The UK’s finest windsurfers travelled from all corners of the UK to Cornwall this week to compete in the final event of the British Wavesailing Association (BWA) tour.
Gwithian and Marazion are worldwide famous beaches for wind and waves. This drew the largest Professional fleet ever along with Amateurs, Ladies, masters and youths keen to show off their waveriding and jumping skills. With a big wave forecast and wind on Friday the excitement grew.
The Professional Fleet kicked off on Friday with some of the most intense and action packed heats for years. With waves up to 8ft and gusty cross offshore winds the sailors showed world class ability right on our Cornish beaches. Big Aerials and cut backs were the order of the day. Local sailor and police officer Andy King, was first on the water to show the wind was enough and was unfortunate not get through his heats despite an exciting display waveriding, and even throwing a backloop! After a full day of nail biting competition the top 4 competitors made it to the final. With the tide now pushing, the wave strength increased allowing the sailors to score big airs and aggressive cutbacks. Steve Thorpe of K4 fins ended in 4th position, an excellent result for the part time professional. In third place, was Adam Lewis, who in his first heat had the best move of the day as he bottom turned straight into the section, got a sick aerial and landed out in the flats. Jamie Hancock, returning to competition, finished in second place by just half a point after looking strong all day which left Tabou team mate Ross Williams to take the victory, with some top scoring and frankly huge airs. Ross was also crowned overall BWA champion following a dominant year.
Saturday saw light winds but great surf. This meant the windsurfing had to be postponed so a youth SUP competition sponsored by Westcountry Watersports was held at Marazion. This was a great and fun introduction to competition format for the 12 strong youth fleet while being coached by UK instructor, Sam Ross. Getting into the final but ending in 4th place was Jenna Pettit. Luke Meldrun was third, James Arnell Smith 2nd and winning was Jack Pettit.
Light winds greeted Cornwall again on Sunday but eager to make use of the famous Gwithian surf , competitors and organisers, RB Sails, decided to run a surf and SUP competition mixing all fleets in one. The standard was high and everyone was out in the beautiful clear waters enjoying a classic day of perfect surf and glorious November sunshine. Coming in equal third were Sam Ross and Warren Rowe. Young Jack Pettit came a close second and is clearly someone to watch out for in future windsurf and SUP competitions. First place went to Andy Chambers much to his delight.
Event Organiser, Ian Ross said, “It’s great to have the support of the local Councils, the Duchy of Cornwall and local sponsors like PlusPrint. Without this, the event wouldn’t take place. It is such a positive showcase for the area and it attracts people from all over the world to Penwith especially when you see such world class conditions in a beautiful location. We are finding more and more people are bringing the whole family with them making the event part of a holiday which of course benefits local businesses. We have also seen an influx of international tourists who have been attracted to Cornwall having seen our images and videos. I’m excited about the future of the Cornwall Wave Classic and have great plans for next year.”