The North Devon Schools Surfing Championships held during the Goldcoast Oceanfest kicked off in difficult surfing conditions at Croyde Bay. Six local schools took part with the young surfers having the challenge of dealing with strong onshore winds and solid surf. Nalu supported the event by giving Nalu jewellery as prizes for the Nalu Girls Open.
The Tiki Tag Team event was the first event to take place with school teams having to demonstrate excellent communication skills and teamwork, as well as stylish and innovative surfing, to win the Tiki prizes. Kingsley School displayed great determination and grit but couldn’t overcome the hosts, The Ilfracombe Academy, who showed that they had what it takes to be crowned the Tiki Tag Team Champions. Alongside surfing, Surfers Against Sewage set them all several environmental challenges helping to raise awareness of the impact litter has on marine life. Despite a late charge by last year’s champions, Pilton Community College, it was the valiant effort of surfers from Braunton Academy, who took top spot with Ilfracombe in second place.
On a dropping tide the conditions gradually started to clean up making life easier for the surfers. The Nalu Girls Open entered the water following the Saltrock Boys Open. Due to a sports day clash at Bideford Academy, it was down to local ripper Fran Sayer to fly solo for the girls. Fran convincingly made it through to the finals to then face two great competitors, Molly Butterworth and Imogen Lang from Park School. Holly Thompson (Braunton) claimed the top spot due to her excellent surfing ability and good wave selection. In the Saltrock Open, it ended up being a ‘shoot-out’ between Braunton and Pilton. Ollie McKellar and Josh Gammon (Pilton) faced tough competition from Jake Arrowsmith and Alex Townsend (Braunton), but it was the current Croyde Surf Club champion, Jake Arrowsmith, who took the spoils from his teammate and rivals.
The surfing competiton was a great success and with its twist of taking on environmental challenges made the event unique and impactful on all who took part. Contest director, Rob Whitney said, “This is such an important grass roots event for our young surfers in the area, many of whom were surfing in their very first surf competition. I’m extremely grateful for all the local support in putting on this event and making sure everyone had fun and were safe. I’d personally like to thank everyone at Surfing England, The Ilfracombe Academy, Croyde Surf Club, Saltrock, Tiki, Nalu, Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, Surfers Against Sewage, Parkdean, Goldcoast Oceanfest, the competitors and of course the teachers!”
Braunton Academy were delighted to be the overall winners and will enjoy a free session on the Woolacombe Wave, courtesy of Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park.
1st Braunton Academy
2nd The Ilfracombe Academy
3rd Park School
5th Pilton Community College
The Tiki Tag Team Event:
1st The Ilfracombe Academy
2nd Braunton Academy
4th Park School
Saltrock Boys Open
1st – Jake Arrowsmith (Braunton), 2nd Alex Townsend (Braunton) 3rd – Josh Gammon (Pilton) 4th – Ollie McKellar (Pilton)
Nalu Beads Girls Open
1st – Holly Thompson (Braunton) 2nd –Fran Sayer (Bideford) 3rd –Molly Butterworth (Park)
4th – Imogen Lang (Park)
For further information about the event and to get involved to support then contact firstname.lastname@example.org