This year we have Eyeball’s very own Paul ‘Bcat’ Barrington stepping up to become one of the UK professional Surf Tour judges, this means you’ll get all the latest news, reports and results straight from the comp site!
Salty Burns.. UKPST stop 1
I’ve discovered this weekend that being a judge on the UK professional surf tour isn’t all glory and fame…oh no! its a stressful highly demanding job that puts the careers of surfers in the balance… and the difference between a 2 and a 3 could be the difference between a happy surfer or one who wants to tear your legs off and insert them into two different holes..
Luckily i’m pretty good and avoided any death threats and this is how it went down:
A nasty sweaty 7 hour drive up there with the other judges and John Owen (director of UKPST) left us keen for one thing when we finally pulled into the car park of our hotel in beautiful Saltburn- and that was a pint! Then maybe one or two more. All the competitors were rolling in and some had been there for hours and were already relaxed enough (possibly not the correct word) to join us for a few more drinks with a group of hammered sixty year old geordie golfers, who were particularly bad at playing pool (and golf as it turns out) but very good at saying Howay man!
As the morning dawned, a quick peek out of the window onto the beach showed that the waves were around ankle high and cack. After setting up the contest site and cracking into the Relentless the surf was deemed crap and the contest was put on hold. All the big names were here- Russ Winter, Sam Lamiroy, Mark Harris, Micah, Reuben, and there were a few sneaky North Devonians to represent our corner of the world. Taz and Matt Knight had arrived the night before and set their tent up on the beach; Andrea Lawrence had rocked up as had Max Pechonis and Jordan Reed and his lady Janine.
It was a cracking turn out from our guys and they didn’t fail to impress. Well… Jordan actually did most of his impressing in the hotel bar but never mind… he had a hell of a tough heat.
Anyway i digress… The comp was called off for the day and the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening was filled with cup finals, pool and shandy or ten..
Sunday dawned to a 2 ft swell and a pushing tide…
First in were the groms and our boys fired up the charge… with Max and Taz both blazing their way to the final.
Also Blazing to the final of the womans was Andrea who was guaranteed some sterling for her position whatever it was.
Jordan had Winter and Sean skippy Skilton in heat 1 of the open… and got smoked. (sorry Jord)
Smashing their way to the open final were: Winter, Harris, Reuben and the french man Gordon Fontaine. (Who in case you haven’t heard of him.. Rips)
The final was super close but blasting his way to victory was Russ Winter, who looks keener than a wasp in a jar to step up his 2011 campaign.
1st Russell Winter
2nd Gordon Fontaine
3rd Mark Harris
4th Reuben Pearce
The u16s saw Taz take my Dalai Lama style advice of “smash it really hard and dont try any 360′s” to the tee and banged his way to first!
1st Taz Knight
2nd Ed Smith
3rd Dale Foster
4th Max Pechonis
The womans saw the most ridiculous wave count that i had never seen… Andrea and Hannah both surfed 15 waves each and had to leave the water. When this happened they both were tied for 1st place on my judges sheet. As they exited the water Holly Donnelly smashed one from behind and pipped them both.
1st Holly Donnelly
2nd Andrea Lawrence
3rd Hannah Harding
4th Cerri Edwards
The Pro junior saw some exciting surfing and at the end Lewis Clinton took the honours with some crisp shralping.
1st Lewis Clinton
2nd Ben Sowter
3rd Leon Mansfield
4th Dale Foster
Cheers went up, the site was packed down, shaka’s were thrown and it was back in the car for seven hours again and now here i am writing this!
A massive well done to all our local shredders that made the effort to trek up there and it was duely noted that the Standard in North Devon is not to be sniffed at.
Next Comp in the tour is The Salt Rock open at Croyde at the end of May.
Photos & Report by Paul Barrington – Eyeball sponsored rider, reporter & UK professional Surf Tour Judge.