The third annual SEED Surf Conference (Social, Economical, Environmental and Developmental) took place in Newquay last Saturday and to bolster a great roster of inspirational speakers, ideas and positive futures it had it had cakes worthy of recognition.
Surfers Against Sewage founding member, Chris Hines MBE, opened the conference with a strong message and strong sense of humour. He spoke about respect; to the environment, to each other and to other surfers in the water. However, he also encouraged the use of the ‘OK’ hand sign in the line-up, to call people out on their rudeness under a veil of personal politeness and imply they might be compensating for….well, a small willy.
On a more series note, Sam Bleakley shared two of his most recent projects; taking us in film to China and Liberia. He explored how surfing is helping to rejuvenate Hainan’s ocean culture, and rebuild the coastal communities of Liberia following their harrowing civil war. In Liberia Sam reconnects with the grown men he’d met as children in 2004, who’d lived through the conflict to tell their story. Sam spoke of his desire to return to Africa, as the Ebola crisis hit just after he’d left.
Jeremy Goffin from the University of Lincoln then brought us firmly back down to British soil, by speaking about his art and design experiences of living in the North East of England. Hailing from a home-break of “naturally brown waters”, Jeremy’s work explored the inspirations of cold-water surfing and encouraged us to think of our own personal surfing utopia.
The inspiration and healing of our sport was a key theme to the day, as Joe Tailor from the Wave Project went on to describe how surfing can open the doors to happiness; positive functioning, resilience, mindfulness and empathy. David Smith from Surfers Against Sewage also reinforced surfing as being a force for change by starting his talk with the quote about their growth; “Not just surfers, no longer just sewage”. Now a parliamentary player, SAS is a driving force in the UK’s enviro-surf movement.
The Safety Education Awareness Student Project (SEAS) talk was presented by Severiano Tiberi and… oh!…Me! I We spoke about our new, national sea-safety education campaign in partnership with Surf Lifesaving GB and Cornwall College. Our team of FdSc Surf Science and Technology students and lifeguards are aiming to educate children in Primary schools nationally, about basic sea-sense and how to keep themselves and others safe whilst at the beach or the coast. Most people agreed we were the best.
If you needed a reason to open a bottle of wine then Teacher, Riky Martinez and Adam Porter from Hemlock Surf might have been giving you licence. They spoke passionately about our own responsibility to think and buy with environmental consideration, by showing their own latest developments in eco-surf hardware, including a surfboard with a core made entirely of wine corks. Newquay Community Orchard even sponsored and planted a young sapling in the support of the conference.
Congratulations to the students of Cornwall College for another fantastic event. We at drift are looking forward to next years gathering.
More information and interviews with the speakers can be found on their facebook page.
Event sponsors: Gusto Deli Bar, Short and Sweet Cakes, Zumba-tastic, Cornwall College