well no surprise Slater was the winner of the poll and also the winner of the 2011 ASP World Tour, well done everyone who got it right!
As a whole 2010 wasn’t a bad year competitively but with small surf for many events I found myself up against it to maintain my strong start.
Despite leading the BLU rankings for much of the year and a 3rd placed finish at the final event which included my best single heat result all season beating both Ben Skinner and Elliot Dudley in the semis I was unable to manage more than a 3rd place in the 6 inch dribble! This placed me 4th for the year which considering the number of top Longboarders competing on the British Tour is a good result.
The Hotdoggers league was once again extremely competitive but unfortunately suffered from small surf in all events, i was beaten to top spot by Ben Haworth although this season i will do everything to return the favour!!
Other highlights include the Hotdoggers A team retaining the British Longboard Club Championships title once again in small but sunny conditions.
Also we entered a team into the British Interclubs held at Croyde where we almost caused a massive upset, after day 1 we sat in 3rd place AHEAD of Croyde A but finished a very creditable 5th overall (out of about 13 teams), not bad for a bunch of loggers!
Also in October was the first ever ETL tour event held at Watergate thanks to the help of Ben Skinner, Relentless, Hendra and many others.
Not a bad year but the training for the 2011 season is in full swing so watch this space!
|21||Josh Le Marquand||540|
Held in the best conditions for a very long time the event set the standard for the year’s competition with some great performances in the peeling conditions
Saunton’s well known single bank finally showed what it can produce with the open quarter finals on Saturday afternoon being held in flawless A-frame right-handers with no wind and bright sunshine. For both days we had clean peeling conditions with contest director minnow green along with consultation from the local surfers managing to time the open final perfectly.
Once again the mid-tide bank showed its quality with wave after wave of rights peeling from way out back to the sand making for a high paced final with some big scores, Hotdoggers 1 and 2 Ashley Braunton and Ben Haworth were fighting it out once again with long smooth noserides and big turns. It was Hotdoggers champion Ashley who picked off the bigger peakier waves to take first place with Ben in second.
All in all a great event, one which will hopefully be a sign of things to come throughout the rest of the tour.
4th Zak Lawton
Thanks must go to the Hotdoggers for hosting the event and all the Sponsors. Thanks to the Saunton Surf Life Saving Club for allowing us to use the office block and veranda for event control.
Thanks to all the Sponsors of this event, who were:
Old Guys Rule
Bathsheba Surf Shop
For full results and photos go to – www.britishlongboardunion.co.uk
The Bathsheba Wateringhole Classic
The first BLU ranking event of the year ran over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of May at Perranporth in Cornwall. Having previously been cancelled due to a poor forecast the surfers were amped to get the season on a roll with competitors from all over the UK turning out with fingers firmly crossed for some good conditions
Saturday began with small surf meaning contest director Minnow Green put the event on hold for a 10am start for the junior divisions. Conditions did improve to become contestable for the open competitors who took to the water in cold and challenging cross-shore conditions. With a repecharge system being used it meant that surfers had the opportunity to get back in the event if they failed to make the cut in the first round although would a seeded surfer suffer first round jitters they could end up in a quarterfinal with 2 other seeds. Standouts on Saturday were James Parry and Ben Haworth who used their size to help them find the clean sections and put in a far higher number of quality turns and noserides.
After a full day of competition everyone retired with high hopes for Sunday morning, these were quickly proved fruitless as first light revealed knee to thigh high slightly disorganized but glassy conditions. The early heats were held in contestable conditions but as the tide pushed and the wind increased conditions became more difficult.
The finals were held in 1ft weak disorganised wind swell, it was Ben Skinner and James Parry who went head to head in the end with Ben coming out on top, in 3rd was the ever consistent Sam Bleakly and the weekend’s top performer Ben Haworth finished in 4th.
Another enjoyable weekend had by so many friends, here’s to some better conditions for the rest of the tour.
1st – Ben Skinner
2nd – James Parry
3rd – Sam Bleakly
4th – Ben Haworth
5th – Ashley Braunton
After the cancellation of the opening BLU event of the year the club took the opportunity of a clear weekend to run the second league event of the season.
With the beginning of a swell forecast to show through the day the decision to start at low tide paid off as the early morning 6 inch dribblers improved into some very contestable conditions.
Once again the strength of the clubs surfing was shown with WLT competitor Ben Skinner along with local surfers Ashley Braunton and Ben Haworth setting the standard for the day. Early highlights included the highest heat score of the day (17.00 from 20) from current champion Ashley Braunton, Ben Skinners world class ability shown with unbelievable combinations of critical manoevres and Ben Haworth’s small wave prowess.
As the later rounds began the new swell struggled with the outgoing tide leaving smaller, less consistent conditions, this made for some close heats including the elimination of previous finalist Greg Norman by Cornwall based surfer Chris Brunt and Ben Skinner’s close scare against an in form Angus Murray who showed his potential with some fast surfing and vertical turns.
