In stark contrast to yesterday’s perfection, heavy rain, strong winds, and freezing temperatures reminded all involved that this is indeed the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series.  

“I went to bed last night and looked up at the stars and thought today was going to be a good day,” said World Tour surfer Chris Davidson, who came top of his heat in the round of 48 this morning. “Then I was woken up at 5 am from the rain pouring down on my caravan as this huge squall came through.”

It was not the easiest day for the surfers with the conditions on offer, and to add to the ruggedness of this six star ASP event, they were forced completely back to basics when the rain came in horizontally to flood the judges tent.

As the squall came through soaking the computer system and flooding the judges area, it was deemed unsafe to use the computers, and the judges were forced back to pen and paper, not logging in the scores until the end of each heat in the one dry corner of the tent.

“Its sort of back to basics out there,” said Cory Lopez. “With no scores you just have to keep going for it on every wave,” he said. “I don’t think I really like it though. I like to know what’s going on.”

“Even at the end of a heat when we’re out of the water, we are all standing around without knowing who has gone through waiting for them to log the scores,” said Cory. “It is a strange feeling.”

“It’s what this series is all about,” said contest director Matt Wilson. “We go to these really wild remote places around the world and I guess this is what we have to expect as part of it.”

Whilst the conditions wreaked havoc on the competition site set up, the surfers were out in the water, making it look almost as rewarding as the near-perfect set up of yesterday as the final 24 were decided.

Among them was last year’s Cold Water Classic California runner up, Heath Joske, who came through top of his heat with a last minute high scoring wave.

“It’s actually not as bad as it looks out there,” said Heath. “After yesterday I wasn’t expecting this today. But that I guess that is just what you get in these places. But I enjoyed it!”

With receding winds and sun forecast on the horizon, all eyes are on the ever-changing forecasts of this region in the hope that calm is soon restored. Tomorrow will kick off with what is bound to be one of the heats of the event featuring World Tour surfer Jordy Smith, former World Tour surfer, the in-form Shaun Cansdell and the upcoming talent of Hawaiian Casey Brown.

The next call will be made tomorrow March 27, 2010 at 7.30am to start with the round of 24.

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