This weekend saw the British Surfing Championships take to Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall in pumping surf ranging from 2-8 feet.
Organised by a determined group of parents, surfers, and volunteers due to the reluctance of the N.G.B SurfingGB to run the prestigious UK event.
The scene at dawn was of a lovely 2ft wave with sun shining and fluffy off shores. But everyone who had a surf craft of some form knew that it was the lemon next to the pie, and it was going to get bigger.
Running dual peaks the surfing was thick and fast and some impressive performances were posted over the wealth of divisions. As the tide eased its way out, the swell started to push and set by set the waves gained size and power and by low tide it was 6ft beasties. The jump in swell had caught some out and with a lot of paddling for everyone it was tricky to get the waves. All the juniors were shredding and the Open division was nuts to watch. Huge hacks and fin wafts in the chunky lumps and there was even a stand up drainer of a barrel ridden by Tom Good which got the judges excited.
The finals were fought out in 6-8ft waves with the Cribber breaking in the background and a strong cross offshore wind throwing up some heaving right handers. In the Open final Jayce and Stu swapped the lead several times with the Cornishman holding the lead into the dying moments. Until, that is, Stu snagged a right hander and threw a huge carve and then a death defying air drop floater that saw him smash the 6 point ride that he required for the win.
The U18 boys were also throwing man hacks and Luke Dillon did an insane drop wallet layback hack in the pocket on a double overhead wave that earned him manoeuvre of the contest.
The Masters also battled it out with Welsh vs. Cornish on peak B. Apparently it was battle of the paddler and Mark Vaughan came in demoralised after the final. When he realised that his less than stellar performance had secured him the win he was overjoyed. That just goes to show that with Lee Bartlett, Chris Harris, and Greg Owen in the final how hard the conditions were for these legends of British surfing.
The Presentation was a success with over one hundred supporters of British surfing there to witness the crowning of the champs. This entire event could not have been possible unless for one man. Matt Knight and the rest of his family are an inspiration when it comes to pulling together and getting the job done. The Prizes, organisation and dedication it takes to put these events on is hard. It is even harder when your national governing body of surfing don’t lift a finger.
The meeting about the state of British surfing continued after the presentation and was matched by just as many onlookers waiting for answers.
This is a very important time to get behind British surfing and our surfers as we have to push forward into a new age and get British surfing firmly on the map.
Someone else who is insanely keen and focused is 1984 Banzai Pipeline Master Joey Buran who is initiating competitive training programmes for the British junior squads for the world games. He flew himself out to the UK from America at his own expense to analyse the juniors surfing and train them like we’ve never had training before.
Joey has faith in our British surfing, and I think its time we did too. Anybody that can help support our fabulous contest scene here and wants our surfers to improve whatever their standard should get involved and offer whatever you can whether that is time, money or advice.. .
One thing’s for sure, the more we can get together on this the more the future of British surfing is in all of our hands. So now is the chance to get involved with your local surfing and give a little.
The next British Title will be decided this weekend at Woolacombe for the National Interclubs. Another National event that surfingGB has nothing to do with…
1. Flora Lawton,
2. Peony knight,
3. Isabelle Evans,
4. Emily Williams,
1. Tassy Swallow,
2. Lucy Campbell,
3. Laura crane,
4. Gabi Rowe
1. Sarah Beardmore
2. Hannah Harding
3. Anne Marie Le Pallec
4. Joanne Dennison
1. Liam Murray Strout
2. Joe Harding
3. Gabriel Ley
4. Cieran Hughes
1. Harry de Roth,
2. Max Payne,
3. Rhys Barfield,
4. Angus Scotney
1. Jobe Harris,
2. Simon Trebilcock
3. Paddy Daniel
4. Myle lee Hardgrave’s
1. Harry Timpson,
2. Luke Dillon (best single manoeuvre)
3. Ben Bennet, (performance of the event.)
4. Tom Good.
1. Stuart Campbell.
2. Jayce Robinson,
3. Gordon Fontaine
4. Oli Adams (Highest single wave score)
1. Mark Vaughan
2. Lee Bartlett,
3. Chris Harris
4. Greg Owen.