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28 October 2014

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Porthleven Big Wave Challenge

Porthleven to Host Big Wave Challenge

Simon Alexander
Thirty-two of Europe's top surfers have been invited to Cornwall to compete at one of Britain's heaviest reefbreaks.

BBC Cornwall Surfing Correspondent Simon Alexander reports from the line-up.

Thirty-two of Europe's top surfers have been invited to Cornwall to compete at one of Britain's heaviest reefbreaks.

Organisers have vowed to stage The Realm Porthleven Surf Challenge only when the surf exceeds six feet.

A six-month waiting period is underway for the event which has the backing of Porthleven Surf Club.

Ex-British student champion and Porthleven local Dan "mole" Joel heads an impressive list of surfers on standby for the contest.

British professional Russell Winter is also among the invitees which also includes fellow Newquay surfers Spencer Hargraves and Ben Baird.

Helston's Jake Boex and Geordie Gabe Davies are also in the starting line-up.

Prolific Welsh champion Brad Hockeridge, who is backing the challenge, told BBC Guernsey, the quality of the surf would make this one of the best competition's in the UK: "it's the contest people will want to see. Porthleven has the reputation for world-class surf and the reef is the jewel in the crown.

"the surf club are right behind the event which won't be held until the waves are well over headhigh plus. In fact, the bigger the better," he added.

Porthleven has rarely been used as a contest location because the waves can be among the most-demanding in Europe.

"because the break is usually crowded with surfers and boogieboarders when it's on, the competitors are relishing surfing the reef with just their opponents in the water," said Hockeridge, from Porthcawl, in South Wales.


BBC Cornwall Surfing Correspondent Simon Alexander reports from the line-up.

Puerto Ricon Brian Toth stands in the way of Russell Winter making it into the last 32 of the 4star World Qualifying Series Santander Pro in Northern Spain.

Winter is the highest-placed Briton on the tour in 31st place and the only UK surfer seeded into round four.

Newquay's Llewellyn Whittaker goes in the previous round against South African Antonio Bortoletto.

Devon duo Josh Lewan and Martin Black also face tough openers. North Devon-sponsored Lewan is up against Ariano Marques, Jason Salisbury and Franito Saenz in his round two heat.

Former Exeter University Surf Club captain Martin Black meets Jordy Smith, Zach Plopper and Cornish-based South African and British Professional Surf Association tour leader Ruebin Pearce.


BBC Cornwall Surfing Correspondent Simon Alexander reports from the line-up

Six times world champion Kelly Slater moved a major step towards a seventh ASP title with victory at the World Championship Tour Boost Mobile Pro in California.

Putting on a clinical display of surfing in the excellent three foot plus surf at Trestles, Slater held off a strong challenge from Aussie Phil MacDonald in the final.

It was Floridian's fourth victory of the season and gives him a thousand points lead at the top of the rankings over current world champion Hawaiian Andy Irons.

Kelly Slater celebrates victory.

Going into the final, Macdonald was adamant he wouldn't let Slater get away with an easy win and dominated for much of the 35-minute duel.

Opening with some powerful front-side turns he notched up a 6.83 out of 10 then followed through with an 8.17 soon after.

Slater, meanwhile, had a low scorer and sat patiently waiting for a wave that would deliver him the 8.67 he required to reel in MacDonald.

While MacDonald was sitting with priority, Slater managed to grab a smaller inside wave with less than five minutes to go and in typical Slater form he went berserk executing a large floater manoeuvre, an aerial and then completed the ride with a lay-back snap. For the wave he scored a 9.07 and victory.

"I was thinking before that wave about how fresh I was feeling and at that point I knew it was going to come down to one ride," said Slater. "I knew how long it would take to paddle back out and there was just enough time left for me to circle and get another one if need be, but luckily I didn't need it.

"It's pretty amazing," Slater continued. "The last three finals I've been in have been decided in the last five minutes - I got Andy in the last 30 seconds in South Africa, he got me in the last five minutes in Japan and now this today. It makes it exciting for everyone watching."

At 33 years of age, Slater is in the box seat for an incredible seventh world crown and at this stage of his career he is arguably finding his best form ever and is confident he can go on with the job of claiming the crown.

"It's all about where your mind's at," said Slater. "It's a spiritual thing. It's all about how you approach things. When things are stagnant in my life, the worse I surf and the more I enjoy things, the better I surf and I feel more in tune with everything. It's even fun when you lose! As far as the ratings go, it's a great position to be in. I was hoping to at least maintain my current lead over Andy but this was a huge bonus today and it feels great to have four wins this year."

The beaten semi-finalists were Australian's Mick Fanning and Taj Burrow.

Current WCT standings after eight events.
1 Kelly Slater, USA, 7,574.
2 Andy Irons, Hawaii, 6,528.
3 Mick Fanning, Australia, 5,838.
4 Trent Munro, Australia, 5,618.
5 Phillip MacDonald, Australia, 5,363.

last updated: 19/09/05
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