Arriving for our fourth session of the season we were confronted with a tricky challenge. The water was barely back off the high tide bank after a spring tide and there was the remnant of a Northerly swell pushing some lumpy waves into the beach. It promised a difficult paddle to get out back for our more accomplished surfers and some battles on the inside with breaking waves for our younger participants and their helpers. To everyone’s great credit these challenges were met head on, resulting in some fine surfing and with a growing confidence in all groups that we can be comfortable and find suitable waves even in a moody Porthmeor swell. We had a full gamut from the chest-to-head-high waves that the Sharks tackled to the running ankle-slappers on the inside that the Dory and Nemo groups shared. Some of the action is shown below:
The third session of the season saw the largest turnout to date and enjoyed pretty perfect Kids Club conditions at Porthmeor. The waves were friendly enough for the Nemos and Dorys, yet also offered some peaks and faces for the Sharks to lay down some turns and polish their small wave skills. Our newer instructors are beginning to appreciate the talents of their young charges and are helping them push their techniques to higher levels. All in all, a perfect morning’s surfing for Saints Boardriders! The party wave in the banner picture sums up the relaxed vibe of the day.
Here’s St. Ives Surf School’s salute to the new year which I’d like to share with the members and supporters of saints boardriders. Harris and his coaching team are a mainstay of our club and we thank them wholeheartedly and wish them a fabulous 2020!
And those good wishes go out to all our members, supporters and friends too. Happy New Year!
Friday 19th October saw a new addition to the local surfing calendar, courtesy of St. Ives Surf School. An open competition for St. Ives surfers was held at Porthmeor Beach in front of a sizeable crowd of surfers and surf fans. It was heartening to see how many good surfers we have in the town – and there are quite a few more who were unable to make this comp at such short notice! Held under international judging rules, but with each surfer having been awarded a handicap according to their ability – the event was designed to give everyone an opportunity to advance through their heat, and thus encourage everyone to push his surfing to the limit.
It was a rapid-fire event as the 4pm start left little time to complete proceedings before dark. Six-man heats and not a moment lost between heats led us to a four man final as the light faded. The judges re-located to the waters edge to get a close-up on a thrillingly tight climax to the day.
Here are some of the faces on show- my apologies to those competitors my lens missed!
There was a nerve-wracking interlude as the judges checked and re-checked their scores from the final. The result was clearly a close-run affair!
And then we were ready. First trophy to be decided was Kook of the Day. Giacomo took the honours on this one for running over a grom during his heat. Here he is receiving his award from Teddy.
Next up was, perhaps a little more coveted – Move of the Day! Jayce took this for the most outrageous of the several airs that were landed during the contest. Here he is receiving his trophy from Caz!
And so to the winner and first holders of the St. Ives Cup. Harry De Roth claimed the prize, from Adam Bayfield in second, Jayce third and the evergreen veteran Tim Whitefield fourth.
Well done Harry!
Below are our finalists taking a bow. And before we go, we must thank Harris and St. Ives Surf School for another great occasion. This will, I’m sure, be the start of a new tradition in the town. The St. Ives Cup is here to stay. YAY!
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!
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 .
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.