Two Podium Finishes for Team Loco in the BSUPA SUP Surfing Nationals Round 1
Despite an early heads up as to a dire forecast from team rider and Devon local Sean Facey boss man Joe and team grom Finn ‘Burgers’ Gamblin decided to make the 500 mile pilgrimage down from the North East to take part in last weekend’s Round 1 of the BSUPA Nationals at Puttsborough. With a board delivery in Bournemouth to work into the proceedings 7hrs soon turned into 12hrs with traffic with the boys finally landing in Croyde at 10.20pm!
Not exactly what they had planned for but at least Joe caught last order in The Thatch so it could have been much worse. Fellow Locos Sean and Steve & Ollie Laddiman were already in the pub and had made the most of some practice in some 1′ wonderland conditions. Pints finished we all headed back to the Orchard Surfers Village Camp Site to bed down in the vans for the night. Woke up at 7.30am cold and had to rush to the beach to get the young shaver registered in time for a 9am kick off.
Good to see the event so well attended considering the abysmal forecast; some old faces alongside a wealth of new talent we’d not seen at last year’s Watergate event would make for some interesting heats in the first round. Shame the organisers didn’t run a repechage as £40 for one heat on top of the £100-200 juice money is steep in my humble opinion. Anyone can have a shocker or the waves just don’t happen for them so maybe this is something to consider for future events. That said with a fast disappearing forecast it was prudent to try and get everything done in one day on this occasion! Shame to see Sean bomb out in round 1 on his usual 8’2” El Diablo. Dare say he’d have been able to stand up on the 8’1” Aztec he was offered to use but you don’t know until you try sometimes!
The usual suspects were firing in the Mens Open with Matt, Aaron, Ollie and new grom Jim showing the other men how it’s done. That said a lot came down to kit and wave selection with those riding bigger/wider tailed boards generally faring better.
You know it’s choppy when Matt prones it out back although in fairness he was still on a sinky board just like the other 4 finalists so the honours definitely went to the right people. Shame Ollie let the occasion get to him and didn’t always pick the right waves in the final as he’s definitely got the skills to win. His trusty Loco axe seemed to be working it’s magic anyway!
Blue Ewer dominated the U16’s although Todd and Finn were still putting some nice turns in despite the crappy conditions. Given some cleaner conditions Finn was certainly showing some promise ahead of the event so it will be interesting to see what Gwithian conjours up in June.
We had Finn down as 2nd in the final as he was actually doing some turns but the judges must have been scoring it on length of ride as Todd had a couple of nice long lefts. That said a podium is still an improvement on last year’s 4th position so we’re all very proud of ‘Burgers’.
Juggling photography duties with grom nutrition and talking to competitors and potential punters meant we missed much of the ladies contest although it’s great to hear a fellow North Easterner took the honours in the ladies! Not sure why Nikki Graham isn’t already on our radar but we’d certainly like her to be if she’s reading this post!
Good to see Marie battle through a chest infection to take a well deserved second place. Surprised to not see former rider and current national champion Tina Beresford podium but I think the conditions didn’t suit her along with 85% of the other riders. I guess the onshore sorts out the wheat from the chaff so it will be interesting to see how everyone fares at the next round in Gwithian.
Not having been to Puttsborough before it’s certainly a pretty location and on it’s day you could certainly see the potential for a paddle surfing comp unfortunately it just wasn’t last weekend. Unsurprisingly Aaron wanted fellow bro-mancer ‘Burgers’ to stay around for the ‘social’ so despite a clean 5′ Scarborough forecast for Sunday Joe decided to can the 6hr drive and open a cold beer which would soon turn into several more with the ‘usual suspects’ causing carnage in The Thatch until well past last orders! Sunday was a hard day with many sore heads and large full English breakfasts being the order of the day ahead of everyone’s respective drive home.
Big thanks to Billy Warren for recovering an Aztec back to Devon for us, the organisers for putting on a great event, the other brands for surviving the standard Loco carnage at the Thatch and the random stag do for seemingly endless shots of Absinthe! Stay tuned to reports from Legend of the Bay and the C2C Scottish SUP Comp both happening this coming weekend with Loco riders taking part in both events.