A quick reminder and then you’ll realise why I’m piqued that I missed the first one! The O’Neill Cold Water Classic is a surfing competition that prides itself on its unusual destinations – the most northern, the most southern, the coldest and the most classic surf competition on the planet. And therefore one of the most interesting competitions of the year!
The O’Neill CWC Series brought a 6 Star ASP World Tour event to Gisborne, on the North Island of New Zealand for the first time ever.
It’s an interesting place is Gisborne, already familiar with ‘firsts’. It is, after all, the first place in the world to see the sun every morning (now that’s quite something, isn’t it?) and it was also the first land spotted on what subsequently became known as New Zealand by the crew of Captain James Cook’s ship, the Endeavour.
March 23 – March 29, 2011 saw the first stop on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series 2011. It is an area known for its high quality surf. It’s position on the east coast of North Island ensures a 180-degree swell window. Add to this a variety of reefs, beaches, points and bars all facing different directions, as well as a lack of crowds due to its remote location, and you get an epic kick-off for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series 2011.
Australian Adam Melling won Gisborne claiming the six-star crown in the last 30 seconds over Brazilian surfer Willian Cardoso.
Next up is O’Neills northernmost destination – Thurso, Scotland… It’s not only O’Neills most northernmost destination, it is also, at 59 degrees North, the world’s most northern surf contest and offers a powerful reef, beach breaks and ice-cold water. “It’s a combination of the quality of surf on the reef up in Scotland as well as the feeling of adventure and pushing the limits that appeals,” says 2010 Cold Water Classic Series winner Shaun Cansdell. “Last year there was snow, most years there is some sort of hail storm. It is wild and it is most definitely cold.”
The two finalists at the Thurso CWC will each receive a plot of land in the Scottish Highlands and with it, the title of Lord! The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series Scotland has so far produced Lord Adam Melling, Lord Royden Bryson, Lord Luke Munro and Lord Yuri Sodre.