Last weekend was the 2nd round of the British Race series,
With a 2.9 swell forecast and 20 knots wind, we all knew we were in for a treat with the course racing on the first day held at Watergate Bay in Cornwall. Unfortunately the committee boat did not make the journey to the venue so everything was run from the back of a jet ski which raised a few eye brows but we battled on and did the job anyway.
All the top names were there, world champion Steph Bridge, 2010 British Champion Callum Edge, Cornish legend Lee “Pasty” Harvey and of course myself Denzil Williams. This event was combining National Round 2 of Course racing with surfboard racing and a Wavejam, so it all kicked off with Racing in the challenging conditions, the start line was between the bksa truck on the beach and the start buoy on the water which just so happened to be extremely close to where the waves were breaking, making the start extremely tricky, it was a case of either starting in the impact zone of the waves with plenty of speed or to stay out of the impact zone and drop in at the last moment, most people tended to go with the later.
I was racing on the rrd K65 it is last years race board and I felt a bit lonely having a 4 fin setup compared to every other rider using the more modern 3 fin, less drag setup but the K65 is a great board to ride that I found very quick to get the hang of riding and still proved to be a good board.
The first race of the day started with just Ollie Bridge crossing over the start line on the green flag, with most of the fleet crossing over closer to the beach quite a while afterwards! It was all a lack of communication and misunderstanding which led to confusion on whether the race was running, later it was decided to discard this race.
The rest of the races started without hitches and race 2 started with most of the pack close together but then Ollie Bridge took the lead and kept it, most riders were on around 9m kites and their dedicated race boards, which were mainly north, RRD and a Aguera Board. Ollie finished 1st with myself in 2nd. The 3rd race of the day saw a similar start with the pack together but then there was a lull soon after the start and while tacking Ollie and Steph Bridge managed to tangle their kites leaving Callum, Pasty and myself jostling for the result, Callum was in front for most of the race until the final downwind leg, he was in front, then Pasty followed by me but to Callum’s disappointment he crashed halfway down to the finish line, Pasty caught up with myself really close but then Pasty suffered the same fate as Callum allowing myself to slip by him, finally Callum took the last gybe slightly too wide allowing me to slip in front of him and wining by about 2 feet, so close and a real good fighting finish.
That ended the days racing and the wavejam began with 3 heats of riders with the top 2 progressing through to the final, being marked on overall impression on the waves, the conditions were not the greatest with onshore winds messing the waves up but the riders made the most of what was on offer.
I saw some very nice tricks being made and tried on the water, notable was Pasty’s strapless backroll and Callum going for a 180 hop to blind and then trying to spin out but biting the dust/sea! In the end Pasty took 1st place with me coming in 2nd, I missed who came in 3rd place that day.
The forecast was for stronger winds and a bigger swell which in the end led to the racing being cancelled due to unsafe conditions but a second wavejam was held in the even more onshore conditions than the day before. Pasty was not quite so on form today and got knocked out in his 1st heat while stand out riders Alex Hapgood, Sean Facey, Neil Harper and myself making it through to the final. It was a 15 minute final with all the riders making the effort to get out back for the larger cleaner waves to make the bigger impression on the judges, Sean was riding exceptionally well and I saw him catch a considerable large wave just as the heat started and Alex seemed to be charging all the time with good solid riding, Neil always seemed to be out the back I guess he was going for the big guns while I mixed it all up with quite a few out the back big waves and also selecting some smaller clean waves that materialized on the inside.
In the end it was Sean 1st, myself 2nd and Neil in 3rd.
At the prize giving they combined the scores of the wavejam so overall the results were
1st Denzil Williams
2nd Lee Pasty
3rd Joint - Neil Harper/Alex Hapgood
1st Denzil Williams
2nd Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey
3rd Callum Edge
Thanks to Denzil for the write up!