Posts Tagged ‘Championships’

Keith Williams & Friends

Personalities

Well, there have been so many. Some have had a mention earlier, others worthy of inclusion in this tome would be, in no particular order:-

Derek Rust, always known as BH Rusty, to differentiate him from Rusty Long, so called because of his propensity to exclaim ’Bloody Hell’ to everything. Derek worked in London during the week, always having to wear a suit & tie, and so when at home on the Island at the weekend, went about looking like a scarecrow. He owned a 1950’s Austin Metropolitan coupe, in which he would roar into Compton car park, jam on the handbrake & leap out before the thing had come to a standstill. Inevitably, one day he miscalculated & hit something, unfortunately I can’t remember what. Derek was always enthusiastic & would talk you into going in on rubbish because he’d convinced you ( & himself!) that the waves would get better as the tide came up / went out / wind dropped / picked up etc. After a sojourn in California he’s returned to the Island and can still be seen eying up the waves at Compton now & again.

Robert Haines, better known to one & all as Rex started surfing in the 70’s with his buddies Mike Thomson & Dave Downer & ran an old Ford Anglia until it was well past it’s sell by date. Rex was always there when the surf was up and was always up for a trip away, at least until he & the other Island surfers with him got thrown off the Trevella campsite for being drunk & disorderly!

Ron Munt, not a surfer, I know, but as dispenser of teas, coffees & High-energy fruit pies, most of us oldsters will remember him with some affection. Not, however, the lady who asked him for some water one day with which to take some medicine; he said that the water was free, but he’d have to charge her 2p for the cup!

Geoff ‘Ned’ Gardener, now sadly gone for many years. Ned was introduced to me all those years ago on my first visit to Clare Cottage as the club’s Big Wave Rider. And it was true, I saw Ned take the biggest wave at Compton from right out back on a gnarly, wind blown, winter swell on a long board with no leash or wetsuit & he rode it, white water & all, right up the beach. Rory Angus was coming down the hill from Freshwater towards Compton Chine & saw Ned take off & Ned was just walking up the beach as Rory got out of his car at Compton; that’s how far out he was. I also remember one club evening at Clare Cottage when Ned came in & announced that his new board had arrived from Bilbo’s. At that, we all trooped off to his house to have a look. I don’t think his Mum was too pleased to have 30 or so surfers crowding into their lounge to admire Ned’s board which had pride off place, nestled down among the cushions on the sofa. Ned liked a beer now & again and at one of the Porthtowan Championships that we attended, he staggered back from the bogs in the Porthtowan Inn mumbling about a dog that was as big as he was. We eventually discovered an ordinary sized dog & drew the conclusion that Ned had been on his hands & knees at the time! Ned also had the endearing habit of calling everyone ‘Gilbert’.

Bob Ward’s family ran the Bugle Hotel in Newport & I have fond memories of having days out with him & Rusty Long, chasing waves. I don’t think Bob had a car at that time & Rusty would occasionally pick him up as well as me on the way out to Compton. Bob could be a bit brash at times, but he was a better surfer than Russ & I put together, and then some, and he would always ask us up to his room in the hotel when we got back & order up a huge tray of tea, toast & marmalade in a catering sized tin for us all. I remember one big swell at Freshwater when Bob decided that it would be easier to paddle out from the beach on the west end of the bay, rather than out from in front of the Albion. It took him ages & I didn’t think he would make it as he was getting hit by every wave. He was determined, though, and after about half an hour’s paddling, he made it outside.

Clive Richardson is another guy that deserves a mention here, not necessarily because of great adventures shared, but for the many, many laughs we had together. Remember the Pork Scratchings, Clive?

Then there was Dave Paddon, again, gone now for many years. Dave was a hardened smoker & could often be seen knee paddling out on smaller days with a cigarette between his lips. He even took to wearing a wide brimmed hat, which he said kept his fag dry if he had to punch through a lip!

