THE organiser of this year’s Channel Islands Surfing Championships, John Harvey, praised the efforts of the board riders in challenging conditions in St Ouen’s Bay.
Many of the finals were raced through on Sunday morning with the Men’s Shortboard Open eventually suspended before the semi-final heats could be contested, to be rescheduled later this summer, along with the Men’s Masters (over-35s competition).
There was just enough swell for the other events to conclude, with Nava Dowse-Harris successfully defending her Ladies’ Shortboard Open, Girls’ Under-18s and Girls’ U14 titles.
In the ladies’ final, Dowse-Harris produced her two best runs on her second and third attempts to retain her crown with scores of 4.33 and 5.57 to win by 3.57 ahead of Seija Boletta.
Owen Graham won the U18s Boys’ Shortboard competition with a combined score of 11.76, while Jesse Heddercott took first prize in the U14s Boys’ Shortboard, scoring 11 from his two best runs.
Aaron Rowe, who recently became Great Britain surf SUP champion, enjoyed double success, winning the SUP Surf Men’s Open and the Men’s Longboard Open. Joanne Bennett was this year’s Ladies SUP champion, while Ingrid Loake won the Bodyboard Open.
‘This week has been quite a challenge. Saturday started off with some really good surfing conditions but as soon as the tide turned the swell just started getting sucked away, disappearing and getting weaker and weaker and weaker,’ said Harvey.
‘Unfortunately, this [Sunday] morning, the swell was still pretty small. But we decided to push ahead and clear through as many finals as we could. We’ve got the Men’s Shortboard Open to complete and the Men’s Masters. As far as the men’s masters goes we’re going to have to look at rescheduling for a time that suits all the competitors. Matt Chapman lives in Amsterdam now so we need to work out a date that works for him to be fair to everybody.’
In the opening heats of the Men’s Shortboard Open, Max Bennett produced the two highest scores of 13.83 in the first round and 13.60 in the second before the contest was suspended.
‘It’s been a challenging weekend. The conditions have changed throughout the day but the surfing has been really good, considering how tough it’s been,’ added Harvey.
‘We’ve seen some real stand-outs. Jesse Heddercott was, in my opinion, one of the stand-outs in the juniors who got one of the highest scoring waves we’ve seen. Aaron Rowe did back-to-back wins in the men’s SUP and longboard and which was a great achievement for him.
‘There’s so many good guys here. We’ve got Charlie Rio, we saw Renny Gould return to the comp scene after many years of not competing and showing that he can still compete with the younger guys. So we’re happy with how it went but it just would have been nice if we had a bit more surf to actually complete the weekend.’