Thurso East – Scotland (Thursday, April 14, 2011) – Due to small inconsistent waves The O’Neill Coldwater Classic Scotland was forced to hold off from running competition after the incoming afternoon tide failed to pulse with adequate strength. After being placed on hold throughout the morning and early afternoon, event officials decided to return tomorrow morning to assess conditions for a possible restart of competition.
Contest Director Dave Reed, who has surfed and held events in the Thurso region for many years, made the announcement to surfers and officials that conditions were not contestable for a restart to Round One.
“We are calling it off for today and hopefully tomorrow we can finish Round One and Round Two. We are looking at it early each day and checking the other spots and at 8 am we will have a decision made on where we are running tomorrow. That means a total of 16 heats so if we can get through that we will be pleased.”
Thurso local Andy Bain, is helping Reed call the shots when deciding to send surfers out into the water. Bain’s knowledge of the area and the constantly changing weather patterns is invaluable when trying to host a successful contest.
“The swell is going to pick up tomorrow and the wind might be a little bit funky but if we are ready to go by 8 am we have basically 12 hours of light to play around with. I reckon we can pick and choose the best moments of the day then we’ll be ok.”
Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, AUS) 21, waited patiently for the eventual call that his Round One clash against Kevin Sullivan (HAW), Christophe Allary (REU) and Nicholas Squires (AUS) would not be hitting the water.
“Today is a bit of an upset for waves after yesterday where I watched a few heats and it pumped. Being in the later heats of a Round you can always expect it to get called off. I’ve seen the forecast is looking very good so I am not too stressed about waiting.”
Kennedy, a semi-finalist in the first 2011 CWC in New Zealand, has started his campaign strongly and hopes to go one better than his overall runner-up position in last year’s Cold Water Classic Series.
“It would be good to have a final over here but if I get to the Quarters I can overtake some of the guys and hopefully lead the Series. I came second overall last year so I don’t want to put pressure on myself at this stage. My preparation has been good and I enjoy surfing in a wettie with all the boots and gloves.”
Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) 30, surfed a short lasting pulse of swell on the out-going tide when winds turned favourable. However the window lasted only an hour as the tide killed all holding his first up heat when competition resumes.
“It was not bad when I entered the water earlier but now it has gone really slow and inconsistent with the waves breaking on top of the kelp beds. It was impossible to surf in the end. But in Thurso I have always more of less ended up with a result because the waves are similar in power to the Canary Islands and I feel comfortable in the cold water.”
Head judge Iain Buchanan commented on the overall situation of the event after two days of the waiting period completed and is confident of getting the athletes into the water with more than adequate surf for the remainder of competition.
“We have a lay day today after one of the best days of surf we have had in the last six years here at Thurso East. With the forecast and the waiting period left it is looking favourable and we don’t have to rush and send the guys out in sub-standard conditions. We have a small field to deal with now and we can finish if need be in two-and-a-half days and on top of that we have good weather conditions and a very good vibe here at the contest.”