The UK’s competitive surf scene last weekend showed its prowess at the most competitive and electrifying event in years, as the 2013 POSCA British National Surf Championships went off in typically British style.
Entry levels soared, and any records for previous event participation were shattered as surfers from throughout the UK, Europe and as far as Bali and Mexico descended upon Fistral Beach, Newquay, with the goal of National success firmly at the forefront of their minds.
“This event continues to grow and gain momentum, it’s astounding and inspiring to see such a spectrum of ages come together for a celebration of surfing like this” said Head of Christian Surfers/Surfing GB director Phil Williams. Event organisers at Surfing GB and The UK Pro Surf Tour harnessed this enthusiasm and set about creating an event and platform worthy of awarding prestigious British titles upon. The event would also see the crowning of the UKPST tour champions at the final tour stop of 2013, however Mother Nature had a few tricks up her sleeve.
4-6ft waves and moderate offshore winds greeted competitors at Fistral Beach for day 1 of the 3 day championships and competition soon got under way, with the Men’s open divisions battling out in front of the growing crowds. The UK’s best Surfers showed off their impressive range of abilities as the barrels spat and airs were thrown. Emotions ran high and crucial showdowns played out in the waves like a well written drama. The Men’s Open progressed all the way through to the completion of the Semi-finals in pumping high tide conditions.
The Women’s Open Division also put on a show and undoubtedly inspired the next generation of grommy girls as they watched in awe. In addition to the surfing, spectators and surfers alike were kept entertained by sponsors POSCA, who were on hand with their creative pen collections for cap & board designs.
Day 2 kicked off in 3-4ft cross shore conditions and the Masters surfers rose to the challenge, with an abundance of stylish cutbacks and flowing turns. Around mid-morning as the sun shone brightly and the musical delights of the Redbull DJ’s echoed around the beach, an ominous weather front appeared on the horizon and then struck with intense ramifications.
Conditions rapidly changed as the wind transformed into to a gusty 30-40mph onshore Westerly, competition was put on hold and relocated to nearby by Tolcarne Beach. Conditions at Tolcarne were fun with 2-3ft waves and a brisk wind and competition resumed, however Mother Nature had further plans for the storm and it progressed into 70-80mph driving wind and rain and swells peaking around the 15-20ft range causing competition to be put on hold until 8am on day 3.
8am on Day 3 of the championships came and went as conditions were still unsafe for competition and disappointingly The Under 12’s Open and Boys/Girls Under 14’s divisions were all postponed until a later date. Organisers and surfers alike eagerly anticipated forecast improvements in conditions and right on time for the 11am call the conditions changed and Surfers entered the water for the remaining heats and finals.
An incredible afternoon of competitive surfing then unfolded in front of the Judges eyes with National titles & the Pro Tour Champions being decided in Tolcarne’s 3-4ft clean wedge style waves. Across the age groups, high octane performances, fuelled by soaring levels of stoke, saw aerials, new school turns and old school carves keeping the judges on their toes in the frenetic, action packed heats.
Progressive technical surfing saw St.Ives’ Harry De Roth and Croyde’s Peony Knight take the Under 16’s titles. Under 18’s titles saw two young surfers with bright futures ahead confirm their surfing intentions, with Jobe Harris and Keshia Eyre taking home the crowns for their respective divisions. The P20 Pro Junior was a tightly contested battle that eventually saw an inform Luke Dillon use his local knowledge to earn the win.
The seniors division saw a significant rise in entry levels, with a high standard all round, but in the end Bude’s Mike Raven used his mature yet progressive skills to take a well-deserved win. The Masters division again saw an increased entry level and Jersey’s Scott Eastwood confidently took the title. The veterans division was closely contested but local Roger Knight used his impressive power to get the scores and earn the win.
The Women’s division finalists battled hard in the testing conditions and but Keshia Eyre successfully defended her 2012 title and added the prestigious 2013 trophy to the collection. The Men’s open was a truly dramatic final in which Portugal’s Luis Eyre struggled to piece together the scores he needed to take the British and UKPST titles, opening the door for local lad and defending champion Alan Stokes who fought off the challenge of Russell Winter and Jobe Harris to take both The British Championships title and earn the points needed to pip Luis to the 2013 UKPST victory.
“Taking the titles in that fashion was just incredible,” said the UK Open Champion, Alan Stokes. “The support I’ve received was inspiring leading to that final and having my lucky charm Nan there to cheer me on made it even more special”.
Surfing GB and The UKPST would like to thank POSCA for sponsoring the event along with Calypso Soft Drinks, Offsure Insurance, Redbull, P20 Once a day sun protection, Adam’s Surfboards, SNUGG wetsuits, Beach Bum, 110% Surfing Techniques for their support and enabling the event to operate.
1st – Alan Stokes
2nd – Russell Winter
3rd – Jobe Harris
4th – Luis Eyre
Under 16 Girls
1st – Peony Knight
2nd – Emily Williams
3rd – Flora Lawton
4th – Emily Currie
Under 16 Boys (Supported by Beach Bum)
1st – Harry De Roth
2nd – Rhys Barfield
3rd – Joe Harding
4th – Jack Verbraeken
Under 18 Girls (Supported by SNUGG Wetsuits)
1st – Keshia Eyre
2nd – Ellen Harding
3rd – Flora Lawton
4th – Jadie Lowe
Under 18 Boys (Supported by Adams Surfboards)
1st – Jobe Harris
2nd – Gearoid McDaid
3rd – Harry De Roth
4th – Rhys Barfield
P20 Pro Junior
1st – Luke Dillon
2nd – Jobe Harris
3rd – Miles Lee Hargreaves
4th – Josh Braddock
1st – Mike Raven
2nd – James Mitchell
3rd – Scott Eastwood
4th – Joel Gray
1st – Scott Eastwood
2nd – Paul Kirby
3rd – Mark Vaughan
4th – Mike Raven
1st – Roger Knight
2nd – Tony Good
3rd – Mark Oliver
4th – Anthony Kilday
5th – Andy Sturt
1st – Keshia Eyre
2nd – Lucy Campbell
3rd – Peony Knight
4th – Hannah Harding
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