Croyde Surf Club are a hardy bunch and they proved that in spades on Sunday with the running of the Eyeball Surf Classic.
The first challenge of the morning was to get the marquee up and secured against the howling Westerly gale buffeting the bay, a feat that required greater number of heavy duty anchors than at any time in the clubs history, job done the BBQ was fired up the hot drinks flowed.
“It was one of those weekends where it wasn’t that easy to make the call: small and weak Saturday or maxed out on Sunday, so in keeping with true CSC tradition we opted for the testing conditions of the Sunday on the basis that anyone willing to paddle out in those sorts of conditions deserves to carry a CSC membership card!” said contest director Matt Knight
Messy, heaving 6ft+onshore waves battered the beach the whole day through, but the enthusiasm of the frothing groms wasn’t dampened. With places on the Devon surf team for the Atlantic watersports games up for grabs, there was strong competition in all divisions.
It proved impossible for the groms to make it out back, though it didn’t stop them trying, but they still put in strong showings picking off reforms and still bashing out the turns. Will Bailey claimed first in the U14 while Peony Knight picked up her third win of the weekend. Jack Hough obviously wanted to retain his Devon team spot and surfed hard to grab the victory.
A first for club was the addition of a longboard division, and despite the horrific conditions 3 brave challengers stepped up to be counted. Although he sounded confident beforehand even Greg “Santander” Robinson failed to make it out through the relentless walls of white water. Alex Maddocks caught a number of tricky reforms halfway out to grab first.
In the end it was left to the Open contestants to make it out and ride some bombs. Even big wave hellman Andrew Cotton struggled, he blamed having to use a girls board which he borrowed following an undisclosed technical malfunction, others muttered that maybe he’d gone soft in Ireland!
In the end it was a battle between Jordan Reed and Scott Rannochan as rogue lumps broke and walls of white white rumbled through. RNLI lifeguard Jordan looked right at home in the big stuff and picked off 2 scoring waves to take the Open title ahead of Scott.
The Atlantic games Devon team selection is now being considered by the Panel consisting of representatives from Westward.Ho, Croyde and Woolacombe surf clubs and a team is set to be announced in 2 weeks time.
“The enthusiasm from everyone in such hard conditions was amazing. It would be unfair to select a team from just this event n such terrible conditions but it helps us see who’s keen and gives us something to go on.” said Andrew Cotton.
Eyeball Surf Classic results
1 Jordan Reed
2 Scott Rannochan
3 Andrew cotton
4 Matt Knight
1 Andrea Lawrence
2 Jemima Knight
1 Alex Maddocks
2 Pete West
3 Greg Robinson
1 Jack Hough
2 Cory Lawson
3 Cameron Maddox
4 Jack Middleton
1 Harriet Knight
1 Will Bailey
2 Alex Gibson
3 Samson Yeo
1 Garin Clay
2 Storm Wall
1 Gabe Ley
2 Freedom Wall
Big thanks to Rob Tibbles for the article & photos - www.robtibbles.com