There were, and are, of course, many, many others, too many to mention individually, but I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for making my life so much richer than it may have otherwise been.

Up to Date

In the early 90s I injured my back & had to lay off surfing for a couple of years until it got better. When I restarted, I spent about 9 months trekking out to the coast in search of waves, but there seemed little to be had. One weekend, the weather charts looked good for Sunday, & it was an early tide so I dragged myself out of bed and pulled into Compton by 6 o’clock only to be faced with a swell of about 6 inches. “That’s it” I thought, “I’m not going to waste any more time or money on this” and so more or less gave up surfing on the spot. As it happens, my back problem recurred shortly after and has only receded in the last year or so.

When I look back to the 60s, it’s a wonder that anyone surfed on the Island. None of the essentials were available locally, you couldn’t even get baggies (are they a thing of the past now?) & surfing sweatshirts on the Island. Perhaps that’s why so many people made their own kit & why Rog Cooper, Tad Ciastula & Derek Tompson eventually became fairly major suppliers in the industry.

They say that there are Surfers, and people who surf. I’ve always considered myself to be a Surfer and still do. I still go to the Basque country for my holidays when I can, and I still manage to boogie & bodysurf in the nice warm waters down there. A holiday isn’t a holiday unless there are waves to be had. I still have my 9 foot BoardWalk board and harbour some ambition to make a serious attempt to start surfing again when I have more time on my hands. I can’t think of a better way to keep fit into retirement; I’m sure that my years of surfing have helped me to keep reasonably fit until now.

I guess I’m old fashioned in that the modern trend for tricks, aerials, 360s etc is not how I want to surf. For me Surfing is about joining with nature, harnessing its power and going with the flow (typical ‘60s hippy outlook!), and not about obliterating the wave and trying to become absolute master of it. Humans will never become masters of the sea, it may allow them to utilise it for their own ends for a while, but they will never truly be its master.

Surf on.


2010 Interclubs Classic at Cranking Croyde

Press Release from Croyde Surf Club

* Croyde Surf Club Retain Interclubs Trophy after late fight back.
* Westward Ho! take Open division in tightly fought battle.
* Cornish Juniors Wrestle u-18 team title from Devon.

A Lucky strike with solid swell and offshore winds saw the 2010 Tiki National Interclubs Surfing Championships run, in classic contest conditions.

Organisers and sponsors alike had been nervously watching the charts for a week as a powerful early Winter Low spun across the Atlantic from Newfoundland, threatening onshore gales and torrential rain.

But in the end the storm split North and South, bringing light offshores and sunshine to North Devon, and pumping swell. The only damage was a shredded Marquee which ate itself in spectacular fashion on the day before the event.

With support from headline sponsors Tiki; and the Redbull crew on site with sounds and drinks; energy levels were sky-high amongst the 150 plus surfers who braved the paddle out on Saturday. From the contest site overlooking the break the gathered spectators winced and cheered epic rides, whilst hideous wipeouts in the heavy surf punctuated the generally high standard of surfing.

Clubs and teams from as far afield as The Isle of Wight, Boscombe and Truro descended on North Devon, determined to take the trophies on offer away from Croyde Surf Club, who in 2009 had dominated the event with wins in all categories. Intense local rivalry saw an equally strong challenge from the other North Devon clubs. Woolacombe Boardriders fielding two open and two junior teams, Saunton Hotdoggers entering the Open twice and Westward Ho! putting forward a heavy hitting crew.

At Half time on Saturday evening, the bookies sheets had been consigned to the bin: Croyde’s finest were lying in a dismal 4th as the reef-hardened dark horses from Westward Ho! had established a solid position in the Open Division. Powerful performances from Luke Parkhouse and Jordan Reed underpinning their lead. Woolacombe A and Saunton A sitting a close second and third respectively, were eyeing day 2 with eager anticipation.

