The English Surfing Nationals 2016

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03 May
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This weekend saw the first British surf event of the year take place at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. The English surf elite were on location, geared up to get a good start on their 2016 season.

Whether it was the Under 12’s competing for the first time or the Veterans taking on their old nemeses, the English Surfing Nationals saw a heap of talented surfers battle it out for the prestigious titles over the May Bank holiday weekend. Whilst the swell struggled to materialise into much on Saturday and Sunday, it sure didn’t fail to deliver as we entered the final day of competition.

The Animal contingency was strong and covered most categories. Here’s how the team got involved:

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Sam Hearn destroying the oncoming section on the first day of competition.

Sam Hearn was one of many frothing grommets skating around the Watergate Bay car park on their carver boards, but definitely stood out as a contender after his first heat of competition. Some really strong performances throughout the two smaller days of competition saw him take the top spot in the U12’s, and come 4th in the U14’s against the likes of Stan Norman and Noah Capps.

Sam Hearn podiumb

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“Super stoked on becoming under 12 English Champion and getting a 4th place in the under 14 final! Great start to the comp season. Hard conditions.

Shame it wasn't bigger would have been well up for that after my trip to Indo”.

Zak Lawton was competing in the Men’s Open Longboard on Monday and put up a really strong performance to come a close second behind World Tour longboarder Ben Skinner, who’s been dominating European longboarding for the past decade.

“Personally I love the English nationals purely for the mix of longboard/shortboard, as not many contests have both. It’s always nice to catch up with everyone that I grew up surfing shortboard contests with. The whole Animal team really stated their dominance as well, which was wicked to see!”

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Ellie Turner celebrating her win in the Women Under 18's.

It was a clean sweep for Ellie Turner as she surfed her way to multiple wins this weekend. It seems as though her tropical training regime in the Java Isles, Indonesia, paid off and she looked comfortable surfing the variety of conditions Watergate had to offer. After exercising her dominance in the U16’s and U18’s category, she took her good form to the Women’s Open and smashed her way through to a stacked up final.

Up against the ropes with an in-form Animal team mate Lucy Campbell and WQS contender Keshia Eyre, Ellie kept her nerves under control and found the waves she needed to secure the top spot. A big result for the young surfer from Bude, and a big well done from us all at Animal HQ!

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Ellie, stoked after taking first place in the Women's Open division.

For Georgie Timson and Hannah Harding the adventure ended in the quarters as they both suffered a couple of unfortunate close calls. As for Flora Lawton, she put up a really strong performance but was stopped in the semis after a hard fought battle. Onwards and upwards girls, you all have it in you and we look forward to seeing you perform in the next events.

The Men’s Open was a full house this year with some of the best UK surfers to ever grace our shores. Both semi-finals were fully stacked up and could have been finals in their own rights.

Defending champ Jobe Harriss was one of the most committed surfers of the weekend, rocking up at first light and getting his warm up surfs before anyone else. After a solid quarter final heat against Gordon Fontaine and up-and-comer Kamron Mathews, he came up just short in the semis, falling to Jayce Robinson and Oli Adams.

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Stokesy sharing the podium with long time friends and rivals Reubyn Ash, Jayce Robinson and Oli Adams.

Alan Stokes on the other hand kept his appearance quiet as he stayed focused throughout the event. Up against the ropes from the get go against an in-form Reubyn Ash, he managed to snatch both heat wins in the quarters and the semis, but couldn't make it three in a row as Reubyn took the win in the final, with Stokesy a very respectable 2nd place.

“It was great to start the first event of the season with some really contestable conditions on Monday. I would have loved to have come away with the win, but 2nd in a final full of mates and arguably some of Europe's finest was always going to be special.

It was super close in the end between myself and Reubyn with me taking wins over him in the quarters and semis, so a good battle fought throughout the event and I was happy with my form, I’m stoked.

Congrats to the man Reubyn Ash for taking the win, ripping brother. Yeeew!”

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Men's Open winner, Reubyn Ash.

We’re super proud of the Animal team for their outstanding performance and look forward to seeing the rest of the season unfold!

Next stop, the Surfaced Pro. Back at Watergate Bay and the first UK tour event of 2016, it will help determine which of the UK’s best will get a wildcard into the Boardmasters WQS in August.