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Belly boarding event far from a flop

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: September 09, 2009

  • Some of the many competitors who took part in the World Belly Board Championships. 0909GH01215belly

  • Celia Kent managed to keep her wig dry after her heat in the surf at Chapel Porth. 0909GH01212belly

  • One of the oldest competitors was Charmain Cannon of Chapel Porth (centre), who took to the water on her 86th birthday. 0909GH01211belly

  • Charlie Hoskin gets ready for the off in full fancy dress. 0909GH01207belly

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THERE were no belly flops at the World Belly Board Championship as record numbers of entrants took to the sea.

Chapel Porth beach was the venue for the National Trust and RNLI seventh annual contest that attracts competitors from around the world, and in all age ranges, to take to the waves in the hope of 'boarding' away with one of the events prizes.

Devised in 2002 by two friends and surfers, Chris Ryan, a National Trust car park attendant at Chapel Porth and Martyn Ward, a RNLI lifeguard supervisor, the Skinners Brewery sponsored competition, has grown from 14 to 206 competitors signing up to compete for the coveted world title.

Martyn said: "Sea conditions were excellent for belly boarding on Sunday, with small, clean and consistent waves up to one metre and warm southerly winds."

Impressed

Will Boex took the men's world title, while Claire Jenrick's won the woman's world title.

In the over 60's category, Nick Burt took the men's world title and Gwynedd Haslock impressed judges to win the women's.

The under 16's girls title was won by Emma Collinge, with Finlay Wegner taking the boys under 16 world championship.

Cyril and Charmain Cannon shared the spirit of belly boarding award and Liam Wilson won the best up and comer award at six-years of age.

Out of the water, Anita James took the prize for the best ladies costume, while a stylish Matthew McGregor took the men's.

Robyn Davies, five times British Surf Champion and surf project officer for the National Trust said: "This championship celebrates all that is good about surfing.

"It brings a communal 'stoke' factor back to an ever growing sport and there were some fantastic costumes, and belly boards ranging from the vintage or homemade to the new and glossy.

"The National Trust and the RNLI feel it is really important to highlight the pressures put on the coast and the beaches and what better way of doing this than by having a really great family day out."

Any money raised from the event will go towards supporting the National Trust's ongoing local conservation work and the RNLI's South West Lifeguard Appeal, which aims to raise £500,000 towards the cost of providing RNLI lifeguards on 91 beaches in the region.

Visit www.bellyboarding.co.uk for more information.

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