Grand National Day 2018, and our banner picture shows some of the runners and riders who completed the course. No !! Not the Aintree course, but the grand sweep of St. Ives and it’s beaches covered by the Big Spring Beach Clean of 2018! An annual event on the Surfers Against Sewage calendar, the beach clean has always found an enthusiastic following in St. Ives, and 2018 was no exception. Led by Harris Rothschild of St. Ives Surf School, the volunteers split into two groups and harvested the marine coastal litter from opposing ends of the town. One group began at Porthmeor West, the other at Porthminster Point and they came together on the harbour slipway with their hauls. It was a relaxing and social way to spend a fine Spring morning, and the benefit to the environment can be gauged from the the amount of trash collected in the bags and buckets at the end of the exercise. The Coffee Lounge on Tregenna Hill offered free coffee vouchers for participants and a prize bag for the most enthusiastic beachcomber, which went to Eve Dudley. The gallery below shows some of those who answered the call to help polish the jewel that is our heritage here in St. Ives. Many thanks to all who participated, and please, all readers of this blog, help keep our coastline free of litter – it is hazardous to wildlife as well as a blight on our beautiful environment.
And so, finally, after a frustrating four months delay, our clubhouse project springs back to life! We won’t rake over the litany of negotiations regarding warranties, legal charges, car park charges and the mere time that these things take. Instead we’ll celebrate the fact that we are on site and things are happening. The picture below shows the first steps in the process as the toilet block is demolished.
By the day’s end there remained a pile of rubble to be removed and recycled. An information board has been erected at the site to bring the community abreast of what’s happening – see the proposed layout below
It was a particular pleasure to gather together at the end of the first day on site many of the people and organisations who are instrumental in making it happen. This final picture by Susie Excell of Tregenna Castle shows some of those build partners .
Our traditional Christmas Day bash saw it’s largest ever attendance. There was a friendly wave for those taking to the water and a welcoming array of beverages both hot and alcoholic – and sometimes both – for those enjoying the gathering on dry land. There were a few of our Saturday club nippers answering the call as well as a strong contingent of St. Ives surfers who might swell our adult membership once the lure of the clubhouse is available. Construction there has been delayed due to as yet unresolved issues around what builders warranties are required, but we are still expecting to complete in time for summer 2018. More news when we have it! There’s a gallery below of some of those in attendance on Christmas Day, my apologies to anyone I have missed with my roving lens.
Friday 20th of October had been underlined on many calendars in St. Ives as the night of the Surfers Ball, a chance to pull on the glad rags and dress to impress as the social event of the year unfolded at Tregenna Castle. This was to be saints boardriders’ major fundraising drive of the season, and comes just days before the anticipated start of the clubhouse construction. The club committee and Tregenna Castle had worked hard to produce an event which would grab the imagination of the town and sell 250 tickets to fill the ballroom of the hotel to capacity. This is what you got for your money;
Even as you were leaving your coat in the cloakroom you were being entertained with a selection of jazz standards from Tom Quirke (piano) and Ross Williams (bass). There was then a chance to pose in your finery before the surf club backdrop for a commemorative picture by Andre Otto. The casino was open for an early flutter until we were seated at our tables to hear an introductory address by Nick Rees of Surfing England. He outlined the part they have played in helping to develop the sport, and the part saints boardriders have played in introducing so many youngsters to surfing in St. Ives.
Towards the end of a splendid three-course dinner, auctioneer, Robin Turner went into action inviting us to bid for some very desirable lots which had been generously donated to help the cause. There was a case of a dozen bottles of wine given by Burdett Wines. Kegs of beer packaged with a golf day and tickets to a Pirates rugby game donated by St. Austell Brewery. There were paintings by renowned local artists, Michael Quirke and Peter Beeson. Premiership club rugby shirts signed by their players, and tickets to an international match. There was a weekend holiday package for four at Tregenna Castle, and a surf lesson and lunch with local pro surfer Jayce Robinson. There was a water sports activity package for eight people with St. Ives Surf School, a new resin-tint surfboard by RT donated by Boardbox in St. Ives and there was a beautiful chair from Kettles of Fowey. Bidding on all the lots was brisk, and by the end Robin had realised over £4000 for the cause. Thank you and well done to both him and our bidders!
And then it was a case of clear the decks as the Sandy Acres Seven got into their stride and got the house rocking, while the gamblers among us were back in the casino trying their luck at roulette and blackjack. The night went on at a pace into the small hours leaving everyone with that quiet-but-contented buzz as the cabs rolled off down Tregenna’s drive and the croupiers counted the chips back into the treasury. And Sandy Acres Seven had done us proud once again – can we call you our house band?!
