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!
We’re always keen to dig in the wardrobe and get the gear out in saints boardriders, just give us a reason – the Swellboard Shootout, the Surf Instructors staff day out, or in this particular case, the Surfers Ball 2018. So it was off to Tregenna Castle in our finest rags for our principal fundraiser and big night out of the year. The blueprint was pretty much set last year with a very successful evening, and so it flowed again from a welcome in the lobby by Tom Quirke’s jazz piano, Andre Otto’s red carpet photographs and a quick flutter in the casino, to a formal welcome to members and our guests as we took our seats for a three-course feast. Some of our red carpet pics below ; many more can be found on our Facebook page!
Steve Hewlett introduced a short film by Greg Dennis which highlighted the club’s work in teaching our young members in the Saturday Club, and he brought us up to date on the clubhouse construction.
We were then honoured to be presented with a cheque by Sherry from Bid St. Ives in support of the construction of new public toilets incorporated in the clubhouse project. Whew!! ( See our headline photo )
As the coffee was served at the end of dinner, auctioneer Paul Le Bas got down to the nitty gritty of wringing some loose change from our assembly. On offer were some magnificent artworks from artists Iona Sanders, Dan Fox, Norm Hewlett , photographer Nick Pumphrey and ceramicist Jo Downs. We had vacations with Primrose Hotel, Sandy Acres Lodge and Tregenna Castle. There was a surfboard from Diplock, a medley of water sports activities for eight people from St. Ives Surf School, a bespoke private surf lesson and lunch at the Brewhouse with Harry De Roth, a VIP night at the Eden Session of your choice next summer with dinner and wine included from Hubbox, who also offered a valuable Christmas hamper of organic meats for auction as well. England rugby star, Jack Nowell sent a signed ball and there were also signed shirts from premiership rugby clubs in the package. And, a novelty item of Giacomo Tilli, the Italian Stallion – yours for the day – which was one of two lots which inspired some telephone bids! Business was brisk, and we offer our heartfelt gratitude to both the donors of those prizes and the winning bidders for their generosity in supporting saints boardriders.
And then it was faites vos jeux, or hoist up your skirt and boogie as we took to the casino or the dance floor and let it all hang out. The music was again brought to us by the incomparable Sandy Acres Seven, and when they had got everyone good and greasy DJ Chewy took over and saw us into the early hours with some more banging tunes! What a Night! Some of our gamblers can be seen in the gallery below – my apologies for the absence of the dance floor action!
I conclude by offering saints boardriders thanks to Tregenna Castle, Sandy Acres Seven, DJ Chewy, Tom Quirke, Paul Le Bas, Andre Otto, Greg Dennis and to all our generous benefactors who donated those auction items. Many thanks also to everyone who bought tickets and came out on the night to share in the fun. Before we do this again we should have a clubhouse home to be proud of, and you will all have helped us realise that dream!
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!
There was an Autumnal feel to the air for Kids Club this week. A chilly Westerly and some chunkier waves out back brought a challenge to our more advanced surfers, while the Nemos and Dorys kept to the inside, smaller waves to continue their own concentration on techniques required for pop-ups, trimming and turning. There was a chance before the session began to gather our volunteer coaches and some of the other members who make Kids Club happen – here’s a photo tribute to you guys!
And there are others who were busy on check-in duties and other ancillary stuff who didn’t make this photo call but also deserve our thanks for their contributions to the Saturday morning vibe!
When we got down to the surfing business, there were three elements of the session that are manifest in the picture gallery below. CONCENTRATION, LEARNING and FUN. We had a great time, coaches and surfers all. And that is what a club is about!
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.
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!