Christian Surfers UK

Simply On A Mission

Christian Surfers UK

Event Info

Date: 14th - 15th September 2013

Location: Croyde

Website: click here

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21st Jesus Surf Classic

One of the longest running surf competitions in UK was once again held over the weekend of 14th and 15th of September at its traditional home of Croyde Bay in North Devon. The 21st Jesus Surf Classic or as it's known simply as ‘The Jesus’ this year attracted over 130 competitors in eight different categories, in what turned out to be a fantastic but challenging weekend. Surfers travelled from throughout the South West, and it was great to see such a strong welsh contingent.

With very variable surf forecast for the previous 10 days, the organisers had their work cut out about timings and whether to hold the contest over the weekend or postpone it. The organisers Christian Surfers UK, who are passionate about their surfing as well as their faith, obviously prayed for guidance, and it was felt that the right decision was to hold the competition.

The call was made to hold the younger age category events on the Saturday, with the senior events checking in on Sunday morning, and this strategy worked very well with glorious sunshine and small ways on the Saturday, and stormy challenging autumnal surf for the older competitors on the Sunday.

The organisers have always tried to bring a festival atmosphere to this event which from the feedback has always been very positive, so once again the contest site was adorned with a large marquee, full of fabulous refreshments, BBQ, Crepes and home-made cakes, whilst outside on the Saturday the mobile skate Park was set up, and proved a great attraction throughout the day.

Early-morning low tide it appeared the prayers had not worked, as the swell was very minimal, however as the tide pushed in the waves carried on rolling through, right through to the end of the day at around 5 PM with the final of the finals.

Throughout the weekend the’ can-do’ and positive attitude from all the competitors and their parents and friends made the contest directors job somewhat easier, and a big thanks to all of those who came for the weekend

The action in the water as always was hotly contested, with a real mixture of surfers who perhaps are trying a contest the first time in a friendly environment, and in the latter rounds obviously many of the top surfers in the UK competing.

Stand out surfers on the Saturday were Kingsbridge’s Noah Capps and Joseph Morris from South Wales, in the u12s, who dominated their heats, but ran out of steam in the final. Jordan Zervas took the win just ahead of Stanley Norman. Other stand outs on the day was Croyde’s Peony Knight, who continues to impress and took the U18 Women’s. The really star on Saturday was Joe Harding from South Devon, surfing six heats and winning the U14 and U16 divisions with solid surfing all day.

The big move skate contest also proved a huge attraction with two categories (under 12’s) and over 12’s, lots of great skate boarding, some good wipe-outs and lots of fun from all the competitors, prizes were awarded to the top three places in both divisions, and Phil Pechonis presented the prizes after sharing a bit about his faith. Winner in the over 12’s was Joe Wood, And the younger category was?

Day one ended with the presentation under bright blue skies and sunshine throughout, four divisions completed, and an early start scheduled for the next morning to try and battle through before the storm really took hold.

Day two was always going to be a complete contrast to the initial day, with strong winds and waves increasing considerably throughout the day. Contest director Phil Williams took the decision to double peak the event throughout the second day in order to try to run the event off in contestable conditions before the rains really took hold. The standard of surfing in all of the divisions was of the highest calibre, and the highest wave score of the day was Lee Bartlett in the Masters quarter-finals with a combined score of 18.10.

The judges and beach marshals etc had their work cut out with very strong winds, but stuck to their job admirably and saw the event through.

Peony Knight dominated the women's divisions once again taking the win over Lucy Campbell, who also surfed strongly, with a special mention to Newport’s Emily Williams at her 1st Jesus Surf Classic, getting into both finals. Taz Knight was a step ahead of the field in the junior division, taking the win ahead of Alex Gibson. The open division came down to an exciting final between Stu Campbell, Oli Adams, Jak Smith, in his first final and Jason Macbroom. In the end Stuart Campbell showed his class and took a win just ahead of Oli Adams. It was great to see such a strong field in the Masters division this year, with 16 entrees. Lee Bartlett was definitely one of the strongest surfers on the day with huge heat totals, but in the end it was Chris Harris who came out on top in a close final

To top off a great weekend Simon Anderson inventor of the three fin surfboard just so happened to be in North Devon for the weekend and a big thanks to Tiki for bringing him to the contest site just in time to present the prizes to some very stoked individuals, what a rare treat.

The presentation took place in a packed marquee, with some great acceptance speeches from the winners, who obviously appreciated the effort put on by the Christian Surfers team of over 90 people who volunteered throughout the weekend.

Contest director Phil Williams said “In terms of organising this event, this year was one of the more challenging, yet looking back it was a fantastic weekend, with great attitude from all the competitors, smiling faces, great waves written, top skate action, and high calibre winners. So therefore I'm pretty stoked, and Simon Anderson presenting the prizes was literally the icing on the cake”

The next event for Christian Surfers apart from supporting other events will be the ever popular Jesus Longboard Classic at Polzeath over the 19th and 20th of October, full details will soon be announced via www.christiansurfers.co.uk .

Big thanks go to all the competitors and supporters, Parkdean holidays, the RNLI, Hotdoggers for the use of their four-wheel-drive vehicle, Baggy Lodge, Simon Anderson and his team, all the volunteers from Christian Surfers, and God for providing waves and keeping everyone safe throughout what turned into a fantastic weekend. Next year’s event for your diaries is scheduled for September 13th & 14th 2014. To view a gallery of pictures from the event, go to the Christian Surfers UK Facebook page, or log onto www.christiansurfers.co.uk where you will also find more information about the organisation. Regards Phil Williams phil@christiansurfers.co.uk

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