There are many more photos from the Surfers Ball on our saints boardriders Facebook page. Take a look if you can’t see yourself in this blog!
And we end by offering our deepest gratitude to Tregenna Castle for hosting the evening, to our casino ladies, to Tom Quirke and Ross Williams, and to Sandy Acres Seven for the music. Thanks to Andre Otto for the red carpet photos and to Gavan Goulder and Matty Snelling for the reportage pics. Many thanks also to Robin Turner, auctioneer and to our generous benefactors who donated the auction lots. And finally, thank you to all those who were there on the night to support saints boardriders and help us realise our goal. We hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did – and if that’s the case then why don’t we do it again next year?
The last day of September and the last day of term for the Kids Club. The morning followed the usual awards day format with the youngest groups completing a normal session while the older ones competed for a prize under international judging rules. Here’s some of the action:
Porthmeor Beach takeaway served up a complimentary dish of hot food, a hot chocolate and a bag of sweets for each competitor before we gathered for the prize giving. The junior groups saw three awards per group: Most Improved Surfer, Most Enthusiastic Surfer and Surfer Of The Summer, while the seniors’ awards went to the winners of the day’s competition. Pictures below! Our thanks to Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives Surf School, Porthmeor RNLI Lifeguards and the many volunteers who give their time freely at every surf club event. Further thanks are due to Tregenna Castle and The Balcony Bar for their sponsorship and support. We have boogied to Sandy Acres Seven and The Mosquitoes on fundraising nights, and rattled our collecting tins at Tescos in following our grand vision of building a clubhouse. Our thanks to them too! Next up is our Surfers Ball at Tregenna Castle on the 20th of October. Tickets are still available, but they’re going fast. Buy early to avoid disappointment. And so to the awards;
We have missed several Saturday morning sessions this season due to high tides around our 9 o’ clock meeting time, but this week’s unforeseen cancellation was for a different reason. Thursday morning saw a menacing deposit of Portuguese man o’ war on the high tide strand line. These were carefully collected and disposed of by the lifeguards, who continued to gather more as they came ashore throughout the day. Portuguese man’o’war is a colony of separate creatures co-existing like a single organism. They can give a particularly painful sting from their long trailing tentacles. Friday saw an even greater haul of strandings, and head coach John Navin, in conjunction with Porthmeor’s head lifeguard, James Symons, felt it prudent to cancel our Saturday morning Kids Club as swell conditions and wind direction were expected to be similar for the weekend. The wisdom of this call was demonstrated on Saturday morning when the fall of man o’ wars was greater than both previous days. We hope to renew our normal service next weekend! Some pictures of the offending articles below.
While local surfers were eagerly anticipating the remnants of Hurricane Harvey bringing a storm swell to our coasts, we were perfectly happy with our waist-high dreamers for Kids Club on Saturday. And taking advantage of these Swellboard friendly conditions we had a great morning stroking in to some clean Porthmeor pearlers under a sunny September sky. See evidence below:
Pretty tricky conditions with a lot of water moving on the inside for Surf Club on Saturday, but a rewarding day nonetheless for those who tackled the conditions. Our banner picture shows Oliver Brunnock earning a ‘wave of the day’ accolade for a ride out back which started as a lumpy right-hander before he re-directed off the bottom to smash the lip a second time going left ( see him again in the gallery below).My pictures do not do him justice, but they may serve to remind him of this beaut again. There were fun waves ridden on the inside too; see the gallery below for some of those efforts!
I think most participants on Saturday morning would have shared my thoughts on seeing Mother Meor from the top of Porthmeor Hill on arrival: “pretty small today”. And, like me, they would have been surprised and then delighted that the waves were bigger than expected when we got down to the water, and grew during our sessions into a punchy chest-high out back during the morning. Our junior surfers took to their tasks with great enthusiasm and displayed no little skill. Well done everyone!
That’s another school year done and a dreamy summer ahead of our junior members! The first Kids Club of the holidays saw 79 attendees tackling some pretty good waves and a couple of torrential downpours. There was an opportunity to study and identify a rip in the water during the warm-up and talk before the groups took to the water. It was satisfying to see the youngest groups ( ages 4 to 7 years ) practising trimming, speeding-up and slowing down exactly as taught. There are some very quick learners in those groups! Here’s a selection of shots from the day: