BPSA Event - Freshwater West (Sept 23rd & 24th)
Again Christian Surfers UK partnered with the BPSA to provide food and a presence at the BPSA Welsh contest at Freshwater West, Pembroke.
I arrived in Pembroke with a car fully laiden with burgers and buns on Friday afternoon after a hectic 2 weeks trying to get a team together, thankfully 2 days before I left I had a phone call from Lea, CS London, with a South African team to join me. This was a great relief!!! A special thanks goes out to Phil Johnson's parents as well for giving up their house to a group of random surfers, and going to live with the next door neighbour!!!
The weekend did not start in the best of manners, a loss in communication with the organisers, and I find myself waiting at the contest venue for 3 hours with nothing to do but wait. Maybe God provided this as a great opportunity to chat and hang with the surfers as I was able to provide shelter in my car for Mark 'Egor' Harris as the heavens opened (see what i did there)and also introduce myself to some of the other guys.
Finally I gave up waiting and managed to grab myself a quick surf before dark. Paddling out I was surprised to meet Cheyne Cottrell (CS US/SA) best mate Dave Richards out in the line up, and I also linked up with my Mumbles local girl Beth Mason out back.
The South African crew of seven arrived at 1:30am Saturday morning, with Colin chatting for another hour most of the crew got to sleep close to 3am!!! I had decided after not getting set up the previous evening, that I should get back to the contest site for first light, surprisingly enough the SA boys were up, ready and amped to get down the beach and hit the water...so we show up at the beach at 6:30am greeted by 5-6 ft howling offshore conditions, all but 1 of the SA crew decide it's too big, and way too cold (more of that latter) to brave the conditions this early and crawl back to the house - greeted by the SA girls not too amused that they had been left behind, but they did insist the night before not to be woken early!!!
Anyway, during the contest we provided food to the competitors (early morning bacon butties going down particularly well), raffling the Surf Relief surfboard, and litter picking. I was also able to link up with Anton to bless the contest each morning. With the saffers doing a great job on the barbie I was able to chat to many of the surfers, and continuing building relationships, namely with the Welsh girls who were at the Jesus Surf Classic, I had many a long discussion in the comforts of Beth Mason's VW Transporter!
God really blessed the competition with almost perfect waves, hurricance Helene was passing by pushing in a solid swell pushing beautiful 5-6ft waves in on the Saturday, and 2-3 ft waves on the Sunday, with a steady offshore breeze. The standard of surfing was amazing, with Matt Capel taking the Open Title. With the tide pushing back in onto an A-frame peak, the mens finalists took to the water.After a slow start it started to get exciting with the lead changing regularly! After scoring highly all the way through the event, with just 4 minutes to go, Capel spotted a good size, peaky lefthander and summoned enough energy on his backhand to bash it all the way to the inside section where he was able to make 3 more turns.
We had a great weekend at the BPSA Welsh contest at Freshwater West, getting to build relationships and scoring some sick waves as well in my homeland!!!
Ni Caru Cymru!!!
(PS. wales 1-5 solvakia! - Oli)
Men's Open: 1st - Matt Capel, 2nd - Mark Harris, 3rd - Sam Lamiroy, 4th - Llewellyn Whittaker
Women's Open: 1st - Easky Britton, 2nd - Nicole Morgan, 3rd - Beth Mason, 4th - Anne Marie Kenyeres
Pro Junior: 1st - Dave Richards, 2nd - Matt Capel, 3rd - Keegan Nel, 4th - Fabian Baker
Longboard: 1st - Nick Dowrick, 2nd - Martin John, 3rd - Chris Sanders, 4th - Ben Byfield
U'16 Boys: 1st - Aiden Wright, 2nd - Toby Donachie, 3rd - Adam Reimnitz, 4th - Alex Baker
U'16 Girls: 1st - Gwen Spurlock, 2nd - Kathleen Spears, 3rd - Cara Gaskell
U'12: 1st - Harry Timson, 2nd - Dave Williams, 3rd - Raife Gaskell, 4th - Hal Gaskell