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.
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