National champions crowned in challenging conditions
Britain’s best competitive Surfers took on the stormy seas of Cornwall’s Fistral Beach over the weekend to battle it out for prestigious national championship titles.
With the junior national titles already decided back in September, this year’s Nationals would stand alone for the first time, whilst also serving as the final of the UK Pro Surf Tour for 2014. Over 70 entries were seen for the men’s open, seniors, masters, veterans and the women’s open divisions, and with a varying forecast in hand the event organisers at Surfing GB (SGB) and The UK Pro Surf Tour (UKPST) had some work to do.
Surfers and spectators arrived at Fistral Beach to solid 4-6ft high peaks aided by the moderate offshore winds. Forecasters were predicting dropping swell and wind throughout the day with a swing to onshore westerly’s mid-morning and soon after The Caravan Club Men’s open round 1 entered the water this materialised. Soon enough 20-30mph gusting onshore winds plagued the bay and contest site as organisers were forced to postpone the women’s rounds to day 2, however the men’s open battled on.
Surfers in the Caravan Club men’s open put on a show of resilience and power as the conditions varied from heat to heat with the spring tide movements. ‘It’s sick out there if you get the right one, but getting the right one is tough & in an instant you can get washed straight back to the inside if a set catches you’ said pro surfer Micah Lester. Round 1 was completed soon after lunch and surfers then entered the water for a second go at Mother Nature, thankfully the swell had dropped slightly but the wind raged on. The UKPST title was a close two horse race with 2013 Champion Alan Stokes and 2012 champion Jayce Robinson both in contention, however Alan was unable to find the scores to progress in his round 2 heat, whereas Jayce did, meaning the tour victory was reclaimed by Jayce and the trophy would be returning to St.Ives.
Despite the weather, sponsors Posca pens were on hand throughout the weekend with artist SpZero76 keeping entertainment levels high, freestyle drawing on surfer’s boards, whilst Dryrobe provided Dryrobe’s for Surfer’s use when changing in the wintery elements. The Caravan Club were also providing shelter and warmth to surfers with their incredible airstream caravan, whilst promoting their new TCCSiteSurf app and its handy use for all traveling surfers.
The conditions for day 2 could have been described as calmer, but in no way calm, as the women’s division took their opportunity to compete as the high tide dropped out and the day kicked off in style. A tough but impressive day of competitive surfing then unfolded with National titles being decided in the atlantics raw and powerful 4-6ft waves. A day of surfers battling both the conditions and each other ensued and soon enough it was finals time.
The masters (over 35) put on an interesting show as once again conditions weren’t ideal, but Jersey’s Scott Eastwood continued his electric form from throughout the event to deservedly take what would be one of two national titles.
The pushing tide provided some improvement in conditions for the seniors (over 28) final, Sam Smart and Scott Eastwood battled back and forth for title, but Scott found the scores needed and made sure that both Masters and seniors trophies were on the return flight to Jersey.
The prestigious Women’s British title was destined to go down to the wire in a final held in solid 4ft mid tide Fistral. With Woolacombe’s Lucy Campbell and recently crowned European champion Keshia Eyre both vying for the UKPST title it was Lucy that got off to a dream start with 7.0 wave and then managing to back up her score. Keshia battled hard but was unable to answer back and 25 minutes of thrilling surfing later, Lucy Campbell was the 2014 British Champion and the UKPST tour title holder.
The Caravan Club Men’s Open was built for a dramatic final and with a an array of skill sets and styles coming together for surfers Jayce Robinson, Seb Smart, Jobe Harris and Micah Lester. Jobe & Micah both threw impressive power turns into the punchy of the waves, Seb used his natural flow and style to combine turns to set up for a superman air which impressed the spectators, however Jayce’s variety and clinical surfing proved the killer combination and in the dying light of November 9th, Jayce Robinson completed the British Triple Crown, taking the 2014 British National Championship title, to back up his Tour victory and English championship title.
‘Its been an incredible year for me, one which I have enjoyed immensely, the standard of British Surfing is on the rise and I am stoked to take the win amongst some great fellow competitors’ said new crowned champion Jayce Robinson.
Surfing GB and The UKPST would like to thank POSCA for sponsoring the event along with Dryrobe, The Caravan Club, Surfdome, Acer Technologies & Ocean Surf Lodge for their support and enabling the event to operate.
1st Dave Renaud
2nd Roger Knight
3rd Tony Good
4th Mark Oliver
1st Scott Eastwood
2nd Joel Gray
3rd Martin Connolly
4th James Jones
1st Scott Eastwood
2nd Sam Smart
3rd Oliver Carter
4th Joss Ash
1st Lucy Campbell
2nd Keshia Eyre
3rd Ellen Harding
4th Emily Currie
Open sponsored by the Caravan Club
1st Jayce Robinson
2nd Seb Smart
3rd Jobe Harris
4th Micha Lester