- Epic conditions greet surfers in “People’s Championships”
- Stu Campbell Takes the Open
- Sarah Beardmore completes double with European and British Crowns
- Dawn of a new era for British Surfing.
The 2011 British Surf Championships was held over two days last weekend in classic and building surf. By the end of Day one, the Open, Masters, Women’s and Junior titles had been decided in pumping conditions at Fistral Beach.
Massive swells forecast for Sunday drove Dave Reed the contest director, to call for two peaks to be run all day on Saturday in order for the maximum number of heats to be surfed in good waves. “This is the British Titles” said Reed. “It’s an important comp. We needed to give the best surfers an opportunity to show what they could do in the best conditions we could find.”
Bringing all their organisational skill and a crack team of Judges, Tabulators and Beach Marshalls together, Reed and head Judge Ester Spears put 50 heats through between Dawn and Dusk, quite a feat given the short daylight hours.
Stu Campbell from Woolacombe took the Open title ahead of in-form Jayce Robinson. Gordon Fontaine took 3rd and Oli Adams smashed his way to 4th picking up the highest wavescore award from O’Neill along the way.
In the Women’s it was Sarah Beardmore who remained focussed in the chunky conditions, dropping into a couple of bombs in the final and taking the victory. Coming on the back of her European triumph at Bundoran last month Beardmore has cemented her place at the top of Women’s surfing in the UK.
Mark Vaughan flew the Welsh flag with pride, taking the Masters title ahead of Lee Bartlett and winning a free holiday at the Haulfryn Praa Sands resort.
In the Juniors Luke Dillon picked up the Biggest Move award of a Firewire Board, but was beaten to the u-18s title by Harry Timson. Tassy Swallow took out the u-18 girls.
The younger divisions ran over to Sunday and with an Epic tow session under way at the Cribbar the groms were relocated to Towan, where Harry DeRoth and Flora Lawton were joined by Liam Murray Strout on the winner’s roster.
This years’ Nationals were organised at short notice by volunteer surfers. In a short space of just a few weeks funding had been found for the event after a massive collective effort from numerous industry sponsors; many of whom chose to put aside traditional commercial rivalries to ensure that the event could run.
Matt Knight who co-ordinated the event, said “It is up to us as Surfers to take a bit of control back from the so-called Governing Body. For years now surfers have been let down by those who are supposed to be representing them and working on their behalf. This contest was all about surfers and industry supporters getting together and showing that they care about their sport, and want to see a more positive future”.
“Massive thanks to all the sponsors and supporters of the event!”
Dawn of New Era for British Surfing
The knock-on effects of the “People’s British Nationals” are already showing results: Legendary former Pipe Master Joey Buran has agreed to stick with the GB Juniors and flew in at his own expense from California to attend the event. Working alongside some of the best known coaches and judges in the country Joey will be helping to train and select the GB Junior team for the World Juniors in Panama next April.
Meanwhile Nigel Semmens has stepped forward to lend his support to a determined effort by surfers to sort out their struggling NGB once and for all. A new steering committee was formed during the event with the aim of taking the lead role as the voice for surfers in future governance.
“Looking at other sports surfing is massive in participation numbers, but tiny in terms of our representation at government level. And internationally we are a joke… no one takes much notice of UK surfing or surfers and you have to ask why that is.” said Matt Knight “Our vision is to build a strong foundation based on clubs, schools and grassroots projects, whilst at the same time ensuring that the talent which comes out of that programme can be nurtured. We are going to put British surfing back on the international map where it should be”.
For news and info go to www.britishsurfchamps.co.uk
Masters (35+) Redwood Mark Vaughan
Open Protest Stuart Campbell
Open Women Nalu Beads Sarah Beardmore
u-18 Boy s Ripcurl Harry Timson
u-18 Girls Ripcurl Tassy Swallow
u-16 Boy Xcel Jobe Harriss
u-14 boys Calypso Harry De Roth
u-14 Girls Calypso Flora Lawton
u-12 open Calypso Liam Murray Strout
Oneill Highest Wavescore Oli Adams
Firewire Biggest Move (Juniors) Luke Dillon
National Trust Awards Flora Lawton, Harry DeRoth
Offsure Surf Best Overall Ben Bennet
Full Results Table
1st Mark Vaughan, 2nd Lee Bartlett, 3rd Chris Harris, 4th Greg Owen
1st Stuart Campbell, 2nd Jayce Robinson, 3rd Gordon Fontaine, 4th Oli Adams
Nalu Beads Women’s Open
1st Sarah Beardmore, 2nd Hannah Harding, 3rd Anne Marie LeTallec,4th Joanne Dennison
Ripcurl Under 18 Boys
1st Harry Timson, 2nd Luke Dillon, 3rd Ben Bennett, 4th Tom Good
Ripcurl Under 18 Girls
1st Tassy Swallow, 2nd Lucy Campbell, 3rd Laura Crane, 4th Gabi Rowe
Xcel Under 16 Boys
1st Jobe Harriss, 2nd Simon Trebilcock, 3rd Paddy Daniels, 4th Miles Lee Hargreaves
Calypso Surfers Under 14 Boys
1st Harry De Roth, 2nd Max Payne, 3rd Rhys Barfield, 4th Angus Scotney
Calypso Surfers Under 14 Girls
1st Flora Lawton, 2nd Peony Knight, 3rd Isobell Evans, 4th Emily Williams
Calypso Under 12′s
1st Liam Murray Strout, 2nd Joe Harding ,3rd Gabriel Ley, 4th Cieran Hughes