Recently we had the pleasure of being involved in the first British Longboard Union first championship at Woolacombe Beach.We’re the environmental partners for the event, with local sponosor Cook Island Pub from Mullacott Cross and Old Guy’s Rule clothing.
The first day dawned bright and sunny – despite many weather reports to the contrary and we got set up the beach early to get the competition off to an early start. The bean bag chill out tent was a great hit with spectators and the event ran without a hitch. Saturday night Cook Island provided a hugely popular Saturday night carvery – hungry surfers can eat and eat!
Conditions on Saturday were a crumbly 2ft and onshore. Whilst not the best, it didn’t stop the sixty or so competitors producing some outstanding performances. Sunday saw an early start in an attempt to pre-empt the forecasted onshore gale. Conditions were tough; however there was some excellent surfing, especially in the Open where Ben Skinner (current European Champion) was awarded a 10 by one judge. This resulted in him taking the men’s final against Ben Hawath (last year’s winner) and Adam Griffiths (last years English title holder), with only a point separating 1st and 4th position.
The new Grand Masters division included new competitors as well as some who had moved from the Masters which remained fully subscribed. The Ladies division also enjoyed an expanded entry. The newly introduced U16 Girls division produced two competitors who were game enough to paddle out on the Sunday for a surf-off in shocking conditions. Hats off to these youngsters for having a go!
Rob Joules, Watersports Co-ordinator for the National Trust, said: ‘BLU organised a really professional surf contest and it was great to be able to host it in an area that the National Trust works so hard to conserve. It was brilliant to see all ages competing and there was a really great sociable atmosphere all weekend.’
And as for the team of us there from the Woolacombe Ranger Team, Jemma, Jonathan, Roger – and myself and Nicky – it was a great event. Nothing better than a lot of early activity to get set up – and the chance to watch the comp on the beach all day!