The O’Neill Cold Water Classic which wrapped up near Cape Town yesterday was even colder and wilder thanks to a massive, raging storm.

But amid the massive solid six foot swells and big waves pounding the shore, the skilled surfers bravely continued to battle it out. In the end, it was 24-year old Aussie Blake Thornton who earned the South African CWC trophy – a replica of a shark’s jaw – which he proudly held aloft.

With his victory, Blake beat local fave Royden Bryson. Blake told Global Surf News how Royden had fallen on his final wave. “I think maybe the cold was getting to us. I am sorry for him, but so glad I won.”

About surfing in the wild, shark-infested waters of South Africa, Royden said: “Thankfully this is a fake jaw. Hopefully I won’t see any real ones. There was actually a seal swimming around out there with us in the final. Everyone knows that sharks love seals, but actually in a heat you’re only worried about what’s going on in the heat.”

His focus paid off. His victory earned him 1500 points and $12 000.

Final results are:

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)

The next CWC will take place in Canada’s Vancouver Island in October.