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!
We came together for the final kids Club of the season last Saturday to celebrate another successful campaign, gauge our progress and give the Dolphins a chance to show off their competitive streak and give just one girl and one boy the chance to claim the title ‘Champion 2019″. The younger groups took to the water for a last coaching session of the summer, impressing us with their confident skills, and maybe hoping to catch the coach’s eye and claim an award too.
Meanwhile, further along the beach, the girls competition was underway, studied from the balcony of the clubhouse by our judging panel led by Minnow Green of Surfing Great Britain. The first semi final was distinguished by Senara’s bomb of a ride from a heavy take off out back right in to the beach where her big smile told us she was rightly pleased with herself!
The girls finalists grace our banner picture and they put on a great show. It was a close affair throughout and the last few minutes were a mad scramble to get that one outstanding wave that could put the event beyond doubt.
Next up, the boys final found the conditions somewhat messier as the tide dropped out and required a quick reassessment of tactics to find the best scoring waves.
Ollie stuck to the timeworn strategy of looking for the bombs from out back to nail the heat. Tim and Caz varied their attacks between the big green stuff and the inside reformed waves. Teddy had a quick look out back and decided to come inside and let his quick surfing and nimble turns do his talking.
At the final hooter we all repaired to the clubhouse to learn who had won the trophies for 2019. Surfer of the Summer, Most Improved and Most Committed were the categories for the younger groups and our chairman, Steve had the privilege of awarding them to the surfers selected by their coaches.
Minnow then took the floor to enthuse members with his report of the recent ISA World Surfing games in Japan, which will also host the inaugural Olympic surfing competition.
He then had the honour of asking the girls finalists to come back to the centre stage to receive their trophies. Last up, and thus our champion for 2019 was Eleanor! All three judges had her just a half point better than Senara in the final. Then the nervous wait was over for the boys and they could learn their result. Teddy was last to be called this time, earning a just reward for a summer spent doing little else but catching waves. Well done to all our competitors! It was a pleasure to witness the skill, endeavour and sportsmanship on display out there.
Our thanks are due to Minnow, Neil, Jack and Eve for judging the event, and to Porthmeor Beach for feeding the competitors on the day. More generally, we are indebted as always to St. Ives Surf School whose coaches lead our sessions every Saturday, to Porthmeor Beach lifeguards for their unstinting support and to Porthmeor Beach management for the nourishment and welcome we find there every time. Parents and helpers are also an invaluable resource to the club and praise is due to them too!
And I end with the welcome news that the 2019 Surfers Ball is just around the corner on 25th October. Tickets are on sale now at the clubhouse or at Tregenna Castle, price £30. Small Wonder headline this year’s entertainment, along with DJ Chewy, Tom Quirke’s jazz in the lobby, roulette and blackjack in the casino, those red carpet photos and a photo booth, the big ticket auction and, of course, a sumptuous meal into the bargain. Let’s get dressed up and come out to play!
Once again we were welcomed to a sweet September morning, as captioned to our blog last week! Seventy plus kids turned up to enjoy the fruits of this late-season swell. Today’s banner picture shows the Dolphins group and some of our coaches about to hit the water for their session – I hope you weren’t led to the site expecting to see their cetacean cousins as they don’t appear this week! There are dolphins and some surfers belonging to other fishy-named groups in our gallery below.
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!
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.
Settling down to enjoy the action
A fine October afternoon at the beach
And a fire to keep us warm!
A familiar sight !
Jacob pushing hard
Unexpected item in the surfing area
Bryony en route to the semis
Chaffers – half way there
Pumps easing down the wave
Christian finishing cleanly
Jayce throwing buckets
Deano laying into it
Giacomo, top to bottom
Nav adjusts his line
Tony setting his line
Simon eyeing a section
Pete hunting the barrel
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!
Pete and Mark – judges
Charlie also in the chair
Let’s get these scores right!
What’s the score?
Do we know yet?
Right. Here we go!
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!
Senara and Millie give the prize to 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!
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!
Lucas, the champ, second left
Lizzie, left, is our winner!
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!