O’Neill Europe is proud to announce the return of the O’Neill Highland Open to the 2007 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) Tour. Following the success of the inaugural edition in 2006, the contest will return once again to Scotland’s northernmost coast from 24th April – 1st May 2007.
Widely recognized as the coldest event on the WQS tour, the O’Neill Highland Open has been upgraded to a maximum 6-star WQS rating in recognition of its status as one of the most progressive events in competitive surfing.
To help celebrate its sophomore year, the promise of consistent overhead swells and a prize purse totaling some $125,000 will see the world’s best up-and-coming surfers converging on Thurso – the northernmost town on the British mainland. To put things into perspective, this small Scottish town lies at a spine-chilling 59 degrees north, just like Juneau, Alaska.
As in 2006, the mythical reef break of Thurso East will play host to the event, while a mobile contest format will guarantee competitors and spectators the best possible surfing conditions. With a selection of Scotland’s finest surfing arenas to pick and choose from, including the legendary Brimms Ness, there’s every chance that the epic conditions blessing the first edition will return to cough up a second helping of some of the heaviest and most balls-to-the-wall surfing action.
Pumping swells set against the Scottish coast’s rugged backdrop will combine to set the stage for a battle of gladiatorial proportions. In the water and round-by-round, 168 surfers will be whittled down until a champion is crowned. Speaking of champions, it was the UK’s very own Russell Winter who scored a fairytale ending to the first edition by claiming the title in front of jubilant friends and family.
Come April 2007, you can be sure that the reigning champion will be more determined than ever to defend his title and earn the 2,500 rating points accompanying the win. Added to those precious World Championship Tour (WCT) qualification points, the winner will also pick up a handsome pay check and 1 of 2 qualification spots to the second edition of O’Neill The Mission – The Ultimate Freesurf Contest Challenge – scheduled to unfold for it’s second edition in the warm waters of Tahiti in June 2007.
With so much at stake at the O’Neill Highland Open 2007, and with the latter stages of the competition broadcast live on the internet, this is one event you simply can’t afford to miss.