WATERGATE Bay will play host to the English National Surfing Championships in May; one of Europe’s longest running surfing events.
The competition, now its 42nd year, is the first event on the UK Pro Surf Tour and will feature some of the best surfers from across the UK and Europe.
The event is organised by the English Surfing Federation (ESF) and students from Cornwall College’s surf science and technology course.
Dave Reed, organiser of the UK Pro Surf Tour, said: “Last year’s event was one of the most successful events we’ve ever had, the weather was good, we had an incredible number of entries, and we had more spectators down on the beach than we’ve ever had, so the standard has been set.
“For many, it will be the first event that they can put the winter months of training in foreign warm water locations such as Indonesia, Hawaii and Australia into practice.”
Jon Green, a student on the surf science and technology foundation degree, said: “With the weekend deciding champions across 14 categories, the winner of the men’s open will be crowned English National Champion and alongside the winners from the junior categories, women’s open and the longboard divisions they will make up the GB Surfing squad that will go on to represent the UK in the European Championships and all over the world, so there is a lot to play for.”
Dave Reed added that there are a number of great competitors to look out for: “The current UK Pro Surf Tour champion Alan Stokes is an obvious one to keep an eye on, he’s on top form at the moment, also Russell Winter, but I’d say the dark horse, is a surfer who has struggled with injury in the last 12 months, Jobe Harris from Bude in terms of the men’s open.
“For the women’s division, Keisha Ayre won all of the events on the tour last year, she’s phenomenally gifted and surfs for the Portuguese surf team. With the longboard division you can’t overlook Ben Skinner, number 2 in the world.
“The support from local and national businesses has been superb in the past and I’m delighted to say that the Watergate Bay Hotel will be another key sponsor of the event, but there are lots of opportunities for other businesses to get involved and we’d be keen to hear from people.”
The English National Surfing Championships will be held over May 3, 4 and 5 . You can find out more at englishsurfing.co.uk