As the club grows stronger, so does the Christmas Day novelty surf gathering also grow more popular. We met at 10.30 to find friendly conditions and a willing crew, so here it is! As usual, my apologies to those I didn’t catch on camera – I should make it a New Years Resolution to improve my photography skills, or encourage someone more clued-up to bring a camera. Happy New Year to all our members , sponsors and supporters. May it bring you health, wealth and happiness!
Once the judges had seen the teams in their finery, it was off round the town on the traditional parade. Through the Digey, along Fore Street, down Lifeboat Hill, along the harbour and back to Porthmeor for the surfing element to commence. With only ankle-biter waves, and few even of those, it didn’t present the spectacle that previous editions have offered, although the contestants gamely tried the reverse take-offs, switch foot manoeuvres and headstands which have become the currency of progressive teams in the Shootout story.
Here’s a gallery of the day as it developed:
Somewhere in the middle of proceedings we managed to take a break while England won a World Cup football game, before running the final in the smallest, glassiest wave of the day. And then it was all round to The Balcony to wrap up the day with the prizegiving and to get our rocks off to the sweet soul sounds of our favourites, The Sandy Acres Seven. Here’s the gallery that brings the day to a conclusion.
Our thanks are due to Harris and the crew of St. Ives Surf School for another fabulous edition of the Swellboard Shootout. Thanks also to Porthmeor Beach for hosting the event and feeding the participants. Thanks to our volunteer lifeguards, our judges and Pete for bringing an element of order to the day. A big thank you to Maurice Symons of The Sloop Inn for the £200 prize for the Fancy Dress winners, and to Swell for the gift of a swellboard which was awarded to Luciana and Flavio for their selfless contribution to the running of saints boardriders. Thanks to Red Bull for their continuing support of our event, and thanks to the Sandy Acres Seven for bringing the whole day to a rocking finale! We love it!
An all-star super group of Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Iggy Pop and The Artist Formerly Known As Giacomo performed at Porthmeor Beach in the seventh edition of our annual Swellboard Shootout – but were they the stand-out act? There was glorious Sunday sunshine, but only the suggestion of a wave, as we gathered before the judges to parade the teams and process through St. Ives for the wider appreciation of the town before getting down to the semi-serious business of fancy-dress surfing. Have a look at our teams in the gallery below and choose your favourite fancy dress. You’ll learn of our judges’ decision later.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of the 2018 Swellboard Shootout extravaganza!
So, it only remains to thank everyone who helped make this extravaganza happen! Harris and the crew of St. Ives Surf School are both the brains and the heavy lifting behind the event. Friday evening came courtesy of Porthmeor Beach West’s fish tacos, Frankie Davies and Ben Warner. Saturday’s show was hosted by Cohort Hostel, films by Red Bull and curries by Ruby Murrays. Sunday was organised by St. Ives Surf School, lifeguarded by the RNLI, marshalled by Pete Mitchell, fed by Captain Carlos of Porthmeor Beach Takeaway, entertained by the music of the Red Bull truck and filmed by Senara of On The Beach Productions. See Here!
Proceeds raised over the weekend will go to Surfers Against Sewage, the RNLI and saints boardriders clubhouse fund.
Many many thanks to each and everyone of the above for bringing about another great edition of the Swellboard Shootout. Let’s do it again next year! Here’s a miscellany of portraits from Sunday. Cheers!
And so to the Balcony for the prize-giving and the partying! First up, Dom Ferris of Surfers Against Sewage gave a rallying speech reminding us of the great work his organisation does on behalf of all of us who use and value our oceans. Then The Giraffes were awarded first prize for their artfully realised costumes. The judges were impressed by the craft element and home-made endeavour in their choice – a pointer to next years entrants that store-bought is short of the mark. Next, an award for outstanding surfer of the day, taken, to popular acclaim, by Mike Lay. His longboard prowess transferred very well to the lengthy rides that a swellboard can offer and we were treated to a masterclass all day long. Finally, the St. Ives Surf School Circus Team collected the winners trophy for their success in the grand final. A strong costume element and a bag-of-tricks surfing element brought the trophy home to Porthmeor again. We were delighted to have the Sandy Acres Seven on stage to bring the evening to a climax, and the crowd had filled the dance floor to capacity before the first number was half way through! Watermelon Man, into Nothing But A Houseparty then Osibisa’s anthemic Sunshine Day and the joint was jumpin’. Great times as always to see out another Swellboard Shootout weekend.
