just wanted to get a couple of scores at the beginning and then build on my scores and that is what I did so I’m happy.”
Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) based in Ericeira Portugal also advanced today to the second round but unlike Stairmand has been preparing himself for almost two weeks for the type of conditions that can be expected in the CWC Scotland. Rupp came out of the water a very pleased surfer with his pass through to round two.
“I felt really comfortable out there because I have conditions like this where I live, it’s a little reef break. So the last ten days I have been training hard on the rights and getting barrelled. So I feel comfortable and my boards are going amazing. I am loving Scotland, it’s a great place.”
Anthony Walsh (AUS) was heat one winner in what was in the end a comfortable victory through to the next round. Walsh enjoyed the 25-minute clash and lead from start to finish.
“It’s really fun actually. There’s a little rip bank and when the right one comes through it’s quite hittable but just a lot of wetsuit for me to get used to but if you get the right one it’s really fun.”
“It says 3 degrees,” continued Walsh about the weather temperature. “At least there’s no wind and the sun is out. It’s not actually too bad as long as you have all the right gear on, so it’s pretty warm really.”
With a promising forecast swell wise Walsh is optimistic about the increase in size but hesitant about the worsening weather conditions.
“I prefer the bigger waves but this is good fun. It if stays this size it will be good but there is a swell coming and as well the wind and the rain so just have to see what happens.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland will continue tomorrow with the completion of round one and a possible start to the second round with the event’s top seeded surfers getting an opportunity to test themselves in the trying conditions.
Up first tomorrow in heat 9 will be Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Frederic Robin (REU), Freddie Meadows (SWE) and current Scottish National Championship finalist Mark Boyd.
UPCOMING O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND MATCH-UPS
Heat 9: Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Frederic Robin (REU), Freddie Meadows (SWE), Mark Boyd (SCO).
Heat 10: Omer Bar (ISR), Love Hodel (HAW), Russell Malony (AUS), Indar Perez (EUK).
Heat 11: Matt Pagan (USA), Sam Lamiroy (GBR), Chris Ward (USA), Igor Munian (EUK).
Heat 12: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Ricardo dos Santos (BRA), Chris Noble (SCO), Lyndon Wake (GBR).
Heat 13: Gabriel Villaran (PER), Bobby Morris (USA), Matt Johnson (USA), Greg Hosken (MYS).
Heat 14: Jay Quinn (NZL), Damien Chaudoy (REU), Cory Arrambide (USA), Matthew Bromley (ZAF).
Heat 15: Nick Vasicek (AUS), Haritz Mendiluze (EUK), Erik Furuholmen (USA).
Heat 16: Junior Faria (BRA), Pablo Gutierrez (ESP), Killian Garland (USA), Mark Cameron (SCO).
RESULTS ROUND ONE O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND
Heat 1: Anthony Walsh (AUS) 11.50, Charlie Carroll (HAW) 9.57, Oli Adams (GBR) 6.90, George Watt (SCO) 2.90
Heat 2: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 1st, Borja Agote (EUK) 2nd, Rudy Marechal (FRA) No show.
Heat 3: Gordan Fontaine (FRA) 11.83, Medi Vemenardi (REU) 9.84, Yann Martin (GLP) 6.93, Andrew Bennett (USA) 6.33
Heat 4: Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 12.84, Brendon Gibbens (ZAF) 10.50, Luca Guichard (DNK) 7.67, Stuart Cambell (GBR) 5.30
Heat 5: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 14.66, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 10.77, Brett Barley (USA) 9.84, Chance Lawson (USA) 5.30
Heat 6: Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) 12.14, Jatyr Soares (ESP) 9.33, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 7.86, Tyler Smith (USA) 5.43
Heat 7: Stack Balaram (USA) 11.60, Ryah Arthur (USA) 11.43, Jason Harris (USA) 8.37, Jayce Robinson (GBR) 7.40
Heat 8: Rowan Aish (NZL) 9.00, Adrien Toyon (REU) 8.70, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 8.34, Joaquim Guichard (DNK) 4.87