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;
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!
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.
Our last bulletin saw us gathering at the site with some of our principal sponsors for a photo op as the old building was torn down. Things have moved on apace since then, so here’s a montage of images illustrating the progress to date
New toilets, showers and a kiosk for public amenities and a clubhouse and store for saints boardriders to be open soon. Watch this space!
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 .
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: