The Extreme Academy 2012 BSUPA National Championships at Watergate Bay

Andre Le Geht at BSUPA Finals

Loco SUP team rider Andre’ Le Geyt dominates The Extreme Academy 2012 BSUPA National Championships at Watergate Bay

The forecast looked decidedly sketchy for the event when Joe and Nick set off on their 500 mile annual pilgrimage down to Watergate Bay from Loco HQ in Tynemouth. The torrential rain and driving winds hardly made for ‘that warm feeling inside’ when they finally landed in Cornwall on Thursday. Loco’s ‘secret weapon’ pitched up from Jersey on Friday afternoon so Joe was keen to see how good Andre’ was in comparison to last year’s serious contenders. Competition day finally landed and the team was met by strong onshore wind resulting in a complete much fest. Needless to say this did not bode well!

Andre’ elected to use his production 8’11’’ over his 7’10’’ custom. This turned out to be the correct weapon of choice, as he was out back and tearing up the sets in no time, placing 1st in his heat. Joe and Nick felt decidedly better about their below par showing out attempts on boards that were clearly too small!

As this picture from the quarter finals clearly illustrates it had turned into the Andre’ show! His 8’11’’ green machine sliced through the gnarliest of chop really turning the screw on the rest of the field. The words ‘on fire’ and ‘charging’ became the MC’s standard. Once again Andre’ sailed through to the semi-finals. Job done!

Sunday was a whole new ball game as the wind had switched offshore and the sets had turned to glass. The organisers ‘questionably’ decided to run the BOP style race event first. Despite a uncharacteristic mistake getting out through the sets Andre’ still managed to catch up the leaders keeping himself in contention for the Waterman honours with a very respectable 5th.

Once the juniors and ladies had completed their surf events it was back to the mens surf semi-finals. The wind had unhelpfully switched back round to cross onshore which was a shame as the waves got smaller and the sections a lot harder to read. Andre’s semi was a real tough one to call with Starboard’s John Hibbard throwing some nice tweaked moves and Gong’s Titou Minster also making the most of very little. Joe was nervous for Andre’ as it felt too tight to call but once again a couple of fluid rides with five to six solid turns and some spectacular losing the fins action secured him yet another first place.

Jersey’s 14yr old Aaron Rowe did remarkably well fighting off a bout of food poisoning to take part in the final. He’s certainly one to watch in the future with some of the most impressive power moves seen at the competition.

The conditions seemed to deteriorate further so the final was more about wave selection and making the most of what was available. Thankfully Andre’ years of surfing experience really paid off this him connecting turns back to back, losing the fins regularly and generally out styling everyone except Aaron. When the heat concluded the general consensus was that Aaron might have sneaked it due to the power moves but seasoned competitor Andre’ had simply put more turns together and used more of the paddle in his manoeuvres so was judged to be the winner.

Considering their very humble beginnings and being less than 1yr in the SUP business, Team Loco were ecstatic to have their R&D tester take this much coveted title. Head of Operations Joe Thwaites commented ‘We’re beyond stoked for Andre’ and would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the brand in terms of product development, testing and his infectious general stoke for what we’re trying to achieve here at Loco. We wish him every success for the future and look forward to supporting him however we can’