C4 United Kingdom Road Trip & Stand Up Paddle Surfing – Part One

Ted Rutherford

In October 2008 Dave Parmenter, Claudia Parmenter and Ted Rutherford came over from the US to spend some time exploring and stand up paddle surfing in the UK. Ted Rutherford has chronicled the trip for us. The first part takes them around the culture spots in London then down to Cornwall.

Caehray Castle Gate: l-r Ted, Adam Zervas, Claudia and Dave, Tim Mellors
Caehray Castle Gate: l-r Ted, Adam Zervas, Claudia and Dave, Tim Mellors

On the first of October C4 Team representatives, Dave and Claudia Parmenter and I manned up an American Airlines 777 bound for London Heathrow, intent on sussing out the SUP situation in England, and to visit C4 team rider Adam Zervas and his family in Newquay, Cornwall, the “Surf City” of the United Kingdom. Also during this trip we wanted to see our friends Tim Mellors, owner of the Longboard House and BSUPA’s Matt Argyle. We have always had the highest respect for the great seafaring nature of the British people from Captain Cook to Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson on to the modern British watermen and women of today. As a former US Naval Officer, I was made well aware that our service in which I served was modeled after the Royal Navy. So, it was with these motivations that we embarked on this quest to the Old Country. Below on the map of Cornwall, England, yellow pins mark some of the points of interest.

Cornwall map

The flight crew of the American Boeing 777 Luxury Liner were keen on showing Dave (an aviation expert and afficionado) the “business end” of this great aircraft:

Dave Parmeneter in a boing 777

Back in the friendlier environs of the first class cabin Claudia finds the accommodations adequate:

Claudia Parmenter in First Class

Meanwhile Dave and Ted were “mission planning” 7 miles above northern Canada, going over C4 spreadsheets pretending like we are big C4 Executives; working on a nice little piece for ourselves:

Ted Rutherford and Dave Parmenter enjoy first class

In the nearly 11-hour flight there was not enough time to eat the great meals, watch the movies, read, get in to all the lotions and potions and still sleep. After about a 7-hour nap the flight attendants woke us up for breakfast, after that there was less than an hour of flight remaining. Upon clearing customs the flight crew came ‘round and picked us up in front of the terminal, and we rode in to London town with them.


Claudia Parmenter at Westminsters Loo of the Year

After tea at the Forum Hotel in London the C4 crew hit the ground running, keen on seeing as much of the great city as possible in one short afternoon. Here are Claudia and Dave at Big Ben and the Imperial War Museum:

Dave Parmenter. Claudia Parmenter, Big Ben Dave Parmenter and a Spitfire

In the above photo at the Imperial War Museum, Dave admires a Supermarine MK IA Spitfire, if you look at the elliptical wing it is nearly identical to the Parmenter designed “Spitfire SUP fin” used on both the Holoholo, and the Vortice. (The above Spit in this picture actually flew and survived 67 missions in the Battle of Britain and WWII).

After a nice Italian dinner with the two First Officers from our flight, we called it a night. The next day it was on to Harrods and the British Museum. Below on the left are Dave and Claudia in the foyer of the British Museum; below: The Rosetta Stone.

Dave Parmenter and Claudia Parmenter in London Roseta Stone

That afternoon we proceeded south out of London on the M4 Motorway with Dave at the helm (he was the most qualified to navigate the “other side of the road” driving of the UK). Dave had visited the Cornwall in southwestern England as a touring pro surfer, so it was nice having an experienced guide. One thing about the United Kingdom is that even though people have been living in these Islands for almost 13,000 years, they are not overbuilt and “strip-malled” but with Mission Viejo-style housing tracts. The coastline has been preserved thanks to The National Heritage Foundation and in no small part through the efforts of Prince Charles. The country is wide open and rural, not unlike our own areas of central and northern California. The other nice aspect, being on the road is that in general the drivers are fast and expert. In the week I was there I never saw any reckless or out of control driving. In England piloting a motorcar serious business, approached in a professional manner.

Dave Parmenter driving to Cornwall Cornish road

Read more in Part Two