Its not often that something like this happens in your life, in fact this hasnt happened in my lifetime. In fact i dont think its ever happened. “What is it?” i hear you cry. Well my friends, today is the day that the Woolacombe Boardriders surf club won a bloody surf contest. But when i say surf contest, i mean a proper hardcore team battle with a huge amount of redbull and associated alcoholic beverages alongside , camping (if you can call mental team bell tents with airbeds in camping?) and a huge amount of shredding set in a beautiful national trust area overlooking a peach of a beach.
This contest requires a team consisting of five surfers (hence the name of the comp) spread over a range of criteria. Teams from north devon were the Putsborough team, and a Croyde team and the Mighty Ass bandits from woolacombe. The bandits received their name the year previous when i jokingly put it on the team form only to see a large sign above our tent upon our arrival. As i couldnt surf the event this year due to being daddy, Archie took the reigns and in my honour continued the tradition of Ass banditry. My replacement was the mighty Thorny, and our killer addition, Stu Campdog. Alongside him were Archie, And Josh “Brad” Pittsy. there were many interesting criteria and wildcard type point bonuses along the course of the contest which i have no wish to go into as it was all a bit complex, but worked a treat in the end.
The end of the first day saw the Rip shred team from Newquay and the Ass bandits right up there with the Puts and Croyde teams. Thats when the carnage and test of man really took hold. Free drinks tokens and a pen of tents and a dj tent and a bar meant that at five oclock in the morning the action was still blistering. There is also no point in trying to relay any of the shameless antics but it was fair to say that Skippy from St Agnes was on form as was Cotty last seen dry humping The Carve editors leg. Indeed a five star performance in itself. The second day saw the surf deteriorate a bit but the excitement was electric. Never have i been so excited to watch Archie grovel around in two foot mush as i was watching the final heat of the day in which if Archie won the heat or came second, the Ass Bandits won. If he came third it was a draw, if he came fourth we lost. Luckily for the Bandits one of the other surfers in the heat had decided to wear speedos for the 20 minute session in horizontal rain and skin burning wind. And as this apparently seemed a fool hardy decision it was a godsend for Archie as he spent most of the time going straight and trying to find where his penis had shrivelled up to. (the guy in the speedos, not Archie?) So with a 3rd place scraped, it was a two way tie with the Newquay boys for glory and the chance of a free photoshoot trip abroad and a spread in carve mag.
The decision was called that 2 surfers from each team were to step forth and do battle in a fifteen minute surf off where you were scored on 1 wave and had to claim it and come in if you wanted it to count… Clifton and Campbell stepped up against Oli Adams and Tom Good from Hellquay. This was better than watching the Chopes contest. Everyone was buzzing and cheers of “Rip shred” and “Ass Bandits” hollered around the headland. However i remember a very similar occasion at the Interclubs at Putsborough many years ago when it was Woolacombe vs croyde in a surf off tie. Clifton and Thorny vs Jinx and Ossian. It was the all going perfect with Thorny storming the heat and clifton in second until Clifton dropped in on Jinx and horrifically stamped on our hopes of glory. (until today i still hadn’t forgiven him) First blood was Clifton, three huge water shifting gouges to the beach and a claim and he was coming in. Before the crazy cheering and hugging had calmed down straight behind peel, Oli Adams did 3 even bigger turns, claimed and came in. The Newquay boys were going apeshit as we saw things take another turn for the worse when Tom good also got a wave with a nice shape, did a few safe turns, claimed and came in.. 7 mins remaining, only Campbell left in the water, it got down to the last minute and Stu was still there and the Rip shred team were already packing their suncream for the photoshoot when Campbell dropped in backhand and produced 3 big backhand smashes then went frontside for a tweak.. Everyone went ballistic, the Ass bandits were rolling and hugging and generally acting like we had just won the World cup. Nothing was official but the silence from the newquay boys who were now unpacking their swimming costumes and snorkels from their bags said it all. Woolacombe had just won a major U.k team surf contest and done it in absolute style beating the best around. There were tears in my eyes as the boys secured the trophy and i cant wait find out where the trip is gonna be. A massive thank you to Redbull for putting on this epic event for the uks real surfing community. Its contests like these that remind you of why being a surfer is such a damn good thing. Ive waited 20 odd years for this moment and im pretty sure the Ass Bandit name is going to live on…
Myself and all the team here at Eyeball would like to congratulate the WBSC boys for this fantastic win! Yeeeeeeeew!
Peace out. Bcat.