Bertha vs Boardmasters
Alan Stokes takes 2nd at the 2014 Boardmasters
Harry de Roth wins the Animal Pro Junior
A hugely unpredictable week came to a close on Sunday afternoon with a mix of surf, skate, BMX, music and even the odd hurricane coming into play throughout the Newquay festival.
We were stoked to be backing the under 20s category for 2014, and the Animal Pro Junior didn’t disappoint as it showcased some of the best youth talent in Europe at Fistral’s famous break. The level of competition was sky high throughout, with Animal team rider Simon Trebilcock unfortunate to get knocked out in the second round. The semis saw Rhys Barfield and Luke Dillon knocked out before a hugely competitive final between Angus Scotney, Josh Braddock, Dale Foster and Harry de Roth on Saturday afternoon. Harry seems like he’s been around for about a decade now is still only 15, but the hugely talented St Ives boy stayed off the charge of Angus (and his blue hair) to take the win and title of 2014 Animal Pro Junior Champion.
In the women’s open, there was a new face in the competition as Animal girl Corinne Evans decided to give the contest a go. It’s one that she’s never entered to date and even though Corinne typically leaves the comps to others, she thought she would just go for it and duly won her first round heat before missing out in the second round to fellow Animal, Hannah Harding. Alongside Flora Lawton, Hannah progressed to two tough semis, with Keisha Eyre and Lucy Campbell both looking super solid. Flora didn’t get the waves she would have hoped for and unfortunately was knocked out just before the final hurdle. Hannah managed to get enough from Fistral’s afternoon efforts to take 2nd place and head into Sunday’s final. With the winds picking up the waves were there and 2013 champ Keisha Eyre showed her dominance in the women’s field by taking a much deserved win, whilst a 4th place for Hannah leaves her 2nd overall in the 2014 tour standings.
Up on the headland the BMX mini/midi ramp comp was the only that could be finished before Hurricane Bertha allowed it’s ugly, blowy head to start mixing things up. Mark Webb announced his return to the festival with heaps of his unquestionable style and fought off strong competition from the rest of the field to take the £1500 cheque.
Bertha’s presence unfortunately meant that the skate side of things had to be cancelled after just 6 of the 7 qualifying heats, though pro skate girl Stef Nurding led a section of the competitors back to her local park Prime in Plymouth for a Sunday session making the journey a little more worthwhile. The hurricane also took itself to the Watergate Bay festival site, and due to safety concerns had to be cancelled – a real shame but every cloud has a silver lining and Bertha meant the focus was firmly on Fistral for the final day with the swell picking up.
The longboard final had local favourite and legend Ben ‘Skin Dog’ Skinner up against team-mate Adam ‘Bearman’ Griffiths, Sam Lamiroy and Sam Bleakley. Bearman took an early lead but it was the reigning champion, Skinner that showed his class to please the crowd and take home the winners cheque.
This left just the men’s open to go and after Alan Stokes fought his way through 2 tough heats earlier in the day, he took to centre stage once more to vie for the title that has evaded him for so many years. Up against Aussies Jock Barnes and Noah Lane, 2012 Champion Romain Cloitre was representing Reunion Island and made up the quartet. The waves were there and the talent most certainly was; Stokesy was making the most of his home break knowledge and finding the pockets needed to get his wave score up, but Jock Barnes was killing it with a series of rights. A super close final eventually came to a close with Stokesy pipping Noah Lane to 2nd spot, and Jock taking the tile of 2014 Boardmasters Champion.
Massive congratulations to all winners throughout the weekend, big thank you to the UK Pro Surf Association for a stellar job on the surf comps and to everyone that came down and supported.
We make it Boardmasters 2, Bertha 1.
Photo credit: Jason Feast