After last year’s double postponements of this very popular event on the surfing longboard calendar, organisers Christian Surfers UK in partnership with Tubestation were very pleased to see the event take place at the first time of asking over the weekend of October 12 and 13th.
With around 75 of the U.K.’s top longboard surfers entered, the event was always going to be a great opportunity to get the longboard community together, enjoy some great hospitality and watch some top surfing action.
The event is part of the Jesus Surf Series which Christian Surfers UK has been running for 27 years as a way of serving the surfing community and which, due to its popularity, was split into two contests (the Jesus Longboard Classic and the Jesus Surf Classic) in order to provide a focus and additional capacity, which has proved extremely popular with all concerned.
The Christian surfers team support so many of the mainstream surfing events in the UK but these ones are always special as they run the complete event.
The event started with an 8am check-in and a free healthy breakfast for all the competitors at Tubestation with heats getting underway just before 9am. Surf on the Saturday was fairly lined up and on the turn of the tide some great surfing took place in some solid 3-4ft surf.
At the end of the first day around 20 heats been surfed and all the six categories were down to the semi-final or final stage.
One of the highlights of this event for many involved is at the start of the second day a very simple but thought-provoking ‘surfers blessing’ which is held in the Tubestation. Wildwood Kin member Meg Loney lead a reflection on the importance of the mustard seed, before fresh flowers and saltwater blessed each of the surfers that came up to the front.
From there the event moved into the final heats and despite the wind turning from light to quite ragged north-westerly the level of surfing remained high right the way through to the final heat in the men’s open.
Moving to the results, in an all Welsh over 60s (Legends) final (Sponsored by Old Guys Rule) Colin Bright yet again took the top spot ahead of fellow Llantwit surfers Peter Cosier and brother Gwyn, with Chris Taylor from Bridgend and Ray Sampson from Porthcawl bring up the rear.
In a hotly contested over 50s final Newquay’s Adam Zervas took the title ahead of Colin Bright, and in the most popular category of the event, the over 35’s, it was a great comeback from injury from Braunton’s Ashley Braunton ahead of Taunton’s Rob Davin, Damian Hooker third and Ben Clifton with his first trophy in fourth.
The Junior (U18’s) category was equally as well contested with on fire Jordan Zervas from Newquay beating young Eddie Roy Roynon from Penzance in a tight heat, with Gwill King in 3rd and Arthur Randall in 4th.
Whilst in the women’s division Emily Currie once again took victory ahead of Jen Pendlebury from Newquay, fellow Bude surfer Beth Leighfield, and Ella Harrison doing well in fourth position. In the men’s division, with current title holder Ben Howey getting married this weekend to the lovely Sammy Patterson (Congrats to both of them) there was always going to be a new name on the trophy and in a tightly contested final Jersey visitor Josh le Marquand made the trip over worth it, taking the victory ahead of Jordan’s Zervas, Ashley Braunton in third and Andy Gale getting onto the podium for the first time.
This event could not be run without some great partners and sponsors and this year our sponsors included Nineplus, Finisterre and Old Guys Rule. A huge thanks goes to Era Adventures for water cover, Beagle Media for the video edit that will be with us soon, BLU and Hotdoggers for ongoing support and photographer, Andy Holter. Final thanks of course go to the amazing staff at Tubestation and all the volunteers from Christian Surfers UK who give their time freely for the weekend, and God for providing waves.
Next year’s 13th event has been pencilled in for October 17 and 18th 2020
Contest director Phil Williams said ‘It is always great catching up with the longboard community and when you combine the hospitality of Tubestation, the volunteers from Christian Surfers, and the surfers themselves, this event is always one of my favourites. This year was no exception and by the sounds of the response from surfers involved it continues to be very popular and enjoyable event, and another great opportunity to serve the Surfing community’
For more details of the work of Christian Surfers UK log on to christiansurfers.co.uk and for more details and pictures of the event checkout our Facebook pages, Christian Surfers UK and Jesus Surf Series CSUK.
Next events for CSUK include the two UK Pro Surf tour events in Wales (October 18 19) and Watergate Bay (November 9) where they will be part sponsoring the event as well as working alongside the event organisers Dave Reed and the UK pro surf tour team. All in all, it’s been a pretty busy year.
Photos: Andrew Holter