A SURFER from Bude, Cornwall, was racially abused by a paddle boarder on a beach, who swore at him and bizarrely told him to get “back to England.”
Longboarder Phil Brown, 29, was subjected to abuse after catching the same wave as the stand-up paddle (SUP) boarder, who appeared to consider Cornwall a foreign country.
Mr Brown said he accidently shared the SUP rider’s wave, an act known in the surfing community as ‘dropping in’. He was then sworn at by the man, who appears to have a Liverpudlian accent and who threatened to put him in hospital if he “did it again.”
Mr Brown caught the interaction, which happened on Saturday on Summerleaze Beach, on camera. The video shows a Saint Piran's Flag – the flag of Cornwall – sticker stuck to the front of the SUP rider’s board. Some in Cornwall use the flag as a symbol of identity.
Mr Brown apologised but the man continued to swear at him and told him to get back to England.
Mr Brown then pointed out that he is from Cornwall, before the man replied: “I was born here.”
It was pointed out to the SUP rider by Mr Brown that that gives him “no more right”, but he merely swore again and paddled off.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Brown, who served in the Army for eight years including in Afghanistan, said: “‘I think he’s bang out of order for the way he spoke to me and the localism he used as well.
“It’s the same as racism. It’s exactly the same thing just in a different manner.
“I am a bit wary to get back in the water now to be honest. I think I’ll go to a different beach.
“I was quite shocked. Everyone in Cornwall is pretty laid back – you don’t get that kind of thing usually so to receive that from him was one hell of a shock.
“I told him I’m from Cornwall but he comes across as if it is his water and almost as if he classes me as a holidaymaker.
“It shouldn’t make any difference where I’m from – it’s the same water.”
“I certainly don’t think of Cornwall as its own country or anything like that.
“I know there’s some good old rivalry between Devon and Cornwall but that’s just banter.”