2024 Junior Surf Series stop 3 – Widemouth

After the postponement of the St Ives event of the Surfing England Junior surf series until October, it was fantastic to get this event underway at the beautiful setting of Widemouth Bay in North Cornwall. After a week of looking at swell forecasts and talking with all interested parties, it was decided to change the date of the event from Saturday until Sunday which was definitely the right decision, so thank you to all those that changed their plans in order to still make the date.

Bude Waveriders and Surfing England officials met bright and breezy at Widemouth, and thankfully got the event site built, and the registration completed, before a pretty heavy period of rain which meant all involved retreated back to find shelter. However once the surfers briefing took place the event kicked off just 10 minutes behind schedule at 8:40 am for the first of 23 heats.

The surf forecast was due to be quite onshore throughout the day, and so it proved, although at this time of year sometimes the wind is our friend, which ensured that the conditions were contestable throughout the day.

Good progress was made in the morning until the contest was put on hold around the low tide mark after discussions with the lifeguards and contest officials, just to ensure that any rips didn’t make the event uncontestable, and after the tide started to push again the contest was resumed, and the rest of the action continued until its completion around 6 pm in the evening.

By then we had seen some fantastic performances from all the surfers involved and as ever with this series huge camaraderie between the surfers and their support teams, which is such a joy to witness. Bude Waveriders kept everybody fed and watered, so a huge thanks to them as they did a bit of a fundraising towards replacing their barbecue.

Under the professional guidance of head judge Ester Spears the local team of judges did a fantastic job, and despite the glare towards the end by using spotters on the beach every one of the waves were seen and judged fairly which is always the prime aim of events such as this.

One of the fantastic aspects of these events is teamwork, the governing body Surfing England, bring the resources and some personnel, and work closely with, and invest in the local surf club, and between the two organisations, and of course the sponsors, they plan and deliver a great event for the youngsters.

With regards to the results the first final of the day took place with the U12 boys, with some fantastic surfing Harvey Waters carried on where he left off at Newquay with a combined heat score of 16.10 taking the title, ahead of Tommy Hamilton, Zeek Streeter and Ollie Phillips (it was fantastic to get a good crew of Welsh surfers there)

The hotly contested girls final in the under 14’s took place, where all those present witnessed an incredible display of surfing by the very talented Lila Skinner, again following on from her win at Newquay with probably the highest wave score we have seen at the junior surf series a 9.60, and a two wave total of 17.5, fantastic surfing throughout the final. Welsh champion Josie Hawke pushed her all the way but just missed out again, and in the five-girl final Annie Nicholls take third, Eva Isserlis fourth, and Imogen Nute fifth.

The penultimate heat of the day saw the under 14 boys fighting it out in some solid conditions with Jensen Martin taking the win for the first time in the JSS 2024 series, ahead of Harley Miller in a very close contest, with Sampson Houghton and Jack Cooper taking third and fourth respectively.

It was great to finish the event with the under 12 girls in a great amphitheatre as a tide pushed in towards high tide, which saw Ellie Hickie once again taking the win, ahead of local girl Betsie Reay with Willow Craxton, and Arabella Peres completing the lineup. All in all a fantastic day of surfing.

Whilst the contest was on hold around low tide the entertainment continued with the traditional RYD treasure hunt, and a big thanks to them, and also the prize draw took place for the SE Para Surf team fundraiser which had in started at the wave a couple of days before.

With the sun still blazing down the presentations took place on the beach with a long list of thanks given by Martin Reay, the medals being handed out by Phil Williams and Max Palmer, giving out the prizes.

Huge thanks to all of those that volunteered and were involved in this event including water support, the judges, Beach Marshalls, MC’s, Timing disc operator, all those involved in hospitality for the event that kept everybody fed and watered including Widemouth Bay Café, and of course the great Bude Waveriders team. Thanks also to Cornwall Council for letting us use the beach, and of course the Widemouth surfers for keeping the lineup clear.

We are very much looking forward to the next event with our friends at Woolacombe Boardriders, in North Devon, scheduled for September 29th.

Huge thanks to our headline sponsors Animal UK, and RYD, and to the media team consisting of photographer Jamie Elliot, and Jim Finley for the video edit.


U14 GIRLS – 1 Lila Skinner 2 Josie Hawke 3 Annie Nicholls 4 Eva Isserlis 5 Imogen Nute

U14 BOYS – 1 Jensen Martin 2 Harley Miller 3 Sampson Houghton 4 Jack Cooper

U12 GIRLS – 1 Ellie Hickie  2 Betsie Reay 3 Willow Craxton 4 Arabella Peres

U12 BOYS – 1 Harvey Waters 2 Tommy Hamilton 3 Zeek Streeter 4 Ollie Phillips


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