Jesus Longboard Classic - 16th Oct 2010 - What a fantastic day
18th October 2010
The weekend of October 16-17th saw the running of the fourth, increasingly popular Jesus Longboard Classic at Polzeath beach in North Cornwall. The event which originated as an off shoot to one of the longest running contests in the UK, the Jesus Surf Classic, was designed specifically to give the UK’s longboarders their own recognition within the Jesus Surf Series.
Due to the questionable surf conditions forecasted for Sunday, the organizers, Christian Surfers, in conjunction with partners Tubestation, took a decision to cap the number of contestants to 65 and run the event off in one full, but long day on Saturday 16th October. With over Ł1000, on offer to the winners the day dawned with a cold crisp autumn feel with slight off shore winds, a small but clean swell, and bright sunshine throughout the day. Right from the start, the competitor’s attitudes were fantastic as all agreed that whilst the conditions were smaller than they would like, all were still very keen to surf the contest and put on the best performance. The day started with a great free surfers breakfast provided by the ‘Tubestation’, an amazing converted, friendly, community based church, literally 30 yards from the beach of Polzeath. This remained the head quarters for the day and provided some warm shelter, surf movies as well as food and drink throughout the day. With the first heats under way it was clear that the performances, despite losing one or two of the key surfers to the world games in Peru, was going to be just as high.
With a very strong field in the Masters, well-known North Devon based ‘legend’ Eric Davis took the victory ahead of Wales Colin Bright in a close final. Peter Dudley from Newport came third with Adam Chell from Falmouth fourth, and South African Graham Hetem took a very respectable fifth place in his first contest in many years.
The Junior (U18’s) category was also tightly contested and saw Hayle’s Josh Daniel winning the event for the first time, in second place was Bude’s Lewis Strich who was closely followed by Alex Maddocks in third, and Josh Job in fourth. In the women’s event, Julia Marlow from Wrafton who was second in 2009, took the title ahead of Alexa Poppe who placed fourth last year, and new comers Helen Sherman and Becky Stanhope claimed third and fourth respectively.
The ‘Open’ event saw the leader position swinging a number of ways during the event, with both Tristan Mather and Angus Murray getting off to a great start, Nico Keruzec clawing it back, and then towards the end Ben Howarth from Barnstaple storming through with a highest wave score of 9.23 to add to his 6.93, and finally taking the victory. Angus Murray from South Devon took second place with Perranporths Nico in third, South Coast rider Tristan Mather from Poole was fourth, and Barnstable’s Greg Norman took fifth place.
In the additional annual awards, the Most Progressive Manoeuver (Sponsored by Surfs Up) was won by Lewis Strich with a great grab rail turn, whilst Newport’s Peter Dudley took the award for Longest Nose Ride (Sponsored by Wavehunters) with a nose ride of over second seconds.
In the closing speeches from the winners, both Tubestation and Christian Surfers were thanked for their organization and their hospitality, and contest director Phil Williams also wanted to say a huge thank you to the Christian Surfers volunteers that came from around the country, to the local community in Polzeath, and in particular to the sponsors, Nine Plus, Surfs Up, and Wave Hunters. In addition he also thanks the Cornwall Council for the use of their beach, as well as the RNLI Lifeguards and a number of other community contributions into this event. Finally a big thanks to the provider of the waves, and creator of the ocean.
With the sun setting over a now near calm sea the contestants, helpers and sponsors headed home. On reflection it was a good decision to run the contest in one day as Sunday dawned with minimal surf conditions. For full details and more photos, check out www.christiansurfers.co.uk or the 360 photography website which has hundreds of pictures from the event at www.360photography.co.uk. On Sunday morning the contest HQ reverted back to a type of ‘Church’ with croissants, coffee, and a soulful chat !
That concludes the Jesus Surf Series for the year, however Christian Surfers volunteers will continue to support both the BSA and the UK Pro Tour, and will be at Tynemouth this weekend serving teas and coffees to the officials and contestants at what looks to be a great event with good surf. If you would like to know anymore about the work of Christian Surfers UK or the ‘Tubestation’ then please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either via the websites www.christiansurfers.co.uk or www.tubestation.org or e-mail Phil Williams philchristiansurfers.co.uk