THURSO, Brims Ness, Scotland - It was a short day of action in Northern Scotland today, the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic by Swatch completing its third round with the remaining four heats running in clean off-shore four foot (1.2 meter) waves at Brims Ness until the strong on-shore winds and rains made organizers put the event on-hold . The 30-minute battles brought some exciting show at the Point with both left and right-handers rolling over the low-tide shallow reef and giving the sixteen men having to paddle out some good scoring potential.
Several solid performances were put together throughout the couple of hours of surfing and the upset of the day came with the elimination of current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) No. 8 Owen Wright (New South Wales, AUS), 18, who could not get into rhythm in the last encounter losing to fellow Australians and O’Neill ambassador Mark Matthews and top scorer of Day 6 Jarrad Sullivan.
Sullivan, 25, who has been travelling around the world following the Grind for more than a couple of years now, found himself in position for two consecutive set waves and surfed them with speed and radicality to net a 16.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) including an 8.50 point ride. The regular footed surfer left no chance to his followers taking his Round 4 ticket confidently before facing Sean Holmes (ZAF) and Blake Thornton (AUS) when competition resumes.
Other top scorer of the day was New Zealand’s Rowan Aish (NZL), the 22-year-old Kiwi representative making most of the clean walls breaking at Brims Ness to impress the judges and leave the water with a promising 15.50 point result (out of a possible 20) and besting British rising surfer Reubyn Ash (Newquay, GBR). Aish, who has yet to achieve a big result on a main event to confirm his talent, unleashed his classic vertical style to advance and take another chance when Round 4 resumes against last year’s event runner-up Adam Melling (Gold Coast, AUS).
Also advancing today were French Romain Laulhé (Anglet, FRA), 23, and O’Neill CWC Scotland defending champion Adam Robertson (Victoria, AUS) who brought progressive surfing into the field today taking off for some flying maneuvers to win the third battle.
With twenty-four men only remaining in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime, pressure will rise upon the last title contenders focused on the valuable 3500 ratings’ points and US$ 20.000 winner’s cheque. Conditions are expected to improve and the last couple of days remaining in the waiting period should allow a good quality finish. Much expected tomorrow will be the encounter of former ASP World Tour member and event runner-up Jarrad Howse (New South Wales, AUS) with France’s current best surfer Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA) and Yadin Nicol (Western Australia, AUS). Also to hit the water tomorrow will be former O’Neill CWC Scotland by Swatch winners Nathan Hedge (AUS) and Great Britain’s last representative Russell Winter (Newquay, GBR).
O’NEILL CWC SCOTLAND BY SWATCH UPCOMING ROUND 4
Heat 1: Jorge Spanner (BRA), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Marco Giorgi (URY)
Heat 2: Jarrad Howse (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 3: Nathan Hedge (AUS), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Clancy Dawson (AUS)
Heat 4: Eric Rebiere (FRA), Hugo Savalli (REU), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 5: Russell Winter (GBR), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Brian Toth (PRI)
Heat 6: Christophe Allary (REU), Adam Melling (AUS), Rowan Aish (NZL)
Heat 7: Romain Laulhe (FRA), Adam Robertson (AUS), Mark Matthews (AUS)
Heat 8: Sean Holmes (ZAF), Blake Thornton (AUS), Jarrad Sullivan (AUS)