Saturday the 25th October saw the 2nd Edition of the Approaching Lines 5 to 1 Fin Fair, presented by Reef go off. On the morning that saw summer officially transition into winter, finned fanatics of all persuasions came together at Porthtowan, Cornwall for this one-day gathering celebrating the art of wave-riding and the humble skeg.
With an emphasis on good vibes, good rides and good times, the contest – open to guys, girls and groms – consisted of five categories: single fin; twinnie; Thruster, quad and 5 fin, with a winner in each receiving accolades, a trophy and a set of Shapers Fins.
Solid overhead swell in the six foot plus range greeted the crew in what could definitely be called ‘challenging conditions’, with a cheeky southerly wind adding a little spice to proceedings. The heats were soon in the water and it was clear that everyone was embracing the contest criteria laying down smooth, expressive surfing with power and stoke, while balls out going for broke. Impressing early on were Mischa Maguire posting one of the highest scoring waves, Porthtowan local Ben Davey who charged his heat but took a pounding in the shore break that left him unable to take up his well earned berth in the final and Chris Webb who laid down some huge moves.
In the single fin final, on an original 1970’s Tris board shaped by legendary craftsman Chops Lascelles, Jack Croker was defending his title against smooth lines from Adam Jones, Ryan Manetta and Jimbo Bennett – with Newquay’s Jimbo putting down some critical moves to take the number one slot. In the twinnies Gee Piper claimed the win against Adam Wheeler, Archie “Grom” Cross and Matthew Oldfield. Aggie charger Josh Ward took down Adam Hewitt, Jimbo Bennett and Chris Webb to claim the Thruster win while in the Quads Newquay’s Max Turner was the victor, threading into one of the event’s few barrels to beat Mike Keep, Chris Webb, Rich Braham and Sarah Bentley. The paddle out for the quintet of 5 fin finalists coincided with the biggest set of the day rolling through, but Mount Hawke local Jan Clark revelled in the conditions snagging a bomb with aplomb and the win from Richard Vaughan, Sarah Bentley, Rich Pope and Chris Webb.
And so, to the grand final, the clash of the champions. Jimbo Bennet, Gee Piper, Josh Ward, Max Turner and Jan Clark faced off for the title of King of the Fins. As the crowds massed on the beach to cheer on their favoured fin set-up, Josh took an early lead and looked like he might run away with the title before Gee dropped into a drainer and laid down some super stylish turns to take the lead. The crowd were on tenter hooks, with Approaching Lines’ Nick Holden reeling off manoeuvre by manoeuvre on the spot commentary through the megaphone eclipsing anything the ASP desk can deliver. Josh, needing a medium score paddled into a buzzer-beater, breath was collectively held but as the judges score dropped, it was clear that Gee Piper, representing the mighty twin fin, had held onto his lead.
Elevated above the crowd, Gee’s golden crown glistened in the Porthtowan sunlight. He had journeyed far, from the northern lands of Newquay, braved the traverse through the Perranporth hinterlands and done battle on the sandy fringes of P’Town. But to the victor goes the spoils. He arrived a man, but left the KING OF THE FINS! approachinglines.com