The finals were run in difficult conditions which were almost identical to the finals of the first event. In the masters division it was Steve Carter who came from no-where to take a deserved win with some long rides and good wave selection, it was Karma Worthington in the ladies who after years of badgering to compete from the local surfers took the step over from her more favoured shortboard roots to take the win. In the highly competitive junior division hot favourite Zack Lawton showed maturity beyond his years to control the heat from start to finish with a combination of smooth noseriding and progressive surfing.
The open final gave 3 local surfers the chance to go up against one of the world’s best longboarders in unfortunately deteriorating conditions. Ben Haworth came out of the blocks quickest blitzing a wave to the beach to score a 9.0 in the opening minutes, the rest of the surfers were then put on the back foot, and when Haworth added a 6.0 the win was almost guaranteed. The other surfers battled to find the best waves but just couldn’t put together enough to challenge Ben’s 15.00 heat score. Second place was tighter than Greg Norman’s backside with a 2 wave countback putting Ben Skinner into second and Ashley Braunton in third, fellow local surfer Phil Hill was happy enough to take away fourth place after an injury blighted pre-season.
The result means Ben Haworth has closed the gap on Ashley Braunton in the race for the title with a strong pack of surfers following closely behind, with 3 results from 5 events counting there is sure to be more twists and turns as the year goes on.
Thanks must go to all the sponsors of the event (shown below) and the usual suspects, Norman ‘El Queso Grande’ Wright, Greg ‘bum muff’ Robinson, Bob ‘Kins’ Freshwater and many others who make the events so successful.
For more info check out the Hotdoggers website (www.hotdoggers.co.uk) or on facebook.
For more photos go to www.robtibbles.com
1ST – ‘THE’ BEN HAWORTH
2ND – BEN ‘SKINDOG’ SKINNER
3RD – ASHLEY ‘BONGA’ BRAUNTON
4TH – PHIL ‘BAYWATCH’ HILL
5TH – ANGUS MURRAY
5TH – GREG ROBINSON
7TH – CHRIS WEBB
7TH – ZACK LAWTON
1ST – ZACK LAWTON
2ND – ALEX MADDOCKS
3RD – ANGUS MURRAY
4TH – LEWIS STRITCH
1ST – STEVE CARTER
2ND – RICH UNSWORTH
3RD – ERIC DAVIES
4TH – NORMAN WRIGHT
1ST – KARMA WORTHINGTON
2ND – HAZELL IYLET
3RD – REBECCA PEPPERAL
4TH – FIONA BROWN
5TH – VICKI
Below is the write-up of the first Hotdoggers event of the season at Saunton, I will update with some photos as sonn as they some through….
The gloves were off quite literally for the first event of the UK longboarding calendar at Saunton on the 27th March. With 50 competitors turning out to compete in what is becoming a more popular series every year and in relatively mild conditions considering the numbingly cold winter we have had, it wasn’t enough to put people off! Surfers competed in four divisions during a long day for the judges led by head judge Bob Freshwater who sat for the duration of the contest judging and guiding others through the task of scoring to the newly updated ISA criteria.
There were some great performances throughout the day in all divisions especially considering the difficult conditions. In the masters division it was Paul Keenan who stole the show showing that practice pays off against some experienced competition.
In the junior division Zak Lawton showed his true potential by seeing off some strong performance from the other finalists with tight turns and smooth noserides. In the ladies reigning champion Hazel Aylett continued her form with another win.
The open division was hotly contested with wave selection proving crucial. Ben Haworth started the proceedings with a blistering first round heat score of 18.3 out of a possible 20. Other standouts were OJ Freshwater and Zak Lawton who surfed particularly well during the early rounds. The final came down to current champion Ashley Braunton along with Ben, Zak and Greg Norman, all competing for the highest possible finish in the double points event. Conditions had deteriorated to inconsistent waist high sets making for hard work. Haworth continued his run with some strong consistent surfing leaving the others trailing. Zak and Greg put on a good show posting some good scores especially considering Zak had already surfed 6 heats in the chilly water! Ashley knew that being against the quickest lightest surfers in the event would have to throw in some big turns to have any chance of taking the win. Lying in 3rd place, the Xcel/Surftech rider took off in the last second before the horn requiring a score around the 7.5 mark to stand any chance. A quick combination of drop-knee snaps followed by a hang five to hang ten combination and a fully committed finishing turn gave him the score needed to overtake the others to narrowly take first place.
A great event with a fantastic camaraderie between the surfers set the standard for this year’s league which brings surfers from around the southwest, Wales and beyond. The league is made possible by the dedication of club members and we would like to thank the sponsors Errant Surf Travel, Second Skin, Silver Street VW and Dudley’s for their support.
For more information check out www.hotdoggers.co.uk or visit the clubs page on facebook.
1ST – Zak Lawton
2ND – Liam Meneer
3RD – Lewis Stritch
4TH – Alex Maddocks
1ST – Paul ‘Keano’ Keenan
2ND – Adrian ‘Shag’ Howell
3R - Eric Davies
4TH – Steve Carter
1ST – Hazell Iylet
2ND – Sandra
3RD – Fiona Brown
4th – Vicki
1ST – Ashley Braunton
2ND – Ben Haworth
3RD – Zak Lawton
4TH – Greg Norman