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GB junior surf squad in Croyde training camp

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

BRITAIN'S FINEST: The GB junior surf squad at a cold Croyde for the first training camp of 2013. Picture: Estpix

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Rob Tibbles

THERE aren't many places in the world where you can enjoy top-quality surfing and snowboarding in the same day.

For those who timed it right, there was the chance to enjoy great barrels in the morning followed by an afternoon on the piste. North Devon has definitely been a fun place this week if you can stand the cold.

The British junior surf squad got acquainted with the frigid conditions at their first training camp of 2013 in Croyde over the weekend.

The squad were based at Baggy Lodge and, given the freezing temperature and snow, the warm and cosy lodge provided the perfect location for the squad to prepare.

Sitting on the sidelines can be hard but two of the North Devon lads were keen not to miss a thing.

Although in recovery – a broken ankle for Will Bailey and a knee operation for Taz Knight – both were present all weekend to cheer on their peers and pick up the new team kit.

Put through their paces by head coach and former Welsh champion Lloyd Cole, along with assistant coach Damon Beveridge, from Braunton, the squad faced a number of fitness tests before competing against each other.

The Journal caught up with Surf South West's head instructor John Ellis for the lowdown on how the local juniors got on.

As the GB junior team manager, Ellis, 32, from Braunton, shares the task of getting the young surfers to Nicaragua for the International Surfing Association World Surfing Games later this year.

"As always, Flora Lawton and Peony Knight were battling against each other in the girls division," he said. "Both performed well all weekend, taking advantage of the great surf conditions.

"Peony earned scores in the excellent range from head judge Ester Spears on several occasions. However, it was Flora who performed the most consistently over the two days and finished just ahead.

"Due to Lucy Campbell having exams and Laura Crane being overseas, Alex Gibson was the only other surfer representing North Devon.

"In arguably the most competitive division, he surfed consistently, taking advantage of being at his home break, and finished the weekend in the top five of the under-16 boys.

"The weekend was a great success and provided a great start to the squad's training.

"With five more months left until the final team is picked to go to Nicaragua, all are still in with a chance to make the final team."

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