Hotdoggers Kick off the year in style!
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