On Peak ‘B’, the Junior division had ended with a battle of the mini-titans. Two rounds of top level performance surfing from some of the countries best young rippers ended with the Cornish Team Atlantic Coast Surf, run by Newquay legend Tony Good, coming out winners ahead of a strong Croyde ‘A’ team which had been widely tipped to retain their title. Croyde’s Alex Baker, Beau Bromham, Laura Crane and Taz Knight were unable to stop Tom Good, Harry Timson, Tassy Swallow and Angus Scotney from carrying away the trophy for ACS.

With all to play for, the banter in the aftermath of such an epic day was at fever pitch. Gulf Stream Shaper & DJ Jools Matthews eased the pain for the CSC contest crew in the party tent on Saturday night… and Sunday dawned to reveal a very contestable, and perfectly groomed swell.

Open Round Two opened with a bold tactical move from Woolacombe Club Captain Paul Barrington. Struggling to deal with ill disciplined team members who had failed to return from Saturday night revelry, Barrington attempted to field WBC ‘A’ team standout Stuart Campbell in two heats under the noses of Westward Ho! Sharp eyed Ho’s spotted the devious manoeuvre in time to protest & scupper the plan and Barrington was left to make a humiliating tour of the car park in search of a grommet to take the place of the missing Nick Thorn.

High levels of performance continued throughout Sunday. Isle of Wight Pro. Jonny Fryer posted an 8.5 single wave score in front of the judges on Peak A, threatening to further upset the rankings. Alex Baker hit back for Croyde A with his best heat of the contest, Gary Knights impressed for Boscombe, and Ben Howarth surfed a spectacular heat for Saunton. But with Westward Ho inexorably strengthening their grip on the leader board the Open title was wrapped up by a huge 15.73 heat score from Jordan Reed..

Croyde’s stranglehold on the on the Interclubs Trophy looked to be slipping, and it was down to their women to rescue the event for the Club. Fielding two strong teams Croyde women’s A and B racked up sufficient points to overcome the deficit from the Open/ Junior categories. Led by standout Andrea Lawrence they led CSC to a fine overall victory, with Laura Crane, Knight sisters Jemima, Harriet & Peony, Maisie and Flora Lawton and Lucy Campbell all pulling their weight.

BSA Contest Representative Pauly Jefferies commented that “the strength in depth of Croyde Surf Club was ultimately the decisive factor.” Matt Knight, the CSC contest director said; “It was fantastic to have such a strong entry from so many clubs, and the generally high level of surfing meant that there was doubt from the word go over what the result would be. Congratulations to Westward Ho! and ACS for their team prizes, it’s definitely a wake-up call to Croyde that victory may no longer be taken for granted in this event!”

Mountains of Bacon Butties, Gallons of Redbull and pumping swell contributed to the typically good natured Interclubs vibe. “There’s intense competitions for the trophies but everyone is so loved up I can hardly believe it” remarked one seasoned contest regular. “the commercial and individual focussed contests are just so much less fun, and seeing people cheering on their team mates really adds something to the spectator side of watching a comp.”

The Interclubs certainly offers something a bit different to regular format contests. “Surfing for your team means that people are generally looking out for each other as much as for themselves which is very refreshing” said one competitor. “there was one guy (Max Pechonis) who gave up his heat to help another surfer out because the grom had lost his board… and at one point a 12 year old girl stepped in to surf for an open division team from somewhere else in the country because their team member had had to go home…. It just wouldn’t happen at any other comp!”

The 2011 event will likely see intense competition across all divisions now that the contest has proved so close.

Results:

Tiki National Interclubs 2010

Open Division 1st Westward Ho!, 2nd Woolacombe A 3rd Croyde A

Women’s Division 1st Croyde ‘A’ 2nd Croyde ‘B’

Junior Division 1st Atlantic Coast Surf 2nd Croyde ‘A’ 3rd Woolacombe ‘A’

BSA Interclubs Trophy 1st Croyde Surf Club 2nd Woolacombe Boardriders 3rd Atlantic Coast Surf

Tiki Outstanding Surfer Awards. Jordan Reed, Andrea Lawrence, Max Pechonis.

