Errant/Starboard - Stand Up Paddle Board Championships 2007 at Watergate Bay, Newquay
Perfect sunshine and 2-3ft glassy swell greeted the competitors at the UK's first ever Stand Up Paddling Surfing Championships sponsored by Errant Surf Holidays, Starboard and the Extreme Academy; providing a perfect setting for a historical day in UK Surfing.
Competitors from all over the country and as far away as Barbados turned up on mass to the Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay, Newquay to compete, hang out and meet up.
The event was split into two disciplines Surf and Distance. The surf was perfect for Stand Up Paddle Surfing and this allowed everybody to get out and ride some perfect set waves. As the heats progressed it was obvious who was hungry for the title - to be honest though most people were just happy to be out on the water riding perfect waves.
Brian Talma (Starboard) from Barbados was pushing aside jet lag to catch some very stylish rides. Local hot shot Adam Zervas (C4) was revelling in the conditions, pulling off some stylish cut backs.
Head Lifeguard from Watergate Bay Lewis Timson (Starboard/South Point) showed his S.U.P skills with some fluid nose rides and great wave selection in the low tide sets. 2 x European longboard champ, Elliott Dudley (C4) was also a man on a mission and got some of the longest rides of the day. In fact it was these 4 guys who made the most of the conditions and advanced to the 4 man final.
The final was dominated by two riders: Elliot Dudley and Lewis Timson. Both showing their own style and approach to wave riding. They both rode some long waves to challenge for the top spot. In the end it was Elliot's nose rides that saw him take the top spot but Lewis' drop knee turns brought him within a whisker of stealing the title from Elliot's grasp.
Third place went to Brain Talma from Barbados who was keeping the crowds entertained with his colourful Bajan style on and off the water. His familiar cry of "Action" could be heard all over the beach. Brian truly is an ambassador for Stand Up Paddle Surfing - promoting a chilled out vibe and always has a smile on his face . Adam Zervas finished 4th, after missing out on a few key rides. You can be sure that he will be back next time to challenge for the title.
The ladies saw Lucy Howell (Starboard) dominate ahead of Theresa Thomson (Starboard/South Point) in second and Marie Buchanan (Starboard) in third and the youngest contestant Charlotte Emsden in 4th.
The Distance paddle was a gruelling affair and was dominated by four riders. Ozzy Dave Monaghan on his Starboard 12'6, Timo Mullen (Surftech/Starboard), John Hibbard (Starboard) and Neal Gent (Starboard). These four pulled out a healthy lead ahead of the chasing pack. It was Ozzy Dave who eventually stroked out ahead on his own to claim the win with Timo following being by 100 meters.
By the finish line John Hibbard and Neal Gent were locked in their own private battle and only 2 meters separated them at the finish line. John somehow managed to find a final burst of energy to pip Neal into 3rd place. Marie Buchanan (Starboard) came in ahead of Mel Shiplee (Jimmy Lewis) in the ladies.
Aside from all the battles at the top of the rankings it was an amazing day. Great weather, happy spectators, happy contestants all topped of with a few pints of Skinners beer! Thanks to all that came along and supported the event. Big thanks to Shag, Michelle, Lucy, Steve and Adrianno for their help at the event and to all the competitors for being so chilled out and for helping make it a memorial day.
Thanks to the sponsors: Errant Surf Travel, Starboard Stand Up Paddle Boards , Extreme Academy, standuppaddlesurf.co.uk, Fat Face, Go Fast Sports, Grasshopper Porridge, Reef and Prosport Suncream.
For full results, go to: www.errantsurf.com