Oakley’s Royden Bryson Wins O'Neill Cold Water Classic 6 Star in Scotland
In freezing cold conditions Oakley’s South African Royden Bryson claimed victory at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic 6 star event, winning US$20,000 (R150,000) as well as 3000 WQS points. Coming up against veteran competitive surfer Yuri Sodre, Bryson threw caution to the wind, going for massive moves in the blustery and icy conditions. Bryson defeated top-rated Australian surfer Shaun Cansdell in the semis and Nathaniel Curran in the quarters before coming up against Brazilian Sodre in the final, and with an 8.33 score under the belt early in the final, Sodre was left chasing the South African from the start.
Bryson was ecstatic with his victory. “Winning this contest is a dream come true! One of my goals inside qualifying for the World Tour is to win the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series,” said Royden. “I am lying tie first now so I am in a great position.”
With regards to the extreme weather conditions the contest experienced, Royden was in awe of what Scotland had to offer. “This was one crazy day,” said Bryson on the beach after the prize giving. “I’m not sure if I’ll ever get a chance to surf in the snow again, so on top of winning, this makes it one very special day for me.”
Royden waited in the blistering cold through a restart and then another 15 minutes before he caught his first wave. “My game plan throughout the event was to be patient and catch the best waves,” said Royden of his successful strategy. “The bigger waves are always more impressive, and combined with a few solid turns I managed to pull off, saw me score the big points. It’s time to qualify now,” added Bryson. “I am so amped and I know I deserve to be there.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland forms part of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series that travels to various destinations around the world for their unique events. Locations like Tasmania, Scotland, Canada, Cape Town and Santa Cruz all form part of the Cold Water Classic series that has an additional series winner prize of US$50,000 on top of the individual event prizes. Last year the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland was won by another Oakley Team Rider, Adam Melling from Lennox Head in Australia.
Earlier in the year Oakley South Africa team riders gathered in the Eastern Cape for their inaugural O-Camp training sessions, which obviously benefitted Bryson, as his surfing was fast and dynamic, and he knew what he needed to do to get the job done. “The O-Camp was a huge motivating factor for me this year,” said Bryson. “The camp helped me immensely with motivation, preparation, and professionalism, as well as confidence and consistency in my professional surfing.”
“It was clear from the start of this event that Royden had the focus,” said Oakley South Africa Team Manager Greg Emslie. “He has been showing a polished and professional approach since the O-Camp, and this very result has shown to us and to our riders the value of such training programs.”
Along with his prizemoney and points, Royden was also awarded a tiny parcel of land in the Scottish Highlands, and a highland sword. Royden is now a ‘Lord’ of his land.
Presenting Lord Bryson.