Sunsets and surf; this year’s Boardmasters Festival had them in abundance, as well as abounding talent on both sea and stage. This was a new and improved Boardmasters all round.
Sparkling seas and sunscreen were Sunday’s order of the day on a heaving Fistral Beach, as the last of the surf competitions concluded with more international talent than ever before performing on the water.
The surfers were worthy rivals to the artists performing at Watergate bay and spectators crowded round the stage to witness the new Men’s and Women’s WSL 1000 Longboard champions being carried up the beach before being crowned.
High tide had brought the action right up to the feet of those lining the water’s edge as the surfers manoeuvred their way up to the sand for maximum points.
The Women’s Final was a class act, contested by Reunion Islander Alice Lemoigne and American Rachael Tilley.
Alice was crowned European Longboard Champion for the third time after victory in her Semi, against friend and fellow Islander Victoria Vergara. Competing against the reigning Women’s World Champion Rachael Tilley in the Final, these girls were worthy opponents; Alice eventually claiming victory and retaining her Boardmasters title.
The Men’s Longboard event saw French brothers Edouard and Antoine Delpero competing against each other in the Semis, in a repeat of last years’ final.
The result, after an affable battle which saw the lead see-saw from one brother to the other, had the same outcome as last year with Edouard progressing to the Final. Emilen Fleury also from France provided the opposition, having beaten the last remaining Brit, Adam ‘Bearman’ Griffiths in his Semi Final.
The compatriots courteous on the beach were firm competitors on the waves, with only one clear point separating their scores; Edouard was the final victor, being carried up the beach to the podium where he was presented with his trophy and liberally doused in Champagne.
So with the action finishing on the beach it only remained for James Bay to close the festival out as Headline act on the Main Stage.
There was something for everyone music wise this year, from Chase and Status and Deadmouse taking control with huge dance sets to a Gabrielle Aplin in the big tent and Betty the Shark playing the view stage. Varied from popular to new and unknown, the line up was bigger and better than most years before it.
So with another stunning sunset over both beach and bay, we said goodbye to Boardmasters for another year. Roll on an even bigger and better Boardmasters 2017.
Words Suzanne Gilbert