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!
Whew! So another summer season draws to a close. It’s the last Saturday of September and time to assess what we have achieved in Kids Club this year. For the junior groups it’s a case of one last coaching session, practising those hard-won skills. First there was an end of term photo, and then we were underway.
Our advanced surfers, meanwhile, were competing further along the beach. The waves were small but contestable as the event began, though they diminished in size through the morning necessitating the use of swellboards rather than their own shortboards for some of the bigger competitors.
The heats and the semis were hard-fought affairs with the small conditions meaning that all the competitors took plenty of waves, keeping the judges very busy back on the beach. Eventually, the places in the respective finals were earned – with a special mention to Millie Rose who abandoned her semis part way through after suffering a weeverfish sting, but had registered two good enough scores to make the final. She was treated at the RNLI station and returned to contest the final undeterred!
And so, we gathered back at the gazebo to admire the table full of glittering cups and learn who would get to take one home this afternoon. Group awards were made in three categories as always; Most committed surfer, Surfer of the summer and Most improved surfer. Here’s a gallery of those who impressed their coaches this summer:
And only then did we learn the results of the finals as the competitors were called in reverse order to gather for a celebratory picture. Lucas Vima collected the Boys trophy, and Elizabeth Hewlett took out the Girls comp. Well done to all our finalists and a particular well done to both our champions!
There was one last award to be made on the day. Lifeguard supervisor, Lloyd Davies, had found good cause to honour one of our members for his outstanding contribution in helping Porthmeor lifeguards this summer. It’s a special accolade which is not offered lightly – indeed it hasn’t been awarded for several years – acknowledging the help Caz made to the lifeguard team in carrying, fetching, moving equipment, bringing lunches and generally easing the burden on those hectic summer days at the beach. He’s already been earmarked as future lifeguard material! Well done that boy.
In conclusion, may I offer on behalf of saints boardriders our gratitude to the parents and helpers of our junior members for their contribution to the smooth running of the Saturday sessions this year. Thanks to our judges for their officiating today, and to Porthmeor Beach management for their unstinting support for the club and for feeding our members on this celebration of our season. Thanks to the RNLI, and Porthmeor lifeguards who patrol the beach, in particular to those lifeguards who give their coaching to our kids prior to their work shift on Saturday mornings. And our final thanks goes to Harris and his team of surf coaches at St. Ives Surf School without whose enthusiasm and drive we would cease to function. You guys are the best!
But before I go, let me remind you that the Surfers’ Ball is fast approaching. Last year’s sell out was widely acclaimed as the best night of the year in the town. St. Ives best-dressed event is on the 26th October at Tregenna Castle. Music from Sandy Acres Seven, Tom Quirke and Ross Williams, and a late night dj . A three course dinner, auction and casino plus those glamorous red carpet photos! All for £30. Tickets are going fast so get yours now. They’re available through both Tregenna Castle and St. Ives Surf School, I hope to see you there!
Our penultimate session of Kids Club for 2018 was a rain-drenched affair. Whether in or out of the water, we all had a good soaking! I may have said the same thing with regard to another recent Saturday. Nevertheless, the waves were inviting, if a little challenging for our youngest surfers. And it was great to see our more experienced kids out back with the instructors, hunting for position as the sets rolled in and paddling into some meaty waves. My sodden camera had all but given up the ghost during this second session, so you’ll have to take my word for it! Anyway, there’s a gallery below of some of the shots I did manage to get in the downpour – and now we await the grand finale next week. See you there!
As we move into September and the Kids Club season edges toward the grand finale, it’s time to gauge how we are progressing. Our Nemos and Dorys, under-8’s and needing adult help and a push to get into the wave, are demonstrating high levels of skill in popping-up and then riding the board with control. There promises to be a rich crop of junior talent to be seen at Porthmeor in the near future. Our older members have shown where the next level of performance is, with good wave selection and an ability to execute more advanced manoeuvres like bottom turns and re-entries to get the best out of a wave. In between these two groups is a cadre of surfers who are making strides from novice to accomplished surfers, moving from swellboard to shortboard and tackling that difficult transition with determination.Here’s some of the action from Saturday!
At Kids Club last Saturday it mattered not whether you were surfing, coaching or just taking the pictures – you got a soaking! With that horizontal mizzle that is peculiar to Porthmeor, we spent a couple of hours practising angled pop-ups and trimming in surf that was middling to strong for our junior chargers. Here’s a flavour of what we saw from them;
The Kids Club season to date had been a diet of small friendly waves under a burning sun. This week brought a very different challenge as strong winds accompanied showers and the larger waves were further complicated by rippy conditions in the shallows. Many of our youngest and newest members had never experienced such conditions before but demonstrated bravery and determination in meeting the task. There were great rewards for those who could get to their feet and set a line with some long rides on some meaty waves. There were also some clattering wipe-outs witnessed! Well done to both coaches and surfers in stepping up to this newest challenge.
The fine summer continued throughout the end of school term and we again found ourselves with balmy weather and a small wave for the club on 14th July. It was a further opportunity to work with the coaches on trimming along the wave and on speeding up and slowing down.
The following week saw the first break in the weather with a cold, wet start to the 9 o’clock session. Harris led the Nemos with an exposition of how to finish a wave as the section closes out. It was a tall order for some of those little tackers to take on, but they gamely gave it a go. There’s another skill to practise in the school holidays! The pictures below are from that most recent session.
Videographer, Greg Dennis was also on hand shooting a couple of interviews with some of our members for a video section to support the club’s fundraising effort on the JustGiving website. You can donate, or just check it out here. All help is gratefully received!
As the exceptional spell of high pressure and warm weather has brought us successive weekends of small but rippable surf for our junior surfers, we have maintained those high attendances and kept the stoke going. The friendly conditions have enabled us to introduce our newest members to the elements of surfing technique needed to both speed up the board and to slow down, as well as trim frontside and backside. It’s such a joy to see them practising and honing these basic skills. Here’s a gallery of shots from those most recent sessions;
A small but rideable swell greeted us on Saturday morning at Porthmeor. Beautiful warm weather with no wind allowed eighty plus surfers to enjoy a mellow session and polish our skills. The younger groups were able to practice their pop-ups and even find time to trim along the waves in such favourable conditions. Happy Days! Here are some pics from the session, including a sneaky practice for tomorrow’s Swellboard Shootout competition by an unnamed instructor.
Saturday 9th of June was the first Kids Club of the season, and 99 eager surfers answered the call. Add in the instructors the helpers and the admin crew and that amounts to over 130 people enjoying the balmy morning, with just enough surf to give the newbies a gentle introduction to the sport but some bigger peelers out back for those returning members to rediscover their mojo. With such fine weather, decent surf and a chance to catch up with old friends, it was a successful day all round. The gallery below captures some of the action.