Once it came to the surfing, each team carried its fancy dress score into every heat. The quality of surfing was variable, to say the least – there were several very game non-surfers entered into the event as well as a few with national and international recognition in the shortboard and longboard ranks! The twenty or so teams were whittled down to a four team final through the rounds, and by then it was surfing skill that would win it.
Here’s a gallery of what happened!
Still to come: the After-Party and a portrait gallery.
Once the teams have been shown to the judges, and their scores for costume evaluated, there is a grand parade from the beach, through the town and back via Fore Street, the lifeboat station, the Wharf and Bunkers Hill. This invariably picks up a crowd of curious onlookers to swell the numbers on the beach at Porthmeor to watch the event. This originated from the 2013 event when conditions at Porthmeor were red-flagged as too dangerous and the early rounds took place at the Breakwater after everyone marched there to get the competition underway. The spectacle proved so amusing to participants and public alike that a parade has become an integral part of the day now. Here’s 2017s version!
Last Sunday saw the seventh annual Swellboard Shootout surf competition organised by St. Ives Surf School on Porthmeor Beach. The event raises funds for Surfers Against Sewage, and this year saints boardriders were honoured to be co-beneficiaries with them of the funds raised over the weekend. Indeed, Sunday was only the culmination of a three day extravaganza which commenced at Porthmeor Beach West on Friday night with an evening of fish tacos, beer and music from Frankie Davies and Ben Warner. Saturday evening saw the open-air film show and curry night at Cohort Hostel, before the teams gathered on Porthmeor Beach on Sunday morning dressed to impress and ready to lay down some swelly-riding magic in the quest to lift the coveted trophy.
A single blog cannot do justice to such an epic day, so this is just the first instalment of a multi-part, cut out and keep pictorial memento of the day’s action. Our banner picture features our august panel of judges in their lofty, secluded majesty.And now we meet the teams:
Coming next : The parade.
OK. So the morning high tide caused the cancellation of Saturday Kids Club,much to the disappointment of kids, parents and instructors alike! So how did you get your weekend surf thrill?
Well – as it happened – there was lots of surf action to be caught at Porthmeor Beach over the weekend, courtesy of St. Ives Surf School. On Friday night Porthmeor West Beach Bakery hosted the Red Bull Surf Cinema, showing a series of Jamie O’Brien films interspersed with locally made surf films, including the premiere of Harry De Roth’s latest. It’s the best evening of the year for gathering local surfers together, catching up with friends, and for club members young and old to hang out!
DJ Justo kept us royally entertained with some soulful sounds until the evening sun dropped behind Man’s Head and the screenings began. And he was on duty again on Sunday morning aboard the Red Bull truck as the 5th edition of the famous Fancy Dress Swellboard Shootout commenced at Porthmeor.
Twenty eight teams reported for battle sporting some amazingly inventive fancy dress ideas, and after displaying for the judges, the whole competition paraded through St. Ives to remind the town that International Surfing Day was being celebrated at Porthmeor.
I’ll leave the details of the format and regulations as they have been well explained in blogs from recent years – and proceed to the results as announced at the after-party at the Balcony once the beach festivities had ended:
Best fancy dress earned Kiss a £200 prize donated by Maurice Symons of The Sloop Inn
The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team won the Shootout in the water – boosted enormously by a stonking ride by Adam Bayfield which received two 9’s and a 10 from the judges and earned him a goody bag of Rhythm clothing, and helped earn his team a first prize of a trip to surf the Severn Bore courtesy of Red Bull.
And to demonstrate that the day wasn’t all about surfing prowess – Eggselence were awarded the wooden spoon for the lowest score of the day – along with some cool clothing!
We are delighted to once again help Surfers Against Sewage in their great work in campaigning for clean oceans, and heartfelt thanks go out to the sponsors who supported the weekend’s events : Red Bull, Rhythm Clothing, Korev Lager, Robies Robes, and Porthmeor Beach. Thanks also to Barnie and Joel, RNLI lifeguards who volunteered to provide water cover for the event, and to our distinguished judges – you know who you are!
Watch Luke Pilbeam’s video edit here!
Nick Pumphrey’s photo gallery of the Swellboard Shootout is here
And Harry De Roth’s latest video is here
But enough about our weekend – How was yours?