The scene was set for a great weekend for the BLU Watergate Mid Summer Classic, this was the third of four comps for 2011 to find out who was the best Longboard rider in Britain.
Ben Haworth had won the first two- beating Ben Skinner, who many (including me) believe to be one of the greatest longboarder’s in the world. Skindog already has 20 British titles under his belt, so the pressure was firmly on young Haworth.
The charts predicted a nice bit of swell so the comp was called on, we’d had texts and calls from some of the guy’s in Ireland Friday night saying the swell had hit, so it was on it’s way to us, Yeeew!
Saturday morning dawned with beautiful blue skies and solid three foot swell, don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
We started with the juniors U16’s. The level of surfing Britain is turning out is outstanding, Ben Bates, Sam Cavin and Arron Bright to name a few, were lovin the clean high tide faces.
Board Barns Dream Team in the form of Alex Maddocks, Zak Lawton, Angus Murray and head honcho Ben Haworth were having a ball, Zak took an early scalp beating Skindog into second in the early heats, remember these guys, Alex & Zak are still juniors!!!
The ladies were putting on the usual high level show of grace and style with Devon’s Juliet Marlow looking strong, Gold Coast winner Claire Smale was on form as was the ever lovely Candice O’Donnel.
It was, as ever, mental competitive in the masters, with me continuing my relentless downward spiral for 2011 going out in the first round!!! Keano was on edge, he could see his hopes for a repeat title this year slipping away with Alan Reed looking the man to catch, Eric Davies found his form that had been sporadic this season… could be the decision to switch back to his Custom boards, who knows?
But it was the open where the action was really hot, Saturday finished with the semis to run at 7am Sunday morning.
Ben Haworth told me he won’t sleep, no can’t sleep with the prospect of a title possibility, THE title looming.
Alex Maddocks said it wasn’t a good weekend for him, he was surfing beautifully, but either didn’t get the clean face he needed or maybe the others did. Skinner commented how good he was surfing, but he ended his weekend narrowly missing out in both the open and U18’s by 0.5 of a point!!!
The open final consisted of Jersey’s Josh Le Marquand, Ben Skinner, Ben Haworth and Zak Lawton. It was to be the two Ben’s trading waves, Skinner had already posted 9.5’s and perfect 10’s throughout the weekend so young Haworth knew what was required. Man they didn’t disappoint! fantastic surfing from all four guy’s but it was a display of outstanding longboarding from the two big gun’s that left us all saying the same, NOTHING in it, just both brilliant.
If ever there’s a reason for not being a judge, this was it.
So my little eyeball friend’s here are the results, you’ll have to excuse me for being just a tincy bit excited, but it’s not every day your Team guy’s do this for you…
The NEW 2011 British Longboard Champion of Great Britain is……………………………………………..
‘THE BEN’ HAWORTH!!!
1st Ben Haworth
2nd Ben Skinner
3rd Josh Le Marquand
4th Zak Lawton
1st Josh Le Marquand
2nd Ben Bates
3rd Zak Lawton
4th Louis Stritch
1st Alan Reed
2nd Colin Bright
3rd Eric Davies
4th Paul Keenan
1st Claire Smale
2nd Candice O’Donnel
3rd Nicola Bunt
4th Juliet Marlow
1st Ben Bates
2nd Sam Cavin
3rd Will Whitworth
4th Arran Bright
1st Chantelle Coot
2nd Jenn Richards
3rd Lucy Howell
4th Chloe Pommel
Big thanks to everyone involved in this great sport, Judges, beach marshall’s, sponsors ( WE NEED MORE PLEASE, we have some of the best competitors in the world here in the UK, we NEED funding ) .
Thanks to Guy from The Board Barn for the write up and well done Ben Haworth!