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!
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…
Coach John posted an advisory on our Facebook page on Friday evening that conditions for Saturday club could be tricky with a forecast of strong onshore winds bringing choppy steep waves. Some of our youngest novices heeded the advice and gave the session a miss, but we still had over 70 kids tackling the waves on the day. The Dolphins, in particular, had a good workout and are well featured in our gallery of the day. There’s also a bonus picture showing St. Ives surfer Joe Greenaway’s new mural for Foxholes At West, just completed for the weekend. Enjoy!
It has been an on – off start to the summer season for the Kids Club as the tides have caused a few blank Saturdays in the calendar so far. Then when we did get a favourable morning, the waves were offering only a little help when we got in the water. However, there were over 80 eager beavers jumping in and making the best of the conditions. Here’s how.
Here’s hoping for bigger waves at the next session!
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!
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!