Surf's Up

Published : Fri 6th Jul Author : Rob Joules - Watersports Coordinator

For the first time, the 2012 British Longboard National Championships were held at Crantock Beach, just outside Newquay.

Supported by the National Trust, the British Longboard Unions (BLU) Environmental Partners,Crantock Beach was the venue for the second round of the 2012 British Longboard National Championships held over the weekend of the 30 June and 1 July.

Our North Cornwall team, led by Mike Simmonds and Lucy Parkins organised a great venue which included tents, hammocks and relaxing bean bags for the competitors. The Trust provided vehicles for the judges, with extra support in the form of several full time volunteer rangers, helping to ensure the event ran on time and that staff were protected from the elements.

Conditions on the Saturday were a choppy 3-4 ft swell, combined with a stiff south-westerly making conditions difficult. However, this didn't stop the 70 competitors give some outstanding performances.

Ben Haworth was back defending his 2011 Open division title against Ben Skinner, current European Champion, and Adam Griffiths, last years English title holder was also competing in his home break. Ben Haworth, Ben Skinner and Adam Griffiths are all National Trust Surf Ambassadors - each carry the National Trust oak leaf on their boards and volunteer to champion the work of the Trust around the coast.

The finals on Sunday saw another sunny day with equally tough conditions but some excellent surfing, especially in the Open where Ben Skinner of Perranporth won the event, closely followed by Newquay's Adam Griffiths.

Ben Haworth the 2011 champion came third, with youngster Josh Le Marquand from Jersey placed fourth. The ladies events enjoyed more entrants - requiring four heats - and the newly introduced Under 16 Girl's event had more competitors, five of whom were game enough to paddle out in very testing conditions.

Vic Danks, BLU secretary, said that many of the contestants expressed their appreciation for the support given to the Championships by the Trust. 'While the local rangers had helped run surf events before, having to cope with 70 competitors was a first, and they did an outstanding job.'

Rob Joules, our Watersports Coordinator said 'The BLU ran a really professional surf contest and it was great to be able to host it at Crantock, an area that the National Trust works so hard to conserve. The rugged landscape was a perfect backdrop for some excellent surfing in typically testing English conditions.'

Photo credit: Guy Harrop