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WELSH SUMMER JAM HELD IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS!

10649080_360787924087181_7762134946563999733_o After almost 3 months of waiting for the conditions to come together, Sunday 14th September saw the Welsh Bodyboard Club hold their 'Summer Jam'. With the promise of a small ground swell and good weather the club decided to take the event to one of south Wales' not so well know beach breaks. Competitors arrived before the sun awakened, but was greeted by the warm welcoming scent of bacon cooking at check in. It was great to see some new faces arrive including Devonian Phil Milsom and Saffa' Werner Roets adding to the mixture of club members from not only Wales but Kernow and Portugal also. Once everyone had checked in, and had their bacon rolls, they made their way down to the beach through the nature reserve and sand dunes as the sun started to show it's face. The competitors were greeted with small but perfect waves breaking along the 3 miles of golden sand. With there being a few stand up's on the predominant peak, a short stroll down the beach found an empty peak for the boogers to take over and start the days proceedings. A short briefing from club secretary Jono Sharp explained the competition rules and announced the heats as the coloure vests was dished out. The Prone was run as 2 x 5 man, 30 minutes each. Well that was the original idea. However the curse of racing Welsh tides meant that midway through Heat 1, the 5 minutes signal went, and heats were reduced to 20 mins. The first heat had 2 new faces, Werner Roets living in Pencoed, and Malcolm Edwards from Carmarthenshire. Keith Usher took the first heat easily, scoring twice as much as 2nd place Malcolm (11 - 5.5) who both went straight to the final. Werner looked bemused at the conditions, clearly not Durban quality! He also hadn't surfed for a year, and was feeling the cold (despite everyone else was saying how warm it was, he was not convinced...) He came joint last with Jono, with Harvey pipping them both by 0.5 to 3rd place. In heat 2, Teignmouth "tourist" Phil Milsom immediately stunned all onlookers with his comp savvy tactics, milking waves right into the shore, squeezing an extra move where all others were just kicking out. Those small extras added up and were enough to see him come first ahead of Alex Clark, even though Alex had the highest scoring single wave. What moves were being busted? Okay, think "80's take-off roll, trim, spin, close-out roll." Then repeat every wave... Yes it was a bit samey, but they did what they had to do, and got into the final. So, normally, that would be it for the remaining 6 "runners up", but as advertised, we held a repercharge heat with one Final space up for grabs. Because of time constraints, it was only ten minutes, but that was enough to see Werner shake off the cob-webs, and win with a decisive 5, to Ricardo on 2.5, and the last space in the final. By this time the tide had moved onto the bank, and coinciding with occasional sets of 2-3ft, was starting to shape up very nicely, even throwing a few super clean barrels (small but perfectly formed); so it proved to be that the 5 man Prone Final was held in the day's best conditions, as it should. This allowed the finalists Phil, Alex, Malcolm, Keith and Werner to really showcase their skills. Both Phil and Alex were the stand-outs, each getting some nice barrels, to the hoots of the onlookers. One of the best waves was a solid 3 ft, which Phil and Alex split perfectly. They performed super smooth forward spins - at exactly the same time - it was as if they had choreographed it to the second. Alex continued for a second spin, whilst Phil a roll. Although Phil's repertoire of moves was no more extensive than anyone else, they were just bigger, smoother, and he consistently showed more commitment than the other riders. He was the undisputed winner. Sadly, the bank which had created such conditions for the Prone final, now proved to be a curse for the DK - as the tide came in and the water on the bank deepened, there was that all too familiar hoax swell effect - the swell moves onto the bank, jacks up, only to pass over it into deeper water and flatten out again. Undeterred, the 5 man "straight to final" gave it their best efforts, and promptly spread out over about quarter mile of beach. The waves were not cooperating, and the guys were struggling even to maintain enough momentum to get up into jack stance. Everyone on the beach was willing them on, pointing out promising looking sets, but to no avail. Once again Phil had best wave at start of the heat with a spin, and Ricardo also got a good score early, but that was it. Everyone else got 1's and 2's merely for catching a wave and getting into stance. Literally, that was all they could do. Needless to say, it was very disappointing, and a mutinous mood was in the air back at base. To calm things down, it was decided to annul the results, and everyone got a refund, and although the prizes were kept over for next time, they still got a sponsors t-shirt. Can't say fairer than that! We headed back to the car park for the prize giving, and polished off the last of the bacon rolls, enthused to start planning the next one for Autumn, and a possible alternative "DK Wars" for the long-sufering DK-heads. Thanks to all who attended, and special thanks to Dan Martin who took the photos, James Webborn who cooked the bacon rolls and got the fire on the beach going, and to the WBC Committee and generous sponsors who made it happen. This comp was really testing riders "all-round" ability - in big waves, anyone can muscle their way along a section; conditions this day required finesse and smoothness to maintain speed and a line. And that is the beauty of a competition - you cannot be too choosy, very few waves go unridden. Clumsiness and poor technique are quickly exposed. Egos get battered, boards get punched. But in the end, we have learnt something and are better riders for it. PRONE RESULTS: 1st Phil Milsom 2nd Alex Clark 3rd Keith Usher 4th Malcolm Edwards 5th Werner Roets A big shout out to our sponsors for ever so kindly donating prizes again! The Pit Surf Shop Tafia Boarders Co. Slabi Clothing Section Bodyboarding Online Mag Boogie Vita - Bodyboard Emporium MANIAC BODYBOARDING Action Sports Distribution Alder Wetsuits [gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="3867,3866,3865,3864,3863,3862,3861,3860,3859,3858,3857,3856,3855,3854,3853,3852,3851,3850,3849"]
  • September 29, 2014
  • 5000
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