So we move into the final month of the Kids Club season and September brings a very surfable wave on a blustery Saturday morning. As so often this summer, conditions were favourable for our most advanced surfers, the Dolphins, and there were twenty of them checked in for the ride! Conversely, the second session saw the tide filling in rapidly and the Nemos found themselves bodyboarding in deepening water instead of the Swelly rides they might have expected. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all as evidenced below. Our banner picture today has instructor Burger resolving his choice of craft mid-ride after initial indecision. Or something like that!
It’s the last day of August, the last Kids Club before the school year begins and there is a distinct chill in the early morning air. An Autumn swell is rolling in to Porthmeor offering some chest-high waves out back as well as the long runners that we find inside on the falling tide. Both the Nemos and the Dorys are given a brisk warm-up to get the muscles ready and the minds psyched before launching. Out on the green waves, the Dolphins, reduced in number by the absence of those members contesting the Rip Curl Gromsearch in Newquay, are battling heavy paddle-outs to earn the right to ride those bigger waves back in. It’s a challenge, and it’s fun!
Well, we are suddenly blessed with some swell, and while it brings a few problems of rips and washes for the most junior surfers on the inside, the guys out back are having their fill of some meaty waves. Here’s a flavour of the morning:
The first weekend of the school summer holiday! We can’t remember if it’s ever rained here, we have a welcoming wave at Porthmeor, all is truly sitting right in this world. There was another good turnout of eager surfers, some of whom can be seen doing their thing below. And here’s hoping that summer vibe goes on and on and…
It was a great thrill to have the Kids Club sign-up in the new clubhouse a couple of weeks ago, and our first session of the 2019 season kicked off on June 1st with over 130 eager surfers getting into action over the two sessions. There were new faces among the coaches as well as the juniors – here’s how we got on!
Meanwhile, our more advanced surfers were out back dealing with some chunky waist-high waves which offered a challenging paddle out to earn a thrilling ride back in. And in between, there was a group of improvers who were working toward their first shortboard experience. So, something for everyone on our first day back – and it feels great!
The story of our clubhouse, which was last featured here in May 2018, now continues. Construction was placed on hold for summer 2018 and only resumed once the tourist season abated and we had unfettered access to the car park and the site. The story continues now in pictures;
And first, our hall of fame. Five characters who are crucial to the story. These are the lynchpins of the job.
And here’s how the story continued…
This story can’t end without me once again thanking our major partners and benefactors in the project:
Here they are, celebrated on a plaque on the building for their contributions to the project. Many, many thanks to one and all!
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!