English National Shortboard Surf Championship 2020 - Report and Photos
The first big event in the English surf calendar kicked off last weekend and the action did not disappoint! England's best shortboarders battled it out to be crowned National Champions in the Open and U18 divisions and push for qualification for the British Championships.
There was some tough weather out there, but it brought some great waves along with it. Relocating from Fistral to Tolcarne Beach helped make the most of these conditions and provided the perfect setting to sit back and take in the action.
This was a brand new structure to the event, with the 2020 MVMT English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships taking place to select who will compete for Team England at the British Surfing Championships and British Cup, when they eventually take place. These two events will ultimately decide who gets to compete for Team GB at the next ISA World Surfing Games and potentially earn themselves a spot at the Olympics, where surfing makes its debut as a sport. The stakes were high.
Saturday saw the event get underway with the Open Men’s Shortboard competition and some very closely fought heats, many going down to the last minute as competitors looked to find the scores to take them through to the next round.
Two recent graduates from Team England Juniors really made an impression on the competition. Barnaby Cox and Seth Morris charged through their heats and into the men’s final, with Barnaby placing 3rd and Seth 4th.
Newcomer to English surf scene, dual national Beck Adler, travelled from California to compete and turned some heads when he finished above former British Champion Luke Dillon in his first heat. This was the first time Luke had competed in the UK for a couple of years, after deciding to focus on the international circuit. He soon got into his stride though and powered through into the final, where he took the victory and was crowned the 2020 English Shortboard Champion, ahead of youngster Stanley Norman in 2nd.
It was also great to see former champ Sam Lamiroy back on the competitive scene, fresh from having coached the Team England Juniors at The Wave in Bristol a couple of weeks back. Sam surfed his way to a strong semi-final finish in a tough competition.
The competition in the women’s event was fiercely contested and a great demonstration of the talent there is now in English surfing. Almost all of the U18 competitors surfed in the junior and senior Divisions, proving they could seriously mix it up in both. Most notable was Alys Barton who took home the Under 18s Girls title and finished 3rd in the Women’s final - fully earning her ‘dryrobe Junior of the Event’ award.
dryrobe ambassador and former English Champ Lucy Campbell smashed her heat in the semi-final, and took 4th place overall in the final. On her return to English competitive scene, Ellie Turner impressed in two consecutive rounds before being edged out into 2nd by Peony Knight who won her second consecutive Women’s English title.
Throughout the U18s Girls comp Lauren Sandland put in some great performances and was hot on the heels of Alys Barton throughout, ultimately taking 2nd place overall. After seriously impressing the judges with her semi-final display, Belle Betteridge took 3rd spot in the final, with Tegan Blackford placing 4th overall.
Throughout the U18s Girl’s comp Lauren Sandland put in some great performances and was hot on heels Alys Barton throughout, taking 2nd place overall. Belle Betteridge took 3rd spot in the final after seriously impressing the judges with her semi-final display, Tegan Blackford who placed 4th overall.
1. Luke Dillon
2. Stanley Norman
3. Barnaby Cox
4. Seth Morris
1. Peony Knight
2. Ellie Turner
3. Alys Barton
4. Lucy Campbell
1. Noah Capps
2. Stanley Norman
3. Beck Adler
4. Max Bullen
1. Alys Barton
2. Lauren Sandland
3. Belle Betteridge
4. Tegan Blackford
An impressive start to the year for English surfing, with young talent really shining through in both the men’s and women’s events. The future's looking bright!
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Photos by Tom Young