The Animal team shines at the 2016 British Nationals

10 Oct

This weekend saw the beautiful Perranporth in Cornwall play host to the 2016 British National Surf Championships. Sun and perfect waves greeted the crop of British surfing talent and understandably everyone was frothing.

With a strong Animal contingent on location it’s fair to say the 2016 Nationals proved to be a good one for the team, with Jobe Harriss taking the British National Men’s Open title and Ellie Turner going for the clean sweep, securing a win in both the Girls’ U16 and Women’s Open. Photos by Sharpy.

British National Surf Championships - Ellie Turner slicing on her backhand.

The rest of the team also scored some great results and we were stoked to see ex-riders and friends of Animal performing at the top level; see the highlights below:

Men’s Open ChampionJobe Harriss
Women’s Open Champion – Ellie Turner
Women’s Open 3rdLucy Campbell
Girls U16 – Ellie Turner
Boys U12 runner-up – Sam Hearn
Women’s Senior – Hannah Harding
Men’s Senior – Joss Ash

We caught with the champ Jobe Harriss to get the lowdown on his weekend.

Jobe Harriss wins the 2016 British Nationals of Surfing's Men's Open division

Hey Jobe! Congrats mate. We heard the waves were pumping, how did it affect your mindset?

The waves were definitely pumping for the most part, especially compared to the usual poor quality contest waves we in the UK are so used to. Conditions were 2ft and glassy both mornings, with the northerly afternoon breeze reaping a bit of havoc if you had a later heat or final. The favorable swell and winds were then backed up by some epic banks.

A slight wedge was bouncing off of the cliff on the Southern end of the bay, creating a number of wedgey peaks accompanied by tapering left walls dotted along the contest banks. This definitely played into my hands as the bowling face was perfect for carves and rail surfing, which is the core basis of my surfing style.

After your solid run through the European QS leg, you seem to be in great form at the moment, how important is momentum coming into events like these?

I've felt really good for the last few months now. I picked up some new equipment at the start of summer which has made such a difference to the back half of this year.

I've been training hard and feel like I've been surfing well. Despite my good form I've felt like I've consistently and narrowly missed out on good results over the last couple of months however, so this has certainly requited the close calls and difficult situations I've had to deal with recently.

Jobe Harriss warming up at the British Nationals of Surfing

What was the competition like this weekend? Anyone particularly ripping? We saw Will Bailey do well in both Men's Open and U18 divisions.

Will Bailey has certainly been strong, he posted big heat scores all event and the lefts were working exceedingly well for his backhand whips. The usual top crew were also out in force, Jayce is always one to post consistent high scores in all of his heats and both Liam (Ellie's brother) and Miles LH here both killing it in the earlier rounds. If anyone was down the beach watching, I think they'd be pretty unanimous in saying it was one of the best showcases of British Surfing as a whole in a long long time.

Talk us through your performance during the event as a whole, what was your highlight heat?

I was pretty happy with my performance, I'd be silly not to be after taking the win! I think I'm most happy with my performance in the final though, conditions changed massively due to the addition of a strong north wind chopping everything up. After surfing good waves all day, it was a shock to the system to be suddenly chucked into a wobbly mess.

Nonetheless I managed to snag a good wave right at the start, locking in a 7.93. It then took me a full 15 minutes to find my 2nd scoring wave—I finally got it in the last 2 minutes, which nudged me up into 1st place. It's easy for me to struggle under pressure in the dying stages of a heat, so getting the job done so late on was pretty sweet. 

What's the rest of the year looking like for you?

The rest of the year is looking pretty loose for me at the moment. If a swell pops up I might head over to Ireland next week before the Surf Snowdonia and Thurso contest, if not then I'll be at home training and working.

I've also got a trip to Iceland coming up in 3 weeks time which is pretty exciting. Although I'm going to take my surfboards and certainly jump in the water for a couple waves, it's more of an exploration and adventure kind of holiday, which will be a fresh change from the usual intensive wave hunting missions I've been on over the last few years. 

Ellie Turner floating the on-coming section at the 2016 British Nationals of surfing

We look forward to seeing the rest of the UK season unfold now with the Thurso Open taking place towards the end of the month and the inaugural edition of the Surf Snowdonia Pro Surf Challenge happening on Monday 24th October.


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