Super Swell Sunday
Super Swell Sunday
The biggest surf competition in the Europe returned to Newquay this weekend as the UK’s best student surfers took to the waves off Fistral beach, in what many locals called the best surfing conditions of the year, to battle it out for gold in the BUCS Barefoot Wine Surf Championships.
Day one of the championship, which has a huge entry for a surfing championships saw 344 surfers of all abilities take to the water in perfect surfing conditions, each had fifteen minutes to show the judges and the hundreds in attendance what they could do with the top two out of five in each heat progressing.
The finals took place on Sunday in conditions described as pumping by the surfers, as waves of eight feet rolled into Fistral. The swell increased the difficulty for the surfers, as paddling out was very difficult, but with the best competitors left in the competition this provided a fantastic platform from which to show off their talents.
For many the women’s competition was the one to watch with any one of eight surfers in with a credible chance of securing the gold. In the final local girl Holly Donnelly, surfing for Falmouth, showed her strength picking off two big set waves to secure a double figure combination and first place for the second year running. Plymouth's Sophie Hellyer finished in second place ahead of many peoples favourite to win, Gwen Spurlock (Swansea) who locked in one big score but couldn’t get a back-up wave and had to settle for third place with Donnelly’s teammate Nina Brooke finishing fourth. Contest Director Ester Spears praised the standard of the women's competiton saying "the quality of the women's surfing has been steadily improving but this year there was a step change and all the girls ripped".
In the men's competition Gordon Fontaine, who is studying a marketing degree at Bournemouth University, secured legendary status by securing his fourth consecutive BUCS title. Fontaine, who is originally from Brittany in North France, is one of this country’s best surfers and for the last few years has been battling it out with Britain’s most successful pro surfer Russ Winter for the number one sport in the UK Pro Surf Tour rankings.
Following the final head judge Tony Good said “for the best performance of the weekend, you’re looking at Gordon Fontaine, he is a world class surfer. On day one he landed a really nice air reverse and then today was all about big, big turns, big power turns, and that’s what the judges were rewarding, locking in some big hacks and some vertical surfing and he did that. Fontaine’s wave selection was spot on as ever, building the house, getting a couple of eights to start with, and then just getting stronger and stronger. Local lad Matt Rodwell (University of Plymouth) picked up the second strongest wave of the heat, but unfortunately didn’t back it up with a strong wave meaning he missed out as University College Falmouth’s Chris Kelly finished with silver, and Harvey Tregidgo (The University of the West of England) the bronze.”
University College Falmouth capped a very successful championships by securing gold in both the men’s and women’s team competitions which also gave Holley Donnelly her second gold medal of the weekend.
After all the winners had collected their prizes BUCS Sports Manager Ed Curran spoke of his delight at the continued growth of the event, “Yet again the BUCS Barefoot Surf Champs managed to get some of the best conditions of the year, with sunny weather, great competition waves on Friday and Saturday whilst Sunday served up a treat with 6-8ft sets of waves giving the very best male and female competitors a perfect platform to showcase their skills to the judges and wow the crowd. The event has a wonderful atmosphere, with so much going on; as well as being entertained by the great surfing on show those on the beach could try surf simulators, wine-tasting from Barefoot Wines, Kukri official event merchandise, Star-surf camps holidays to be won and a beach volleyball tournament run by Falmouth’s volleyball club, all to a soundtrack provided by Red Bull’s mobile DJ’s – and this was all before the evening entertainment and accommodation package kick’s in with partners Outgoing. The event is growing in stature every year, and the standard of the competitors is growing along with that, congratulations to the winners, Gordon, Holly and Falmouth and we look forward to building on the great success of this year’s competition again next year”.
BUCS Barefoot Wine Surf Championships 2012 Results
Individual - Male
1 Gordan Fontaine - Bournemouth
2 Chris Kelly - Falmouth
3 Harvey Tregidgo - UWE
4 Matt Rodwell - Plymouth
Individual - Female
1 Holly Donnelly - Falmouth
2 Sophie Hellyer - Plymouth
3 Gwen Spurlock - Swansea
4 Nina Brooke - Falmouth
Team - Male
4 Cardiff Met
Team - Female
5 Bath Spa
7 Plymouth St Mark and St John
For a full list of results click here.
Last updated: 23rd Oct 2012 15:20