Boydey….. Photo Malsurf
The Scottish National Surfing Championships will return to the waves this week and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event. The competition was first held in 1973 on the north coast of Scotland. The championships will return to the north coast once again with Thurso playing host to the event on Easter weekend – 7-9th April.
Phoebe. Photo Malsurf
Three time Mens & Womens Open Division Scottish Surfing Champions, Mark Boyd and Phoebe Strachan, will return to defend their titles.
Craig McLachlan, current British and Scottish junior boys surfing champion, will defend his title as well as vying for the Open Men’s championships, where he placed second last year at the age of only 16.
Keeping it in the family, Iona McLachlan, sister of Craig, will compete in the Open Women’s event after finishing as runner up last time round. Iona co-owns a surf school, North Coast Watersports, in the area.
Craig. Photo Malsurf
The primary contest venue is at one of Scotland’s prime surfing spots, Thurso-East. The location has held international events in the past and is famed for its cold water surfing.
Clarkey. Photo Malsurf
Competition divisions include open men, open women, masters, longboard, and junior boys and girls.
The event is overseen by the Scottish Surfing Federation who has been managing the sport in Scotland for nearly 50 years. This year’s event is supported by EventScotland’s National Events Programme and will be broadcast live online and on the Scottish Surfing Federation’s Facebook page.
Iona. Photo Malsurf
Spectators are also encouraged to watch the action from the event site or the pier.
Jason Simpson, Director at the Scottish Surfing Federation, said: “The popularity of surfing has grown to new heights since the inaugural championships were held in the early seventies. As has the standard of surfing with one of the strongest fields we have seen coming to compete this year.
“The north coast is a spectacular location to host this special anniversary championships and we are excited to show what Caithness has to offer to the world. We’d love it if people came to watch in person but if you can’t make it then you can also keep up with the action on the live stream at www.thessf.scot
“Our thanks to the many sponsors of this great event. Without their support it would not be possible to host our flagship championships.
Mark Boyd, current Men’s Scottish National Surfing Champion, said: “The Scottish Surfing Championships are always a highlight in the surfing calendar for me and I am so excited to get back in the water and defend my title.
“Thurso-East is my favourite spot to surf and I can’t wait to get going.”
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at EventScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Scottish National Surfing Championships through our National Events Programme. Events play an important role in our communities by offering us the chance to come together and share memorable experiences while also bringing social and economic benefits.
“Thurso East will provide the perfect stage for the Championships, and I wish everyone competing over the Easter weekend the best of luck.”