Indoboard Big Move Award Gabriel Ley

Surfplugs Hideous Wipeout Award Ian Ramon Allison


Interclub Surfing Championships

Tiki Interclub Surfing Championships 2010

Here are three small movies I did on day 2 of the competition. The swell had dropped and the light was poor on the Sunday but here are Johnny, Andrew and Lee in their heats.


IOW Surf Club Frost Bite Series

IOW Surf Club Frost Bite Series – by Oliver Harvey & The Isle of Wight Surf Club

The first ‘Frost bite’ competition of six being held this winter, sponsored kindly by the boys at Rapanui was a great success.

Greeted with pretty grim onshore head-high waves at Compton, first up we saw the groms test the water. Both Robin & Dylan snagged plenty of waves each but Robin gradually took control with a couple of good waves to take the first event. The waves continue to prove challenging for the mens Open, as the pool of 16 riders entered the water in 4 man, 20 min heats.
Julie Tortajada, in the first quarter final, took the Ladies title getting several fun waves. From the first round the following progressed into the semis:

Heat 1:

1.Richard Gray

2. Jamie Whittle

Heat 2:

1. Nick Whittle

2. Foz Heat

Heat 3:

1. Jo Truman

2. Al Reed Heat

Heat 4:

1. Doug Richards

2. Matt Harwood

Semi One saw Douglas Richards start to show his quality, making some nice aggressive turns , and following him after a somewhat slow start, Jo’s local knowledge paid dividends, hooking into some good little rights, his smooth style saw him up his wave count and into second place only 0.5 points behind Dougie & just ahead of Rich who surfed well in both his heats.

In Semi Two, Matt, keen to progress, started with a bang – getting several scores on the board in quick succession. Al also posted some scores whilst Jamie & Nick, who both showed good form earlier on, were quiet until the last quarter, when Nick started to make a come-back, but too little, too late saw Al & Matt progress into the final

The Final was closely fought battle , the waves failed to improve, which saw the judges favourite going into the final, Doug, making a subdued start. We did see glimmers of his solid style, but the waves just didn’t go his way. Matt, with a great high scoring first wave, continued to post some respectable scores, streaking ahead on wave count alone, Al found a solid right all the way into the inside, showing some style with cross-steps & smooth cutbacks. Jo’s consistency and nack for finding those fun inside walls, meant he edged ahead of Al into second and Matt taking the top spot with skill & tenacity.

Final Scores:

1.Matt Harwood 11.83

2. Jo Truman 11.53

3. Al Reed 10.16

4. Doug Richards 9.63

The IOW Surf Club would like to say a big thank you for all turning up to make it a great little event. Hopefully we’ll see even bigger competitor numbers, in the next round in the IOW Surf Club Frost Bite series, as what seems like a 1/3 of the IOW surfers return from their Indonesian adventures! Boys, you missed out today !

A big shout out for all girls & groms wanting to get involved. I’m sure Julie, Robin & Dylan would love to beat you in heat & there’s hoodies, t-shirts & other prizes to be won !

It costs £2.50 per comp for existing members

£10 for non-members, which gives your Isle of Wight Surf Club Membership also including your BSA Membership www.britsurf.co.uk/bsa-membership

And that brings me to a last big thank you to Rapanui , who are very generously sponsoring every event of the Frost Bite Series.

For those who haven’t heard of them, Rapanui are an award winning Eco-Fashion company based/born’n’bred on the Isle of Wight.

They make some damm tasty ethical clothing using natural organic fabrics and manufactured using renewable energy in a Fair Wear Foundation audited, wind powered factory. Check them out:

www.rapanuiclothing.com/about

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All images coutesy of Emma Powell and Nick Martin