Jesus Longboard Classic is a Classic ....
A beautiful sunny Polzeath greeted the surfers for the 5th Jesus Longboard Classic, held over the 15th and 16th October. Hosted by Tubestation, the Christian Surfers UK event saw over 70 competitors come from all over the country to compete in stunning conditions. A gentle offshore breeze and 3ft+ waves gave the long-boarders a perfect opportunity to show off their prowess in the waves.
With four divisions and a prize purse of £1000 up for grabs, the juniors, women's, masters and open categories saw some big names from the world of long-boarding enter, and it was also great to see entrants new to the competition scene.
The Juniors were first to hit the water, which saw an incredibly high level of surfing and some closely fought heats. Zac Lawton showed that he will be a contender for future titles next year as he is about to leave the ranks of under 18 surfing.
In the women's category a tight set of heats saw Anna Gooding, Davina Stickley, Ashleigh Bennetts and Claire Smail progress to the finals.
In perhaps the craziest heat of the contest, the masters showed that they still have the skills, and the greatest enjoyment of being in the sea, as friends attempted to steal waves from each other. They showed great sportsmanship as they hooted each other into waves.
The open category progressed quickly from round 1 to the quarter finals on saturday afternoon. A mix of traditional and progressive manoeuvers displayed the wealth of talent we have in this country, with some amazing nose-rides and big off-the-lip, fins free turns.
This little Methodist church had a vision to reach out to their community, and this church has become a haven for surfers and the community as it provides a relaxed venue to hang out and chat. It also offers a skate ramp, great food and and art gallery show casing local artists work. Now named Tubestation, it has hosted the Jesus Longboard Classic for the past 5 years.
A surfers blessing at the Tubestation has become a traditional part of the Jesus Longboard Classic.
After a stunning breakfast, all the surfers were given garlands of flowers as they listened to live music by singer songwriter Gareth Logan and a heartfelt message from Rich Balding of surf company Nineplus. Rich gave a beautiful account of how Jesus has given his life a meaning and significance, and was both persuasive and challenging as he examined who Jesus really is. One of the directors of the Tubestation, Kris Lannen prayed a blessing over the surfers, and the competition was back on.
One competitor called this event “the benchmark competiton which all other events should aspire to”. The thing that makes the “Jesus” special is the way in which so many people are there as volunteers to serve, the atmosphere around the beach and Tubestation, and the way the event is so inclusive of both novice and professional competitive surfers.
Sunday saw some solid sets come through under slightly cloudier skies, as all of the semi finals and finals were closely fought out.
The results are as follows,
In the Junior Category, Jack Unsworth 4th, Connor Griffiths 3rd, Alex Maddocks 2nd and taking the win in his final year or under 18 surfing was Zac Lawton.
In the women’s final a tied score for 3rd place between Davina Stickley and Ashleigh Bennetts meant that Anna gooding took second place, and Claire Smail emerging victorious.
The master results had a popular Robert Davin in 4th, last years “longest nose-ride” winner- Pete Dudley in 3rd, Colin Bright taking yet another second place and Adam Chell scooping the winners trophy.
The open final was the closest possible, testing the judges to the limit. With only 1.5 points separating 2nd to 4th positions. Taking the 4th spot was Ben Skinner, 3rd was Angus Murray and Nico Keruzec took second Place. The winner with a score of 18.13 was Ben Haworth, demonstrating why he is one of the UK’s top riders.
There were two other trophies given out on the day, The Longest Noseride- sponsored by Wavehunters- won with an awesome ride by Ben Skinner. Also the Most Progressive manoeuver trophy from Surfs Up, taken by Ben Haworth for his off the lip fins free turn.
At the presentation, contest director Johnny Hillman of CSUK thanked God for a blessed event and went on to thank the sponsors of the event, Nineplus and Atlantic House Hotel...... and mentioned that this is a highlight of the competition calendar. “The thing that makes this contest, is the great vibe and sportsmanship showed by each and every one of the competitors” he said. Many of the competitors commented on how well the competition ran, and how enjoyable it was. The Tubestation is a fantastic place to hang out between heats. It really shows how a church can serve the community around it.
Christian Surfers UK would also like to thank all the Christian Surfer Volunteers who gave up their time to run
the event, Terry and Marta for
keeping everyone looked after, and 360 Photography, Surfs up, Wavehunters, Tubestation,, Mr Surfy and the support of the RNLI on the beach.
Al Photo credits to Nick at 360 Photography.
For further information on either Christian Surfers UK the Jesus Surf Classic, or the Jesus Longboard Classic e-mail Johnny Hillman on email@example.com