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Blake Thornton wins O'Neill Cold Water Cls South Africa

Blake Thornton & Royden Bryson : photo O'Neill

O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa

ASP 4-Star WQS Mens event
Cape Peninsula South Africa
20 - 24 June 2009

Results/Photos/Videos etc

Blake Thornton wins O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 June, 2009 : - - Cape Town, South Africa -- Blake Thornton, the 24 year old from Maroubra, Sydney, surfed the perfect final in epic Cape Town conditions to knock out local favourite Royden Bryson, and take victory at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa.

“I am so excited to win this,” said Blake. “Royden fell on his wave at the end. I think maybe the cold was getting to us,” he said shivering in his wetsuit. “I am sorry for him, but so glad I won.”   In victory, Blake lifted the CWC South Africa trophy – a replica shark’s jaw – high above his head on the shoreline at Kalk Bay.

“Thankfully this is a fake jaw,” said Blake. “Hopefully I won’t see any real ones. There was actually a seal swimming around out there with us in the final,” he said. “Everyone knows that sharks love seals, but actually in a heat you’re only worried about what’s going on in the heat.”

After a lay day yesterday which saw everyone hiding away from the storms, conditions came together perfectly on the eastern side of the Cape with offshore winds and a solid six-foot swell.


Blake Thornton : photo Lee Slabber


The barreling left hand reef break of Kalk Bay provided the dream final day for the first professional surfing event in Cape Town in 21 years - the 4 Star ASP WQS O’Neill CWC South Africa.

And local Cape Town surfer Royden Bryson almost provided the dream local ending. “From the water I could hear everyone supporting me – shouting and honking their horns on the beach,” said Royden. “I don’t think I’ve ever had support like that in a contest. It was amazing.” “I wish I hadn’t folded on that last wave, but what can you do,” he said. “I will kick myself for about half an hour and then it will be good.”

Although eager to win the trophy, Royden hadn’t been too keen on the idea of displaying the shark’s jaw. “There would be no way I would want to see that thing before I went in for a surf!” he said. The anticipation of Kalk Bay working for the final day had been building all week, so when contest director Matt Wilson made the call to start at 11am with man-on-man heats, the surfers were ready.

“It was a good decision to have man-on-man heats out there,” said semi-finalist Jarrad Howse. “There would have been too much hassling if you had four man heats.” Jarrad was one of the standout performers of the day – actually looking like he was having a lot of fun as he pulled into barrel after barrel on his backhand.

The shock of the day was the early departure of World Tour star and event ambassador, Jordy Smith – knocked out by Glenn Hall in the round of 16. And the wave of the day came from the eventual winner who pulled into an awesome barrel to score the highest wave score of the competition – a 9.6.


Royden Bryson : photo Lee Slabber


“My first heat was a shocker, I just wasn’t understanding the wave,” said Blake. “I think in the next heat I was a bit more relaxed and just pulled into that wave and it worked out.”

The O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa had been billed as the ‘wildest event in professional surfing’. Over the past week it more than lived up to its name. “O’Neill took a risk to hold an event here in Cape Town in the middle of winter,” said Royden. “There can be some pretty huge out of control storms down here.”

With howling winds, huge rain squalls, and cold winter temperatures both in the water and out – there were definitely some out of control storms. And although the sheltered east coast of the Cape provided a sanctuary, it was still quintessential Cold Water Classic conditions.

“I was cold all day,” said Blake. “I think it is the adrenaline that kept me going. I cannot wait for a hot shower and a few beers. But that’s part of the whole series – battling the elements.” And it’s not going to get any warmer; next stop on the CWC Series - the freezing colds of Vancouver Island, Canada in October.


Glenn Hall : photo Lee Slabber


O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa

1. Blake Thornton (AUS)    1 500 points  $12 000
2. Royden Bryson (ZAF)     1 313 Points    $6 000 

Semifinals (Winner to final, 2nd = 3rd place, 1 125 pts + $3 500)
SF1:  Royden Bryson (ZAF) def. Glenn Hall (AUS)
SF2:  Blake Thornton (AUS) def. Jarrad Howse (AUS)

Quarterfinals (Winner to semis, 2nd = 5th place, 975 pts, $2 000)
QF1:  Royden Bryson (ZAF) def. Kyle Lane (ZAF)
QF2:  Glen Hall (AUS) def. Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF)
QF3:  Jarrad Howse def. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
QF4:  Blake Thornton (AUS) def. Jean de Silva (BRA)

Check the Full Event Results


WQS ratings after the O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa

1 Wright,Owen AUS 11338
2 Ross,Daniel AUS 10600
3 Melling,Adam AUS 10301
4 Andre,Jadson BRA 10100
5 Thornton,Blake AUS 9513
6 Logie,Travis ZAF 8901
7 Simpson,Brett USA 8476
8 Duru,Joan FRA 8451
9 Polo,Marco BRA 8331
10 Gudauskas,Patrick USA 8263
11 Munro,Luke AUS 7813
12 Silva,Jean da BRA 7750
13 Thompson,Jay AUS 7688
13 Yeomans,Nathan USA 7688
15 Atkinson,Dion AUS 7644
16 Hall,Glenn IRE 7638
17 Dantas,Wiggolly BRA 7551
18 Courtney,Drew AUS 7513
19 Howse,Jarrad AUS 7488
20 Ware,Austin USA 7457
21 Zubizarreta,Gony ESP 7376
22 Jackson,Brandon ZAF 7338
23 Gonzalez,Jonathan CNY 7225
24 Gudauskas,Tanner USA 7075
25 Wilkinson,Matt AUS 6925
26 Sedley,Leigh AUS 6838
27 Payne,Dusty HAW 6800
28 Nicol,Yadin AUS 6676
29 Gossmann,Shaun AUS 6613
30 Sodre,Yuri BRA 6475
31 Cloitre,Romain FRA 6463
32 Toth,Brian PRI 6414
33 Neves,Leonardo BRA 6344
34 Wright,Warwick ZAF 6307
35 Ohno,Masatoshi JPN 6264
36 Moura,Paulo BRA 5939
37 Aranburu,Aritz EUK 5875
38 Giorgi,Marco URY 5863
39 Robertson,Adam AUS 5726
40 Paulino,Pablo BRA 5713
41 Gudauskas,Dane USA 5688
42 Savalli,Hugo REU 5650
43 Cardoso,Willian BRA 5627
44 Bryson,Royden ZAF 5567
45 Hedge,Nathan AUS 5556
46 Fahrenfort,Damien ZAF 5551
47 Flintoff,Kirk AUS 5514
48 Collazo,Hodei EUK 5476
49 Lopez,Cory USA 5470
50 Silva,Andre BRA 5432

Check the Full Ratings

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Previous reports:
# 1 : O’Neill Cold Water Classic hits the wilds of South Africa

# 2 : O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa getting all green
# 3 : O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa all ready to roll

# 4 : Biggest swell of the year to hit Cold Water Classic S.A. 
# 5 : Calm before the storm Day 2 of O'Neill CWC South Africa 
# 6 : Jordy & gale winds hit O'Neill Cold Water Classic S Africa 
# 7 : Lay day called at Cold Water Classic as storm hits Cape


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