The education day at Goldcoast Oceanfest saw the return of the North Devon Schools Surfing Championships. Over 60 junior athletes congregated on Croyde beach for the 12th annual event in conditions that were a perfect 2ft and sunny. All competitors lucked out on goodie bags supplied by Carve surfing magazine, Surf Girl magazine and Surf Dome and begun fighting for the bragging rights to being the best school in North Devon.
Competition got under way in the WESC boys open with some stand out surfing from Jody Ankar (Kingsley) and Lee Oliver (Braunton) in the first rounds. Whilst in the Nalu Beads girls open Lydia Surridge (Park) and Alice Dowling (Braunton) got off to a flyer. As well as competition in the water, the groms were also set an environmental challenge by Surfers Against Sewage in which Braunton and Bideford school did exceptionally well at. With the competition hotting up in the sun, the carnage that was the Tiki Tag Team event brought grit, determination and good fun to the competition with the top three schools being Braunton Academy, The Ilfracombe Academy and Park School. Garin Clay from Braunton Academy scoring in the excellent range to overtake at the last minute.
In the finals of the WESC boys open, back to back battles between brothers Storm and Freedom Wall made for excellent viewing but it was Storm who took the 2015 title, and probably more importantly, the right to taunt his brother for another comp. The British Junior squad member surfed strongly throughout the competition, proving his selection at the highest level. For the girls in the Nalu Beads open, conditions took a bit of a slump at the low tide point, meaning wave selection was critical for these ladies and it was Georgia Buckley who made that count, just pipping Francesca Sayer of Bideford to first place.
All of the points were tallied together and being rewarded for surfing consistently well throughout the day, the North Devon Schools Surfing Championship went to students from The Ilfracombe Academy. The winning team can enjoy their victory with a trip to the Wave Rider courtesy of Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park.
Contest Director and organiser Rob Whitney said “I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this event possible, in particular all of the volunteers from Croyde Surf Club, the teachers and Nick Rees from Surfing GB. I’m very proud that this grass roots surf event is still going strong and look forward to doing it bigger and better next year!”
The North Devon Schools Surfing Championships 2015 couldn’t have run without the help and support from the following people:
Steve England @ Carve Surfing Magazine/ Surf Girl Magazine, Adam Hall @ Surf Dome, Warren & Shaun Latham @ Goldcoast Oceanfest, Claire @ SAS, volunteers from @ Croyde Surf Club, Gareth Alvarez @ The Ilfracombe Academy Media Department, WESC, Tiki Surf Shop, Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, Nalu Beads, Parkdean, Nick Rees @ Surfing Great Britain, and all of the students and teachers.
Nalu Beads Girls Open
1st – Georgia Buckley - Ilfracombe Academy
2nd – Francesa Sayer – Bideford
3rd – Lydia Surridge – Park
4th – Alice Dowling - Braunton
Tiki Tag Team
1st Braunton Academy
2nd Ilfracombe Academy
3rd Park School
WESC Boys Open
1st – Storm Wall – Pilton
2nd – Max Davies – Ilfracombe Academy
3rd – Lee Oliver – Braunton Academy
4th – Freedom Wall - Pilton
SAS Environmental Challenge
1st – Ilfracombe Academy
2nd – Braunton Academy
3rd – Pilton
4th – Bideford
5th – Park
6th – Kingsley