Our traditional Christmas Day bash saw it’s largest ever attendance. There was a friendly wave for those taking to the water and a welcoming array of beverages both hot and alcoholic – and sometimes both – for those enjoying the gathering on dry land. There were a few of our Saturday club nippers answering the call as well as a strong contingent of St. Ives surfers who might swell our adult membership once the lure of the clubhouse is available. Construction there has been delayed due to as yet unresolved issues around what builders warranties are required, but we are still expecting to complete in time for summer 2018. More news when we have it! There’s a gallery below of some of those in attendance on Christmas Day, my apologies to anyone I have missed with my roving lens.
I think most participants on Saturday morning would have shared my thoughts on seeing Mother Meor from the top of Porthmeor Hill on arrival: “pretty small today”. And, like me, they would have been surprised and then delighted that the waves were bigger than expected when we got down to the water, and grew during our sessions into a punchy chest-high out back during the morning. Our junior surfers took to their tasks with great enthusiasm and displayed no little skill. Well done everyone!
Last Sunday saw the seventh annual Swellboard Shootout surf competition organised by St. Ives Surf School on Porthmeor Beach. The event raises funds for Surfers Against Sewage, and this year saints boardriders were honoured to be co-beneficiaries with them of the funds raised over the weekend. Indeed, Sunday was only the culmination of a three day extravaganza which commenced at Porthmeor Beach West on Friday night with an evening of fish tacos, beer and music from Frankie Davies and Ben Warner. Saturday evening saw the open-air film show and curry night at Cohort Hostel, before the teams gathered on Porthmeor Beach on Sunday morning dressed to impress and ready to lay down some swelly-riding magic in the quest to lift the coveted trophy.
A single blog cannot do justice to such an epic day, so this is just the first instalment of a multi-part, cut out and keep pictorial memento of the day’s action. Our banner picture features our august panel of judges in their lofty, secluded majesty.And now we meet the teams:
Coming next : The parade.
After an interminable wait, Porthmeor finally enjoyed a little bump in the ocean on Sunday morning. There were several Saturday kids out catching waves and a goodly number of adults took to the water on swellys or logs to sate their appetites after the recent flat spell. Here’s a few pics of the grown-ups!
Winter brings us a little more downtime as far as saints boardriders goes, so here are a couple of videos featuring our leading competitors on the British scene. Both were shot at the Thurso Surf Festival at the end of last season by Mr. B Productions. The first covers the whole event in all divisions and offers a measure of what it takes to surf at the highest level on the national scene. The second features our own Jayce Robinson finding some nuggets in his free-surfing sessions away from the comp site.
Fill your cup with your favourite hot drink, grab a packet of biscuits, click on the image and enjoy!
Our thanks to Mr. B Productions, the UK Pro Surf Tour and Vimeo for these gems.
There were some notable absentees from our final Saturday session of the season. Saints boardriders decided to dip it’s toes in the waters of competitive surfing and entered a team into the 2016 edition of the Interclubs competition, held at Fistral Beach Newquay over the weekend.
Our Junior team was Joshua Martindale, Taylor Bairds, Dev Parsons and Harry de Roth.
Our Open team was Steve Hewlett, Simon Trebilcock, Harry de Roth, Joshua Martindale and Taylor Bairds.
We did not have a ladies team, something to aim for next year!
The junior team was a maximum of 4 surfers, with the mens open being a minimum of 4 and maximum of 6. Each surfer would surf 1 heat per day in each division entered.
The heats were in a 4 man format with first place scoring 10 points, second place scoring 8 points, 3rd place scoring 6 points and 4th place scoring 4 points. The total of all scores was then added up with the highest scoring team winning.
Day 1 saw a good size swell running with fairly strong NW Wind making tricky conditions. The Juniors took to the water first with Josh up in the first heat against some seasoned competitors to take 4th place, followed by Taylor for another 4th, then it was Harry to get our first 1st place of the day, Dev then surfed well to get a 3rd.
Taylor opened up for us in the mens to get a well earned 2nd, Steve Hewlett a 3rd, Josh a 4th, Simon a 3rd and Harry another 1st!
Day 2 was a lot smaller in the waist to chest high region with light onshores. Juniors were first in the water with what was probably the weakest conditions of the day on a dropping tide. Results were Taylor & Dev 4th, Josh a 3rd and Harry a 1st!
The mens open was on after lunch at low tide and a slightly increased swell. Harry and Simon were both up first and both got 1st’s, Steve got a 2nd, Josh 4th and Taylor 3rd.
Overall we came mid placed amongst the other clubs. Newquay A were the strongest and won the Open and the overall competition, made up of points in all divisions.
All the members of our team put in great performances and had a great weekend. It gave some of us our first ever taste of national competition surfing. We are looking forward to building on this and getting more members involved next year!
There comes a time when you have to let go. Our young surfer in the header picture has reached that point, and, indeed, so have the rest of the 2016 cohort of saints boardriders. Saturday was our last session of the season with only the grand finale on Sunday 25th to come. There will be group sessions for junior surfers, and a comp under standard judging rules for the Dolphins and Sharks. Here’s hoping for a fine day and great surf as we say goodbye to our 2016 sessions!
In the meantime here’s a gallery of pictures from Saturday.
Well, I didn’t know what to call it myself, though I did hear one young girl call it “The best session ever!” as she got out of the water. That gives such satisfaction to the coaches and helpers. Thank you Kaitlyn for that encouragement!
The first session began at low water, and the waves looked small as we gathered at the surf school. However, we found a persistent swell with the set waves about chest-high to our sharks, ideal conditions to serve up a surfing session for all sizes and competencies. Only 89 surfers today, our smallest attendance this year, but I suspect there may have been a swimming gala somewhere, as none of our ace competitors were present.
Thankfully, we had best use of the sea conditions, as the beach filled to capacity as the day wore on and a fresh batch of holidaymakers got to enjoy Porthmeor at it’s best – albeit it’s busiest too!
A blustery Saturday morning saw a rippy low tide offering some chunky waves to the Dorys and Nemos in the 9 o’ clock session. It required a large corps of instructors, helpers and parents in the water to get the kids on the waves. Nevertheless, despite the wipeouts, inevitable collisions and numerous duckings, the smiles told us that a challenging day in the surf is fun!
Even the sharks surfing out back found themselves tested by the conditions, and all the intermediate groups were also pushing themselves to get on the larger, steeper waves. Attendance was again over 120 surfers, all keen to keep the Saturday morning vibe despite the disappointing run of cancellations due to early morning high tides. There’s more on the next two alternate Saturdays, but then we see an unbroken spell for a while to get into the groove as the school holidays begin. All we need are waves! Some Saints below…
I don’t know who was more surprised on a recent evening when St. Ives lifeboat Nora Stachura, exercising off Porthmeor Beach and coming hard astern, found Harry De Roth popping up on a wave beneath her. Harry was quickly to his feet and out of there toward the beach, while Nora powered offshore in a muscular demonstration of her own wave-busting potential.