Above: Charlotte Bayliss. All BLU Gwithian Photos by Richard Davies
It was hard to believe that it was nearing the middle of September as we were greeted with blue skies, warm weather and amazingly solid head high to overhead, clean waves! This seemed to be the first contest of the year where Mother Nature decided to give us all of what we desired. It seemed to be favouring the girls even more that day when the decision was made to put us in first whilst the conditions were good, before Perranporth’s renowned low tide bank showed its face. With another good turn-out of girls at the event the first of the quarter final heats went in the water.
In the first heat Gracie Davies made it out back quickly and smoothly and surfed a great heat to take 1st place with Nicola Bunt in 2nd. I was in the water for the next heat and the butterflies from standing on the shore line soon disappeared as we all made it out back to be greeted with lovely clean punchy waves. There were plenty of waves to go around for us all and it was a case of picking out some of the smaller longer rides. Davina Stickley took the lead and I followed behind managing to pick up one of the sets in the first few minutes and back it up with a slightly smaller wave to the inside. Emily Currie surfed but just missed out on a space in the Semi-final. By the third heat the conditions had become slightly harder work and it was Claire Smail and Lucy Howell who continued.
The wind stayed light for most of the morning but by lunch time it had swung onshore and freshened up. I personally had a bit of a disaster in the Semis taking off on a huge set, making it, then getting taken out by the one behind it as I turned to paddle back out. This resulted in me being dragged along the bottom with my leash around my wrist and inhaling half the wave! I finally managed to get back out and score a 5.5 on a nice left but unfortunately didn’t have time to back it up so just missed out on the final. Nicola Bunt and Claire Smail managed to get some longer waves and gain their place in the final along with Gracie Davies and Lucy Howell.
By the final the conditions had eased off to a more manageable 3-4ft but the wind was still blowing slightly more than earlier. After a great day of competition Nicola Bunt took 1st Claire Smail 2nd Grace Davies 3rd and Lucy Howell took 4th.
I think it can be said that everyone had a great time and it was great to get some decent swell for a contest as well as be put in during the best conditions which is usually a rarity as all girls know!
For the final event of the BLU Season we all headed down to Gwithian beach where once again we were greeted with crisp blue skies. The feeling of Autum was definitely here and the surf was greatly different than the previous weekend peaking at about waist high and clean. The girls competition was again well contested with a great turnout. We headed into the water for the quarter finals as it hit the high tide making the most of the dwindling conditions. By the time the semi-finals were run it was obvious that the swell was disappearing quickly. Gracie Davies and Emily Currie took first and second in the first of the heats making the most of what there was with nose-rides and trimming. In the next heat I took 2nd place behind Claire Smail to progress into the final. With the judges beginning to worry about whether it was still contestable in the knee high waves the decision was made to put our Final in at low tide in hope that a pulse of swell would arrive. Unfortunately this didn’t happen but we all had a good laugh out in the water trying to pick off what we could in the 25minutes.
The decision was made to cancel the Open final due to flat conditions so we all headed up to Sunset Surf for the prize giving which included awarding the British Title. In the end it was Gracie Davies who stormed to victory in our heat showing her experience, I took the 2nd place followed by Emily Currie and Claire Smail in 4th. It was then time to find out who had taken the top 4 spots and the British title for 2012 in the ladies category. With the final sums being completed the resutls were Emily Currie 4th, Nicola Bunt 3rd, Gracie Davies 2nd and Claire Small stood as British Champion 2012.
After a tough start to the year with many weeks of flat conditions it was great to get the final competition wrapped up with everyone there. I think I can say that everyone had a brilliant time at the competitions and a huge thank you needs to go out to Minno Green, Vic Danks, Bob freshwater and his team of great judges including 2 x British champion Juliet Marlow, for all the time and effort they have put into the BLU Events in 2012.