THE SUNSET SURF CLASSIC 14th & 15th JUNE 2008 HELD AT GWITHIAN BEACH IN CORNWALL
The British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) held the 2nd round of the British Stand Up Paddle series at Gwithian beach Cornwall over the 14th and 15th June. Around 40 competitors travelled from around the UK to compete in the Cornish waters. The event was sponsored by Sunset Surf Nautilus, Starboard, Onfire, C-Skins, Liquid Vision, Prosport Sunscreen, Surfboard-tracker.com, Skinners Brewery, Surf Drops and Jolly’s drinks.
The event was split into two sections – surf and distance.
The event started on Saturday morning with small surf and cross shore winds and the first heats proceeded throughout the morning. It was clear that despite the poor surf conditions all the SUP riders were able to catch and ride waves. The first heat to compete was the Juniors category, with an age spread from 6 years (Blue Ewer) up to 16 (Bobbie Cooper) – these guys did really well with Connor Griffiths winning the round.
The next heat out on the water was the ladies round which was won by Marie Buchannan and in second position Annabelle Ewer.
The Open Heat for the men’s competition – 8 four man heats were completed with the top two of each heat going through to the next round. Although the performances were not spectacular because of the conditions, the top riders proved they could ride really well in the small surf; Chris ‘Guts’ Griffiths, John Hibbard, Neal Gent, Elliott Dudley and Tim Mellors all stood out in their individual heats.
A distance event was organized for the end of the day which was held close to the shore just outside the surf line the first distance was a short sprint with the usual battle between Neal Gent and John Hibbard. Elliot Dudley (European Longboard Champ) proved his level of fitness by coming 2nd in the first heat. Mark “the bull” Slater powered his place into 3rd position with a solid finish. The Ladies and Juniors did the same distance and put in a good effort with Marie Buchanan coming 1st in the Ladies and Bobby Cooper coming 1st in the Juniors.
On Saturday night Sunset Surf hosted a great party with plenty of excellent food, drinks & tunes at their café on the beach. The competitors were hoping Sunday morning would bring the two to three foot forecast and no wind.
Sunday morning we were greeted with small surf and no wind. The waves were too small in the morning, so the event started with distance which seemed to be a repeat of the previous day’s results and a pretty solid warm up for the rest of the day’s wave heats.
The wave heats were started as soon as the distance event finished and again in the small surf conditions were far from easy. After another four heats and two semi final rounds the final was made up of Neal Gent, Elliott Dudley, Chris Griffiths and John Hibbard.
With the incoming tide and the contest run just below the cliffs it was great viewing of the four finalists as they commenced the heat. Chris Griffiths started his heat well with some stylish rides, John Hibbard took the approach of taking every wave he could while Neal Gent and Elliott Dudley stood out of the back waiting for the better waves. The event was won by Chris Guts Griffiths, in second place Neal Gent, third John Hibbard, and fourth Elliot Dudley.
Simon Bassett BSUPA event director said “This event was a great success it was great to see kids, from 6 years old, competing, to the current European Longboard champion all at one event. We had a solid judging team run by Adrian Howell with assistance from Adam Zervais, Minnow Green from the BLU and others. The conditions were far from perfect but the event had a great atmosphere and Sunset Surf were generous with all the prizes.”
The next event is on the Isle of Wight, Wight Air Festival on the 20th & 21st September.
|1||Chris “Guts “ Griffiths Jimmy Lewis -Guts Surfboards|
|2||Neal Gent Gong/ 2XS Fat Face|
|3||John Hibbard Starboard Fat Face|
|4||Elliot Dudley Surftech|
|5=||Alex Murray Escape
Scott Gardener Tiki Southpoint
|1||Connor Griffiths (age 11)|
|2||Bobby Cooper (age 16)|
|3||Holly Bassett (age 10)|
|4||Blue Ewer (age 6)|
Distance Results (out of two heats)
|5||Chris “guts” Griffiths|