The O’Neill Cold Water Classic (CWC) Scotland an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star men’s event ran through the final 8 heats of round one and set the scene for the start of round 2 with the remaining 96 seeded surfers.
With a light northerly breeze coming off the artic circle conditions were extremely cold both in and out of the water with low cloud cover throughout the day. Consistent 3-4ft (1-1.2m) waves were hitting the reef at Brims Ness offering a clean right-hand peak for the competitors to work off.
Russell Malony (AUS) impressed with a powerful display of front-side surfing on the right-hand break locking in a solid 4.67 and then shortly afterwards scoring an 8.00 out of a possible 10 to score the highest individual score of the event. The similarity of Brims Ness to his home break helped in his heat planning.
“I felt good out there because it is like a reef I have at home. I felt comfortable but it is a bit cold. I’m from North Entrance (NSW) and there are a couple of reef breaks, bit of a secret where they are but they are really similar.”
“With all this rubber on it seems to warm you up so no worries there,” continued Maloney. “I was out there hoping that a good one would come through which it did so it’s good to get the first one out of the way and I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Sam Lamiroy (GBR) had a very slow start to his encounter and with only 5–minutes remaining still had no real scores on the board. He finally opened his account locking in a 7.5 out of a possible 10 and then had to wait until the final seconds to find his backup score and advance through to the next round.
The flamboyant Brit was pleased with the end result and looks forward to having another go at the top seeds in the event tomorrow. Never short of a word, Lamiroy had this to say about his performance.
“I basically didn’t get a wave for 20-minutes which isn’t the best tactic in a 25-minute heat. I got lucky then because I got a decent wave, surfed it ok, got a 7.5 and then I had a minute and a half to get a 2.5 score.”
“There was a moment when I thought this isn’t going to come,” laughed Lamiroy. “But with about a minute to go I got this wave and did a big claim. It was more of an emotional thing than anything else, I knew it was worth a 2.5 and the judges knew it was worth that so I got through. “
“It was one of those heats you come out really stoked because you make it so difficult for yourself that it is so nice to get a win in the first round and maybe surf big proper Thurso East and maybe cut loose a bit more.”
Brazilian Jeronimo Vargas 20, looked at ease in the tough conditions. On his first visit to the CWC Scotland the young Brazilian has quickly adapted to the cold water. Stylish fore-hand gouges in the critical section of the wave secured various high scoring rides and a comfortable entry to the next round.
“There are some good waves out there and when the set came there were always 3 or 4 waves so it was really rippable and I am starting to get used to it here. I arrived a couple of days ago and so I have had a chance to get used to the wetsuit and the boots.”
“ I think it was a good way to start the event,” stated Vargas. “It is my first time in Scotland and I am really enjoying it. It’s a beautiful place with very good waves but it’s cold, really cold.” (laughs)
Jay Quinn (NZL) surfed strongly to score a two wave total of 14.10 out of 20 the highest two wave total of the day. Having suffered a number of serious knee injuries last year Quinn is feeling confident and hungry for a good result in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland.
“It was really nice and relaxed out there because unfortunately Cory (Arrambide) missed the heat so we were only 3 out there which was good.”
“I was just trying to keep moving and keep warm because I went out there in a 3/2 wetsuit so I just tried to get a lot of waves and in the end I got a couple of good ones so quite happy to start like that.”
“I’ve been out of the water for a long time last year so this is my third event back so I am definitely looking for a result.”
Being completely mobile the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland will make a call at 7 am (local time) to decide where round 2 of the ASP men’s 6-Star event will commence.
When competition resumes top seed Blake Thorton (AUS) will be up against T.J Barron (HAW) and fellow Australians Jarrod Sullivan and Anthony Walsh.