What: O’Neill Highland Open Presented by Swatch, ASP 6 Star Prime WQS Mens Event
Where: Thurso, Scotland
When: 22-30 April 2008
Adam Robertson (Victoria, AUS) became the third O’Neill Highland Open champion today, securing the top podium spot after a 23-heat marathon day. Robertson, who surfed through five heats to clinch the Highlander sword trophy, defeated Adam Melling (Gold Coast, AUS) in glassy one-metre waves at the world class venue of Thurso East.
Robertson dominated the consistent waves to win his maiden ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event. Posting a solid 14.50 point heat score to best Melling’s 11.50 tally (both out of possible 20), Robertson raised the Highlander’s sword in front of a cheering Australian contingent.
“It is the best day of my life,” Robertson said. “I could not wait to raise that sword, it is like a dream coming true for me… I cannot believe it. Compared to Brims Ness’ Bowl, it was more comfortable and I had more time and space to surf my best today.” Robertson, 26, who has had a slow start this year, secures a precious 3,000 points towards his ASP World Qualifying Series WQS ratings.
“I have had a tough start this year,” Robertson said. “I feel like confidence came heat after heat. Such a big relief to take this one home, so stoked.” Melling, who defeated top European WQS campaigner Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) and 2000 ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) today, may not have clinched the final but he still scored the best result of his career so far.
“I’ve been doing well here in the past couple of years and I really love the waves,” Melling said. “Pretty stoked with this result, it is a big step on the ratings and this one gives me a lot of confidence to push it further this year. I was stoked to surf against Adam and he just got the better set waves and deserves to take the win.”
The 2008 O’Neill Highland Open by Swatch went from classic 2-metre Brims Ness to clean glassy Thurso East, taking the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world’s best qualifiers to Scotland’s best cold water North shore waves.