This weekend has seen yet another comp go down on the shores of North Devon, this time Quiksilver stepping up to the podium to put on a throw down of miniature proportions at Croyde . By miniature I don’t mean the actual size of the contest or the amount of effort that went into putting it on.. oh no, I mean the actual size of the surfers! Because I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see a competitor over 5’5 and the average board height came up to my slightly fluffly navel.
This was the King of the Groms event that quicksilver put on all over the globe and two lucky surfers in the U16’s category had the chance to grab an invite into the European final at Newquay in August.
The contest set up was biblical, partly due to the impending Atlantic games that will be kicking off on Monday morning, but nobody was worried about that. We had ping pong, a hot tub, the mighty Red bull DJ mobile, and a bloody huge judging tower that let the judges practise their Romeo and Juliet scene as the majority are keen thespians.!
Anyway after the acting had died down and the judges got onto more pressing matters we got things underway. The waves were small and weak but we got things rolling straight away on the pushing tide and made the best of it.
There are only three divisions in this comp, U16 boys, U16 girls and U14 boys, we were straight into the U16s where despite the conditions were still managing to get their boards moving with super quick turns from the little fellas. In the early rounds there were some super big upsets with a huge heat win for Gabe Ley in one of his first contests disposing of an in form Alex Gibson and pipping eventual winner Harry de Roth into second place in his heat. Another upset saw Lucy Campbell and Laura Crane beaten into 3rd and 4th respectively by two relative newcomers.
The level of surfing was incredibly high and another standout that took some scalps in his first ever contest was little eight year old Stanley Baxter from Bude. This little lad is one to watch for the future beating lads nearly twice his age and twice his size.
After Rob Tibbles had exhausted his new found love for djing from the Redbull truck in the blazing summer sunshine it was the end of the first day in a blink of an eye.
Sunday dawned to a messier wave but slightly more potential to smash the lip and there were only seven heats left to run.
Taz Knight secured his place in the U16’s boys final after a convincing semi final win, and Will Bailey from Woolacombe also carved into the U14’s final. In the girls final Peony Knight had the Knight curse and just like her brother in the last contest was dealt a paddling interference in the final and lost half her second score. Luckily she had blown the doors off the heat and still managed to secure the win on home turf.
Will just got pipped by Harry de Roth in the final but still put on a strong showing. In the boys final strangely the bigger lads came up trumps in the high tide dribblefest with Jobe Harris taking the spoils along with the invite to the European final. Taz had a slow heat after surfing about a million times and just run out of steam at the end. He got third and was just happy that he also got to spend some time behind the wheels of steel in the DJ mobile. And that was that, after a hard day of commentating, djing and general random talking which is all very tiring it was home by lunch time and just in time to miss the rain.
Only to all start again tomorrow for the huge Atlantic Games at exactly the same spot.
Full results to follow.
Peace out homies…. Barracat.