Contest report by Rich Unsworth
With a new sponsor the 4th event on the British Longboard Union calendar moved to Fistral Beach in Newquay. ‘The Stable’ pizza restaurant pulled out all the stops making Fistral Beach the perfect venue to host the final competition of the year.
Under cloudless skies and 2-3ft offshore conditions the first rounds got under way in the Open, Ladies and Masters divisions. With the smaller conditions some opted to ride performance boards while other preferred to break out the logs.
So with both longboard styles on show the judges had their work cut out for them. With the new event came some new competitors. Some having not competed for a few years and some for the first time but it was especially good to see the Jersey contingent back in the mix posting high scores and progressing through the rounds.
As the forecast for the following day began to look more and more marginal it was decided to try to run the Open in one day, along with the Under 18 Girls and U16 Cadets. In the Under 18 Girls final Emily Currie, fresh back from the Europeans in Morocco, dominated taking the win ahead of Beth Leighfield, Josie Pearce and Anya Burley.
Jordan Zervas posted the highest scores giving him the win in the Under 16 Cadets finals ahead of Tom Horn, Beth Leighfield, Rhys Burton and Joe Hornbuckle.
The Open final was then put on hold until the tide dropped back and spectators were then treated to what can only be described as High Tide Swell Board Carnage!
The Open Final then got under way. Ben Skinner set his stall out early with two back to back scores on the right over by the rocks as the other competitors were further down the beach.
Ben Haworth then came over to the right and proceeded to get barrelled on his log, also much to the delight of the spectators while Connor Griffiths and Sam Bleakley contented themselves over on the left.
After 25 minutes of wave for wave tit for tat Ben Skinner took the nod with Ben Haworth in 2nd, Connor Griffiths in 3rd and Sam Bleakley in 4th.
Fistral Beach always proves to be a great venue for spectators and with music and commentary of the surfing provided by The Stable this ensured all who watched got involved in the action. However, despite some serious wishful thinking the following day yielded uncontestable conditions and with regret Minnow Green, the contest director, took the sad decision to call the remainder of the event off.
A real pity to all those that worked tirelessly to get the event up and running. All was not lost though as The Stable has agreed to host the event again next year. The event closed with the presentations and the new British Champions were crowned.
Images with thanks from Richard Davies Farscapes: Lead image: Emily Currie (Queen of Longboard/U18 Girls Winner)
Final BLU placings for the year:
Mens Open: 1.Ben Skinner, 2.Sam Bleakley, 3.Ben Haworth, 4.Adam Griffiths
Ladies Open: 1.Claire Smale, 2.Jenny Bryant, 3.Charlotte Bayliss, 4.Katrina Beddoe
Masters: 1.Jason Gray, 2.Adam Chell, 3.Rich Unsworth, =4.Damien Hooker and Paul Keenan
Grand Masters: 1.Ray Lee, 2.Jerry Horsborough, 3.Colin Bright, 4.Ben Keay
U18 Boys: 1.Jack Unsworth, 2.Joe Hornbuckle, 3.Rhys Burton, 4.Max Hudson
U18 Girls: 1.Beth Leighfield, 2.Josie Pearce, 3. Emily Currie, 4.Angharad John
U16 Cadets: 1.Joe Hornbuckle, 2.Jordan Zervas, 3.Tom Horn, 4.Rhys Burton
Huge thanks again to The Stable restaurant for hosting the event for looking after all the competitors and officials and providing facilities that we certainly aren’t used to! Just don’t mention the rugby.