Surfing England 2023 Junior Surf Series stop 1 Starts off in perfect conditions
Saturday, May 20th, witnessed the gathering of some of the best under 12 and under 14 surfers in England for the first stop of the highly successful junior surf series – this year, the series promises to be even more popular and exciting.
Host Surf club Croyde, Surfing England staff and tour coordinator Phil Williams were greeted with clean lines of swell in the 2-to-4-foot range and light offshore winds which set the tone for the day.
With 23 heats to complete, the setup team was up and ready on the beach at 7 am. Almost 12 hours later, they finally left the beach, proud of what had been an incredibly successful and thrilling day of surfing.
The action kicked off after all the surfers checked in at 8 am. The first heat, featuring the under 12 girls, started just after 8:30 am, with some competitors as young as seven years old. The excitement on the faces of these young surfers was truly inspiring, creating a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere throughout the contest site as the day progressed.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Parkdean Resorts for allowing us to hold the event on their beautiful beach. The village of tents that emerged created a fantastic atmosphere, and there were even a few surprises throughout the day, such as the highly popular treasure hunt for all the junior participants.
Head judge Ester Spears worked closely with a blend of experienced and fresh talent on the judging panel. Due to the small spring tides, they had to move the judging tower at least six times throughout the day to ensure they were as close to the action as possible.
Thanks to the efforts of the water safety team Martin Purchase and Rusty, who kept the contest area clear, all the competitors were able to deliver top-level performances, making the event truly spectacular.
As the clock approached 5 pm, the final was coming to an end, and all surfers gathered at the top of the beach for the presentation, basking in glorious sunshine. Contest Director John Moy from Croyde Surf Club, along with current world six champion Lucas Skinner, presented the prizes to the deserving competitors who made it to the finals.
The under 12’s boys champion was Harvey Waters, who had surfed so strongly throughout the event, followed by Jensen Martin in second, with George Moy and Jack Strutt taking third and fourth places respectively.
In the under 12 girls category, Bude’s Betsie Reay claimed the victory, narrowly edging out Annie Nicholls. Willow Craxton took the third spot, and seven-year-old Kaleia Peres amazed everyone by reaching her first-ever final, finishing in fourth place.
The under 14 boys’ category witnessed intense competition right from the first heat of round one. A special mention goes to Rory Murphy, who travelled all the way from Ireland’s west coast to emerge as the winner. Reuben Moy and Dylan Roose engaged in a fierce battle, with Reuben securing second place ahead of Dylan, and Evan Dakin taking fourth place.
The under 14 girls’ final showcased the talents of five young ladies, who fought hard throughout the event. In a thrilling contest, Bude’s Coco Arthur secured the title with a buzzer-beater wave, winning on a one-wave count back after a tie with Sunny Ingram. Josie Hawke, Lila Skinner, and Bethan Davies secured third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively, in a great final held under challenging strong offshore conditions.
“It is such a pleasure to work with the local surf clubs, and Croyde Surf Club under the guidance of John Moy were a fantastic team to work alongside. The combination of excellent surf conditions and abundant sunshine throughout the day made it a fitting start to what promises to be a fantastic series.
We extend our gratitude to all the individuals and organizations who have contributed to this series, including our headline sponsors Eola and Animal UK, Ben and Lenka from Surfing England, the RNLI, and, of course, all the young surfers who participated, as well as their supporters. Special thanks also go to local sponsor RYD, who presented additional prizes alongside the generous offerings from Animal UK and Eola..
Event series coordinator Phil Williams
A huge thanks to the media team consisting of Gabi Zagni for the video edit and some fantastic shots from local photographers Adam and Mark and Nat. We also express our gratitude to the surfers of Croyde Bay on Saturday, who respected the contest area and ensured smooth proceedings.
The next event is scheduled for Saturday, July 1, at Fistral Beach, with Newquay Board Riders hosting the event. Surfing England will provide advanced communication regarding registration. The second year of the junior surf series is already making a significant impact on the young surfers, helping them become more accustomed to the pressures and joys of competitive surfing.
1st Harvey Waters 2nd Jensen Martin 3rd George Moy 4th Jack Strutt
1st Betsie Reay 2nd Annie Nicholls 3rd Willow Craxton 4th Kaleia Peres
1st Rory Murphy 2nd Reuben Moy 3rd Dylan Roose 4th Evan Dakin
1st Coco Arthur 2nd Sunny Ingram 3rd Josie Hawke 4th Lila Skinner
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