Surfing tsunamis

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This weekend saw back to back surfing competitions being held at Rest Bay, Porthcawl as the Elusive Welsh Open and Tsunami Cup went ahead in big surf.

Surfers from all over Wales descended on Porthcawl for the the Elusive Welsh Open contest on Saturday which was held in solid 4-6 foot + high surf

The event definitely warranted good waves having being postponed three times due to it being flat, so the organisers were well and truly blessed this time around.

Swansea surfer Lloyd George pulling into a tube during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

The morning heats were tough with long, arduous paddle outs and strong rips making it difficult for competitors to even paddle out to contests their heats but despite a few snapped leashes everyone survived the onslaught.

There were even some barrels being ridden by Lloyd George from Swansea and Alex Morris from Pembrokeshire who took off on an absolute beast of wave, bottom turned and pulled deep inside a gaping tube before flying out the other side - much to the delight of everyone watching!

Alex Morrris on a good sized wave during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

In the afternoon, the wind eased, the sun came out and the surf cleaned up, making for some perfect contest waves. The event was eventually won by local surfer - George Schofield, so many congratulations to him.

On Sunday the Tsunami Cup contest took over. The surf was not as big or as clean as it had been on Sunday but despite the torrent of rain, competitors turned up and squelched their way through the mud to the beach.

I too had decided to throw my hat into the ring as it was for a good cause and I figured most of the other competitors would be hung over after watching the Six Nations rugby ;)

The Tsunami Cup has been running since 2005 when the Boxing Day tsunami hit and local surfers decided to get together to raise money for the villages affected - many of which once stood in popular surf locations.

The moderate southerly wind eventually eased and turned light south westerly as the first heat paddled out into 4-5ft surf around 10.30am.

The paddle out was hard going as there weren't any real lulls in the surf so by the time we paddled out, everyone was shattered. With 10 minutes allocated for paddling out and 15 minute heats running back to back, there wasn't much time for a rest in between, if you progressed.

Eventual winner, George Schofield on a chunky wave during the Tsunami Cup. Image by Adrian Lincoln at www.framesphotography.co.uk.

I scraped though a couple of rounds to make the semi finals but as one of the erm... 'older' competitors in the event - my competition fitness was somewhat lacking, so my tank was well and truly empty for my third and final heat.

It was good fun anyway and was all about raising money for a good cause. Well done to the Welsh Coast Surf Club and Christian Surfers UK for doing such a sterling job with the organisation, catering and judging on a wet and windy Sunday morning.

I'm not sure who the overall winners were (Open, Juniors and Longboard) as I had to go home and collapse but will add this information as and when I get it.

More good news for surfers this week, as deep low pressure in the Atlantic looks set to batter our coastline with more big waves.

Gull

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