Last weekend, the 2021 winners of the Men’s and Women’s Animal OPEN at Boardmasters festival were crowned on Fistral Beach in Cornwall. Local surfer Jayce Robinson from St. Ives came first place in the men’s competition, and Alys Barton from the Gower Peninsula in Wales came first in the women’s, having won the Girls Mystic Junior OPEN just 24 hours before.

Since 1981, Boardmasters has attracted the biggest names in surfing competing on the Cornish coast, including eleven times world champion Kelly Slater. Each year, numerous competitors descend on Fistral Beach to battle for the title of champion. This year the competition took place from Wednesday 11th August – Sunday 15th August and was part of the UK Pro Surf Tour.


Rising star and Animal Team Rider Barton proved that age doesn’t limit ability, taking home a double win from the competition. The Welsh surfer, who has been surfing for four years, scored an iconic 11.20 total in the Girls Under 18s competition, cruising to first place. Lauren Sandland took the second place with a total wave score of 6.54 and Asha Sykes came third with 5.33.

In the Women’s final less than 24 hours later, Barton showed off her maturity and tactical mindset, by using her allocated wave priority to block Vittoria Farmer catching a potentially trophy claiming final wave in the last two minutes of the final, securing Barton a first place accolade with a total of 9.70.  This is the first time in the competition’s history that a competitor has won both the under 18s and adults open. On the winner’s podium, Barton said : “I’m absolutely over the moon right now. Double back to back wins in this event is actually a dream.” The runner up was Australian, Vittoria Farmer, and third place went to Ellie Turner who is on the British Surfing Olympic team.


The men’s quarterfinals had spectators at the edge of their seat, with Welsh surfer and Animal Team Rider Logan Nicol rising from fourth place to second in the last 90 seconds of the second heat. This astonishing finish was enough to get him into the Semi-Final, scoring him the 7.20 points he needed to qualify. At the end of the heat, Nicol said: “that was so last minute…I was behind the whole heat, I just managed to get a left at the end. I kept falling and then I got a slash and I turn landed it…I’m so happy.” Nicol battled against surfing legend Alan Stokes, Liam Turner, and close friend Patrick Langdon-dark in the Semis, narrowly missing the second-place position he needed to make the final.

The men’s final saw Cornish local Jayce Robinson score an impressive 15.67 in total, catching an impressive wave to hitting an 8.50 manoeuvre – the highest score of the competition. This wave took him from fourth to first place in the last half of the 30-minute heat, ultimately winning the Men’s Animal OPEN. Robinson, who lives in St Ives, said “this event is so prestigious and so long running and definitely the biggest event in the UK. To win it at 32 years old...I’ve been trying my whole life.”


In the Mystic Junior OPEN U18 Boys competition, Animal Team Rider Sam Hearn scored an impressive 10.27 points, taking home the second-place trophy. After his semi-final heat, Sam said: “ “this means so much to me. The event has been going on for decades and many icons have competed in the same event like Kelly Slater. It’s hard to imagine that those guys were once competing on this same beach in Cornwall.” The winner of the Mystic Junior OPEN was current British Champion and Olympic Team surfer Stanley Norman with 11.90 points, and third place went to Lukas Skinner with 8.20 points.

Check out all the results here

Photo credit: Jason Feast