WOOLACOMBE Boardriders have held their latest Grunta League event.
With the contest called at short notice on Friday evening to cunningly avoid the bank holiday crowds, everyone was back in the pub before it was too late.
The second round of the open division was surfed along with the third ranking event for the juniors, following their own gathering at the beginning of July.
The waves were smallish but contestable and, with the sun shining, there aren’t many places you would rather be than watching friends surf and having fun.
That is one of the essential pleasures of the pursuit, which is often lost at comps.
Josh Witts put in a solid performance to smash the final of the open and strengthen his position at the top of the table. The word from the judges was that he tore it up and “won by a mile”.
“It was a good laugh with all the crew,” said Josh. “We had fun and it was great to see everyone surf so well in those conditions.”
The junior division wasn’t as busy due to holidays and surf livesaving duties among other reasons, but that didn’t affect the level of performance – thanks in no small part to the club’s junior training scheme, run by experienced volunteers.
The Wednesday elite training sessions paid off for Lee Oliver who took the win in the juniors ahead of Jack Ashford.
It was a straight final in the women’s but one any club would be happy to boast about as Lucy Campbell, fresh from a second place at Boardmasters, put on a spirited display to take the honours against Lani Ashford.
Croyde is going to be full of junior talent on Sunday for Croyde Surf Club’s Redwood Super Grom contest.
The event was instigated by Redwood Surf Shop owner and former British champion Richard Carter to encourage youngsters in to competitive surfing and has grown in recent years to become among the biggest in the country.
Entries will be accepted on the day with check-in from 8.30am. Anyone who was under 16 on January 1, 2014, and fancies having some fun in the waves can go down to the Lime Kiln Field at the north end of the beach and get involved.
Woolacombe Boardriders Grunta League – open: 1 Josh Witts, 2 Archie Willis, 3 Jack Ashford, 4 Paul Barrington.
Women: 1 Lucy Campbell, 2 Lani Ashford.
Juniors: 1 Lee Oliver, 2 Jack Ashford, 3 Lani Ashford.