This weekend myself and my friend Becky took a little trip to Woolacoombe in North Devon for the first British Longboard Union Surf Contest of the 2012 calendar. We drove up on Friday evening and it took a couple hours to get there. I’ve only been there a couple times before so it was nice to take a scenic drive across the Devon countryside and do a bit of exploring. When we arrived at the beach the surf looked horrendous….it was sloppy, choppy, messy howling onshore and really didnt look inviting at all. It was all so messy there were barely any ridable waves so we cut our losses and headed to a litte pub up the road where the event organisers had all the heat draws on display.
We filled up with some nice dinner with our friends who were also surfing in the event. We had planned to camp out in the van, and it was such a cold evening. Luckily our friend Claire lives about half an hour away and we ended up going back to her house for a cuppa and made up camp on her livingroom floor (thats claire!!)
Saturday morning was an early start. We were up at the crack of dawn to make sure we were at the contest in time. When we rocked up to the beach the conditions actually looked quite fun and the conditions were fairly clean. It didn’t take long however for the wind to pick up and turn onshore. The ladies heats were running a little later in the day so we jumped in for a freesurf – conditions weren’t great and it was completely freezing cold in the northerly wind that was picking up in strength with every gust!
Over the day they ran a lot of of heats and we did lots of surfing, advancing through to the Semi Finals I was in one of the last heats of the day. By this time the wind was gale force, the tide was pushing in fast and the surf was a huge swirly, choppy, bumpy mess. With barely a couple seconds between each wave and half a mile of white water ahead lots of people, including it myself found themselves stuck on the inside with no chance of making it outback!
It’s an awful situation to be in – 20 minutes of full on paddling with little chance of catching anything more than a bumpy white water wave in order to get some scores on the board! Luckily (and I say that because I’m very glad I didn’t have to venture out in that again for the finals) I didn’t go through to the finals but walked away with a 5th place overall.
Saturday night was party night……we all went for a carvey and a few beverages. Lets just say it was a late night and we rolled into the van in the early hours!!
Sunday morning, we were up early and back down to the beach to watch the finals and support our friends who were surfing again. Conditions weren’t great and it was raining hard, but everyone surfed amazing and it was a great first event of the contest season……bring on the next one, which will be a little closer to home at Perranporth in May!