The O’Neill Cold Water Classic is possbily the most extreme surf competition in the world. I know the Big Wave competitions are also extreme, but this competition is the most northerly, the most southerly and the coldest boarding contest on the planet combining big waves with freezing waters – a whole different kettle of fish.
New Zealand to Scotland in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic
The competition started at Wainui Beach, Gisborne, on New Zealand’s North Island late March earlier this year and was won by Australian Adam Melling. The weather lived up to its reputation as 100 of the world’s toughest surfers braved gale force winds in pursuit of US$145,000 – the biggest purse to be offered so far in New Zealand. As important was the opportunity to score world ranking points in the ASP World Tour event.
photo courtesy of ASP World Tour
Next up was Thurso in Scotland, a zone which prides itself on its yearly average water temperature of just 6°C. The solid ground swells coming from the north and the frequent southerly winds create ideal conditions which can rival the north shore of Hawaii – although the temperatures are never comparable! The winner, Australian (again…) Brent Dorrington, claimed the customary sword, was given the unofficial title of ‘Lord’ and a purse of $20,000.
Now it’s the final O’Neill Cold Water Classic event of the year, to be held at its iconic location – Santa Cruz, California from the 24th – 30th October. Matt Wilkinson was last year’s winner, who will it be this year? And who stands to win the whole tournament? The event is expected to attract some of the world’s finest competitors – as per normal, and the result of the overall winner is still up for grabs.
We’ll bring you more info next week…