UK Pro Surf Tour - Croyde
SALTROCK OPEN - GOOD WEATHER, GOOD WAVES - A GREAT WEEKEND
TheUK Pro Surf Tour of 2009 got underway in fine style withthe SaltrockOpen in Croyde, North Devon. The event had been held off for a daytomake the most of the swell arriving on Sunday afternoon. We hadbrightsunshine all day Sunday with small 1-2ft waves that increased allday to asolid 3-4ft by late afternoon.
ChristianSurfers UK were there again as partners of the UKPro Surf Tour to serveteas, coffees, bacon butties and burgers from the BBQ.David Renyard andAsh Hodges were on the judging panel and Phil Williams andWill fromCroyde Beach Marshalled for the event. It was great to see CSmembersinvolved in all aspects of the contests and to hear the thanksand appreciation from Nic, contest MC, over the PA all day. A istestament to the years offaithful service to be able to continue to bea Christian presence in the UK professional surf community and be soaccepted.
The CSNorth Devon crew came out in force to serve allweekend and they werejoined by crews from Southampton and Bournemouth onSunday and a crewfrom Nailsea on the Monday. It was great to see CS membersfrom allparts of the UK come together to serve the UK surf community.Everyonedid a great job and helped the contest to run smoothly and keepeveryone feedand watered. Christian Surfers were also raffling asurfboard, donated by TadSurfshop in Exeter, to raise money for SurfRelief UK.
Sundaysaw all the younger competitors challenging for theirrespective titlesfrom U12 to Pro Junior. The event kicked off with the U12’sin clean1-2ft waves, which was won by Alex Gibson with some impressivesurfing.The U16 Boys title was taken by Leon Mansfield, despite slipping onhisway down the beach and having to surf his back-up board. GabiRowedisplayed some solid turns to take the U16 Girls. However it wasLewis Clintonwho was the star of Sunday with some outstanding surfingall day to see himtake the Pro Junior title in front of a packed Croydebeach. We also saw thefirst round of the Open displaying some greatsurfing in the increasing swell.Bizarrely this saw Justin Lee-Collinsfrom the Friday Night Project going upagainst Russell Winter! It wasall a bit of an anticlimax in the end withJustin failing to get pastthe first line of white water and scoring a 0.8 heat total.
After10 hours of judging and feeling slightly crispy fromthe sun, it wasstraight to bed (not before taking advantage of the facilitiesat BaggyLodge, thanks Mike!) for another early start to see who would taketheOpen and Women’s titles.
Despitethe forecast of rain and heavy onshore winds, the weather held off andthe clean 2-4ft waves held for the whole of Monday,peaking in the Opensemi finals, which produced a breathtaking heat that sawsuper powerfulturns of Russell Winter and Ariel trickery from Reuben Ash,which sawhim take the Relentless Big Move Award. Old School power up againstNewSchool tricks. Power came out on top in the end! The Open title wenttoIrish/Australian, Glen Hall, who was impressive all contest. Thewomen’s titlewas taken by WQS surfer Sarah Beardmore in her first UKPro Surf Tour event,just ahead of Gwen Spurlock, returning tocompetition after an horrific headinjury sustained last year in a wavepool.
A hugethanks to all the CS crew that turned out to serveand help make theevent run smoothly. You all did amazingly as we continue tobuildrelationships with the surfers and staff on the UK Pro Surf Tour.