I can assure you that I really cannot remember the last time i got up at 5.15 in the morning for anything. I can certainly assure you that if i did get up at this ridiculous time of the morning that it wouldn’t be for surfing as everybody knows its too cold to surf at that time of the day because the sun hasn’t come up. That added with the fact that i’ve never been able to surf reasonably before 10am or shall we say elevenses?… But this morning things changed.
Sunday morning, 5ft howling onshores in Cornwall, sounds like the perfect day for the “English Nationals” surf contest.
Unfortunately there is no main sponsor for this event, so the E.S.F and Dave Reed got together to run it anyway for the surfers, and i have many fond memories of nights sleeping under vans and camping in Tesco’s car park, in a tent with no poles when I was young enough to know better but still old enough to get whoop diddyed in the first round! Two hours of Coffee, chit chat with the Head judge Ester (who kindly ferried me there and back) and it was horns off and battle time in the arena. It was a scaled down comp with three divisions, Open Mens, Open Womens,and Open Longboard.
Many people who had previously checked in, rolled up to Watergate only to be greeted with completely undesirable surf and promptly spun a u-turn and headed back to the comfort of their duvets and warm malty drinks and spent the rest of the hiding under the bed.
Those however, that stayed and faced the relentless conditions did themselves proud and fought on in true athlete style.
The first rounds of the open were completed at Watergate, with a tough job for the judges keeping an eye on everyone through the masses of whitewater and people disappearing from view for 5 seconds when they bottom turned. The call was then made to move the contest to Tolcarne beach which was more manageable and offered much more scoring potential. This was true when we arrived but as the tide dropped and competition resumed those pesky Tolcarne wedges became death defying closeouts of churning sand…
I’m not going to bother you all with who did what and who beat who and who did the best claim (it was like Rio out there!!!! nearly?) But you can all be safe in the knowledge that there was some heavy surfing going down, my personal favourites were a savage layback drop wallet fin waft from Micah Lester, a splendid Air reverse with insane
rotation to Oli adams, Seamless critical and stylish surfing to Tom Butler, and to all the Women that had to tame some beasts throughout the course of the day. Here are the results…
1st Tom Butler
2nd Gordon Fontaine
3rd Micah Lester
4th Oli Adams
1st Anne Cecille
2nd Hannah Harding
3rd Lucy Campbell
4th Rosey Ellis
1st Adam Griffiths
2nd Ben Skinner
3rd Zak Lawton
4th Ashley Lawton
Next contest on the U.K.P.S.T is a three dayer on home turf for the Saltrock Croyde Open, which is next weekend Saturday , Sunday , Monday.