Posts Tagged ‘South Coast’

1978 South Coast Contest

Wight Surf History have been given some great pics taken by Rog Powley of the 1978 South Coast Contest, including shots of Dave Gray, Keith Williams and Sid Pitman. The winner of the competition was Guy Penwarden from Wessex Surf Club. In 1976 surfing for Shore Surf Club, ex English Champion and Honorary President of […]


Juniors – 2011 South Coast Surfing Championships

Day 2 of the South Coast Surfing Championships saw an early start at Compton Bay for all involved. After the postponement of the competition on the Saturday and swell due to build overnight, Matt Harwood had asked everyone to be at the beach for 7am for a 7.30am start.

I briefly checked Freshwater Bay on my way to Compton and the swell had definitely arrived. When I got to Compton there was a debate as to whether the competition should be moved to Freshwater Bay or even Niton. I was keen to have it moved to Freshwater Bay but the general opinion was for it to stay at Compton as the bay was out of control (later I was informed that a few guys had attempted to surf Freshwater Bay and had taken an absolute pounding). Matt made the right choice and opted to stay at Compton and start with the Juniors at 7.45am.

As the heats were being read out a huge set came into Compton and it looked really heavy. Extra safety precautions were put into place with the competitors being briefed about how to signal the beach if any of them were unhappy. There were definitely a few concerned faces but water safety was on hand from Chris Mannion and James Ranson if needed.

At one point James Ranson lost his board and was left with a long swim to the beach. Chris Mannion took great delight in this, and paddled over to give James a ride back to the beach telling everyone he had had to rescue James too. James got his own back later by becoming the 2011 South Coast Open Champion.

The Juniors were encouraged to stay on the inside and catch the re-formed waves but the rip still ensured that water safety guys was kept busy when competitors were swept too close to rocks or the wreck. One of the Juniors made it out the back and managed to catch one of the set waves, but it was before his heat had started and he then took about 10 waves on the head before deciding to come in and surf the re-forms with the other competitors.

As the Junior heats went on, the waves on the inside were getting better as the tide pushed up and they put on an impressive performance. Future South Coast Champions were really making the most of the inside waves. The Juniors surfed through to the Semi-finals and then had a break with the final scheduled for the mid afternoon.

The weather was awful with drizzle for most of the day and it was so dark you would almost think it was the middle of winter. This didn’t seem to put people off coming to watch as the car park was completely full and cars were parked all down the road along the grass bank too.

The Girls Junior Final saw IOW Surf Club’s Kirra Bell against Lucy Howell from Shore Surf Club. A brand new NSP surfboard sponsored by Rapanui was up for grabs in this final and both girls started well catching lots of waves. Eventually Lucy got the better for Kirra finding a couple of waves with a short clean wall on the inside to become Junior Girls 2011 South Coast Champion.

It was an all Island Final, and with the boys getting some free surfing in at lunchtime you could see we were in for a great final. It was fantastic to see the the future of Island surfing with Robin Forrest, Matt Townsend, Dom Arnold and Thomas Francis battling it out, wave for wave to become the South Coast Champion. Robin Forrest came out on top with a couple of great waves coming off the bottom and hitting the lip, sending spray everywhere.


The South Coast Surfing Contest

After several meetings with the South Coast Surf Club guys at various venues over time, they said it would be a good idea to have a strictly South Coast competition, held on the Island.

Having organised several club competitions, the committee thought it would be just a case of more of the same. So it was for the first year, but by the 2nd or 3rd years people from other clubs were expecting a more professional approach following the British Surfing Association’s guide lines with ‘proper’ judges etc, not the ad-hoc arrangements that had suited us over the years.

I should mention at this point that, in addition to the South Coast Surfing Club there was the Wessex Surf Club, a club from West Wittering, the Ordnance Survey Surf Club from Southampton, Brighton Surf Club, the London Surf Club, Hayling Island Surf Club and the East Kent Surf Club all clamouring to take part. What had started as a bit of fun rapidly deteriorated into grumblings and protests about the somewhat amateurish organisation over the course of 3-4 years. This was a shame because the majority of visiting surfers actually enjoyed their visits to the Island.

At the first contest, I was fortunate enough to progress as far as the semi-finals with local knowledge playing a major part in my success. There were many others from the Island who took part over the years, but I believe the most successful was Sid, who made the final one year. Maybe the time has come, with local surfers getting towards the top of the UK rankings, to reprise this South Coast only event.


South Coast Surfing Championships

South Coast Surfing Competition

The South Coast Surfing Championships is on again. Presented by the Isle of Wight Surf Club and Rapanui, the event is set to be the weekend of the 15th and 16th October 2011 with a back up for 2 weeks later the Halloween weekend (29th-30th October). The Wight Surf History is proud to say we are heavily involved in helping and supporting this event throughout.

The event is hoped to be held at Compton, Hanover Point, Isle of Wight but this will obviously depend on waves and weather. Entry to the event is limited so beach entries on the day will down to the discretion of the organisers.

Entry fee is per division – £10, Juniors (Under 18) – £5

Entry will include a free limited edition organic Rapanui t-shirt

The Divisions will be:-

Open
Junior (Under 18s)
Women
Masters (35+)
Longboard
Best Surf Club

The Isle of Wight Surf Club are having some great prizes hand made especially for the competition and numerous prizes have been donated from sponsors.


Isle of Wight Surf History

Here is an excerpt about the Isle of Wight from Roger Mansfield’s new book ‘The Surfing Tribe’ A History of Surfing in Britain’ Roger Backhouse and his friends Mike Hutchinson, Sid Pitman, Ben Kelly and a handful of others are attributed with being the first island residents to start surfing in 1964. They picked up […]