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Gales force venue switch

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: June 27, 2013

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SURF LIFE-SAVING

A LATE change of venue did not prevent fast and furious racing in the Legacy Elite Series.

Twenty of the UK's top competitors and eight of Europe's best were in North Devon for the event hosted as part of GoldCoast Oceanfest.

After months in the planning, the gale force winds and big swells meant the location had to be switched from Croyde to Putsborough.

There was a change in the format too, with the winners decided by points accumulation over three races.

Starting in a 2-3ft low tide and strong south west winds, 21 competitors took part in the swim-board-ski races.

Welsh contenders Sam Moore, of Porthcawl, and Rhian Thomas, from Pen-y-bont, claimed the men's and women's open titles.

Matt Hewitt, of Portreath edged out the North Devon challenge of Scoob Lark to win the youth category.

In the European Oceanman tour event, there was a three-way tie for first place between Daniel Roggeuland, Rik Op het Veld and Kevin Schuler.

On Sunday, the elite junior team event attracted more than 40 children from four North Devon clubs, Bideford, Saunton, Woolacombe and Croyde.

The competitors, aged 11 to 14, were split in to teams called Tornado, Vortex, Storm and Cyclone – apt names considering the weather.

In the first of three events to be held this summer for North Devon's top juniors, there was some fine racing in the tough conditions.

After beach flags and a 10-man beach relay, the racing entered the sea under the watchful eyes of 12 water safety officers.

Competing out to waist depth, the teams produced exciting action in the surf race, board race and five-man taplin relay.

The next junior event is at Putsborough on July 18 from 6pm to 8pm and the last one takes place at Saunton Sands on August 8.

The competitions will provide good preparation for the National Championships for juniors and nippers at Saunton from August 20 to 24.

Results – open – men: 1 Sam Moore; 2 Lloyd Roswell; 3 Milky Byatt. Women: 1 Rhian Thomas; 2 Mesha Wardman; 3 Charlotte Hewitt. Youth: 1 Matt Hewitt; 2 Scoob Lark; 3 Josh Surridge.

European Oceanman tour event: =1 Daniel Roggeuland, Rik Op het Veld, Kevin Schuler; 4 Pascal Stockli; 5 Florian Frischherz; 6 Manuael Saxer.

Elite Legacy Team competition: 1 Cyclone Pink; 2 Tornado Yellow; 3 Vortex Blue; 4 Storm Green.

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