Wednesday, November 10, 2010

British Open Surf Kayak Championships - 29th – 31st October, 2010.

Portrush, Northern Ireland

The weekend of 29th – 31st October saw the North Coast of Northern Ireland alive with Surf Kayaks as the NI Surf Kayak Club hosted the 2010 British Surf Kayak Open.

With competitors travelling from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands the hope was that the waves would make an appearance and allow the competition to begin.

As the Home Internationals had been taking place during the week in Portrush, the majority of the competitors were already close by, so this allowed the organisers to pull the start of the competition forward a day to make the most of the swell.

Heats started at noon on Friday with the Ladies High Performance heats on the water in 2-3 ft offshore conditions. Unfortunately for all the spectators and anybody else not on the water, the heavens opened and the rain continued for most of the day.

At the end of Friday nearly all of the Round 1 heats were finished and everyone was ready for the pre event get together in a local restaurant. Unfortunately for some of the competitors, it was an early start as the organisers had called the first heat on the water at 8.15 am the following day.

Saturday started with the Ladies HP Semis on the water, followed by the Reps for the Open HP and the heats continued all day in consistent 3 ft offshore conditions, and the arrival of the sun allowed everyone an opportunity to dry off after a few days in the rain.

Come 12.30 pm all of the heats had been run, leaving only the finals with the plan to run the Ladies and Masters before finishing with the Juniors and Open IC & HP finals.

All of the finals were hotly contested and showed that the level of surfing in the UK is world class.

The last heat of the day was the Nookie sponsored Open HP final and the final four are well known names in the Surf Kayak world, North Coast local, Jonny Bingham coming head to head with Glyn Brackenbury, Dessie Mc Glinchey and Philip Watson. The explosive final ended with Jonny Bingham showing that local knowledge pays off with a well earned 1st place.

In the Open IC category Nookie Team Rider, Chris Hobson showed that the move from Northern Ireland to England hasn’t affected his surfing as he impressed the judges with big end manoeuvres to beat Jonny Bingham, Philip Watson and Sam Davenport.

The organisers of the competition would like to thanks all the competitors and spectators who travelled to the event and all our sponsors, especially Nookie who once again provided great prizes and support for the event.

Gerry McGahey & Event Organiser