2023 Junior Surf Series Stop 2
Tough Call, Fantastic Result!
Surfing England officials, along with the host Surf club Newquay board riders, gathered bright and early at Great Western Beach in Newquay on Saturday, July 1st. Due to the inclement weather and the predicted size of waves at Fistral, the venue had to be changed. Although it was a tough call, it turned out to be a fantastic event.
With strong onshore winds expected to persist throughout the day, moving to the less exposed Great Western Beach made perfect sense. The aim was to deliver a memorable event and make up for the disappointment of last year’s postponed events.
The popularity of the junior surf series continues to grow, and the enthusiasm from the first event in Croyde carried over to this one. By 8 am check-in, the beach was already buzzing with excited under 12 and under 14-year-old surfers, ready for a day filled with thrilling action.
One of the most incredible aspects of these events is the spirit of teamwork of Surfing England working closely with the local surf club. Together, they plan and execute a remarkable event for the youngsters.
After the initial safety briefing and introduction by Junior Surf series contest director Phil Williams, we were treated to the hosting skills of the talented Gabe Llewellyn, who guided us through the action-packed day.
The first heats in the water were the girls’ U12 division. Despite the challenging conditions, each and every one of them displayed incredible determination. Whether they tackled the waves at the back or rode the exciting white water, their efforts were scored by the judges, resulting in plenty of smiles during the first round. A special shout-out to Isabella O’Reilly from Ireland, who caught an amazing wave from the back in those chunky conditions, earning her an impressive score of 8+.
Navigating the low tide at Great Western is always tricky, but the under 14 boys’ division made the best of it. Following their impressive performance, it was the turn of the under 12 boys, followed by the under 14 girls.
The panel of judges, led by head judge Tony Good, had their work cut out for them with so many impressive waves being surfed. Nevertheless, it was fantastic to witness the contest progress swiftly towards the finals, with the beach turning into a sun-drenched amphitheatre.
Now, let’s talk about the results. The girls’ U12 final kicked off the final showdowns, and all the competitors delivered strong performances. However, it was Ireland’s Isabella O’Reilly who emerged victorious, leaving Arabella Peres, Annie Nicholls, and Ellie Hickie in her wake. In the boys’ under 14 division, the battle for top honours was intense between Rory Murphy, who claimed victory in the first event at Croyde, and Dylan Roose. This time, Dylan came out on top, with Rory securing the second spot. A massive congratulations to Rueben Wakeley and Charlie Wingfield, who grabbed the third and fourth places, respectively.
The under 12 boys’ final took place in challenging conditions around 4 pm, where great friends and fierce rivals showcased their skills. Ultimately, it was Harvey Waters who emerged victorious, followed by Dylan Craig, Joshi James, and Koa Egan. The event concluded with the U14 girls’ final, where Willow Smith and Harlyn Sykes battled fiercely until the very end. In the end, Willow clinched the victory, with Harlyn right on her heels. Kaja Millward secured the third place, while the impressive newcomer Imogen Nute claimed fourth place in her debut event. Well done to everyone involved! We must also send our best wishes to Josie Hawke, who unfortunately had to withdraw due to an injury sustained at the Newquay skate park. Get well soon, Josie!
Phil Williams said ‘one of the joys and strengths of this series is the partnership between the governing body Surfing England and the local surf club, and today was a fantastic example of how well that can work, a pleasure working alongside Zoe and the Newquay board riders team, Lenka and Callum representing Surfing England, as well as so many others that supported the event, and learnt new skills like beach marshals and tabulation using live heats. We are very much looking forward to the next event with our friends at Bude Wave riders on July 15th (Back up date July16th) . The standard of surfing at this level is getting better and better and it is proving to be a real positive response to the gap that Surfing England identified to help nurture not just competitive surfers at these ages, but for those who would like to enter a contest for the first time’.
Following the event, an exciting presentation took place, with an enthusiastic crowd of spectators and competitors celebrating the fantastic day. It was a fitting end to an incredible event.
We would like to express a special thanks to Vittoria and Elise, the RNLI lifeguards, for their invaluable support throughout the day, as well as the water support team of Otis and Fynn, who did a brilliant job in keeping the free surfers away from the competition area.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the people who have invested in this series, including our headline sponsors Eola, Animal UK, and the newly onboard RYD. Their support and organization of a thrilling treasure hunt during the day added an extra layer of excitement. We must also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the media team, consisting of photographer Geoff Tydeman and Jamie Elliott and videographer Sam Hopkins.
Additionally, a big thank you goes to Adam Griffiths and his team for allowing us to use the beach and for their assistance throughout the day.
Last but not least, we express our gratitude to all the surfers in the area, as well as the competitors and their support crews, who made this event an unforgettable and enjoyable experience.
Next stop: Bude!
1st Dylan Roose
2nd Rory Murphy
3rd Reuben Joseph Wakely
4th Charlie Wingfield
1st Willow Smith
2nd Harlyn Sykes
3rd Kaja Millward
4th Imogen Nute
1st Harvey Waters
2nd Dylan Craig
3rd Joshi James
4th Koa Egan
1st Isabella O’Reilly
2nd Arabella Peres
3rd Annie Nicholls
4th Ellie Hickie