What a weekend, if you missed it you must have been mad. Watergate bay was an excellent choice of venue and the surf really performed, its was a super clean 3-4ft with some bigger sets rolling in. There was a real cross section of people taking part with European Long boarding champions, world windsurfing champions to people who have only just taken the sport up. All credit to John Hubbard for organizing the event, the atmosphere was brilliant with everyone checking out the latest stand up paddle surfing gear and chatting about the sport.
A personal highlight for me was meeting a windsurfing legend, Brian “Action” Talma, who flew in from Barbados on Friday and flew back out on Sunday and managed to infect the whole contest with his Bajan cool and the word "action".
The tide was dropping as the first round began, with the waves still rolling in, nobody really knew what to expect but it soon became clear that strong carving turns, cross stepping, nose riding and using the paddle to pivot the board round was the order of the day.
The rounds progressed as the tide was dropping and which was a shame for the competitors in the quarter finals as the wave really started to close out, but it did mean that some riders we able to squeeze into the close out barrels (especially Alex Murray and Adam Zervas). No mean feat when you are taking at 10 ft board and paddle with you !
The quarter finals progressed as the tide started to turn and the waves improved, giving competitors a section clean to play with. Before the men’s final the woman held their final, which was great, and summed up the relaxed atmosphere of the day as Charlotte Emsden, who can’t be more than 10 years old, went out on a Hi-Fly Magnum windsurf board with a paddle from an inflatable dingy. A future champion, no doubt. The winner was Lucy Howell with Theresa Thomson in second place, Marie Buchanan third and Charlotte Emsden in fourth.
The mens final was fantastic to watch with Brian Talama, Adam Zeveras, Lewis Timpson and Elliott Dudley making it through. There were some great rides with Brian carving the waves up, Adam cross stepping and noseriding, Timpson with some awesome switch stance take offs and Elliot really styling. First place went to Elliot Dudley, second to Lewis Timpson, third was Brian Talma and fourth Adam Zervas.
Then everybody piled into the water for the distance race. The life guards at Watergate had dropped a bouy off shore and the competitors raced out to it and back. It was a close fought race with Australian Dave Monaghan coming first, Timo Mullen second, John Hibbard (the event organiser and all round top bloke) and Neal Gent third. In the ladies distance Marie Buchanan took first place with Mel Shiplee in second.
The presentations took place in the Pheonix Bar where afew well deserved beers were sunk. Roll on the next contest !
Thanks to John Hibbard, Shag, Andy Cooper and all the others for making it such a great competition.
1) Elliott Dudley
2) Lewis Timson
3) Brian Talma
4) Adam Zervas
5=) John Hibbard, Alex Murray
6=) Timo Mullen, Dave Monaghan
7=) Simon Bassett, Glyn Ovens, Duncan Scott, Tim Mellors
8=) Lee Harvey, Steve PP, Jock Patterson, Alan Price
9=) Josh Wright, Matt Argyle, James Caley, Dave Mellors, Neil Gent, Darren Basson, Nick Newton Williams
10=) Jan Sleigh, Rich Marsh, Timo (Docker) Pete Shiplee, Steve Carter, Bill Fitzhugh, Adrianno
1) Lucy Howell
2) Theresa Thomson
3) Marie Buccannen
4) Charlotte Emsden
1) Dave Monaghan
2) Timo Mullen
3) John Hibbard
4) Neal Gent
5) Alex Murray
6) Adam Zervas
7) Brian Talma
8 ) Steve Carter
10) Simon Bassett
11) Nick Newton Williams
13) Jan Sleigh
14) Rich Marsh
15) Zac Wharton
16) Keith Hoppins
1) Marie Buccannen
2) Mel Shiplee
Full results are available on John’s website here.