Fryer Sizzles In Open
Thumping double-overhead waves provided the canvas for an impressive display of surfing at Watergate Bay over the weekend 2nd and 3rd May 2009 for the English National Surf Championships.
With Saturday’s pulsing 6 to 8ft swell on the limit of contestable conditions, organisers opted to run only the elite Open division. But by Sunday the waves had dropped to a more manageable 4ft, allowing all eight divisions to be completed in fun, albeit choppy, surf.
Johnny Fryer claimed the Open title
Newquay-based Johnny Fryer claimed the Open division title in a closely-fought heat. Any of the four finalists - who included Cornishmen Josh Ward, Andrew Griffen and Shaun Skilton - would have been worthy winners.
A delighted Johnny Fryer said: "It was a crazy final," after receiving his trophy as the English Open champion.
"The boys were all ripping, there were a lot of waves ridden, and it must have been super, super close. Before the final I really wanted to win this, but everyone was ripping so I thought I was out of it.
"I’ve wanted to win this for ages. I’ve been second and third before and I just didn’t want another second. It feels great."
Ben Skinner wins Longboard Open
In the Longboard Open, Newquay surfer Ben Skinner’s recent run of form continued as he beat off competition from defending champion Ben Haworth to win, while Candice O’Donnell retained her Women’s Longboard title.
Just four weeks ago both Skinner and O’Donnell were standing on the podium in Tapia, Spain, having won their respective European qualifying events for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longbord Tour.
For Skinner, another win reinforces his position as Europe’s top longboard surfer. He said "It’s been really good month, I’m having a good time.
"I surfed yesterday in the Open and it was really hard work. Everyone was taking 20 minutes to paddle out, but the waves were really good."
The Isle of Wight’s Zoe Sheath won the Women’s Open division, edging out North Devon’s Sophie Hellyer.
In the Stand-up Paddle Surf division veteran longboarder Adam Zervas won the title for a second consecutive year.
O' Donnell retains Women's Longboard
Surfboard shaper Chris Harris won the Senior (over 28) division; former European champion Spencer Hargraves won the Masters (over 35); and David Pearce claimed top spot in the Legends (over 45).
As well as winning national titles, the top-placing surfers gain qualification for the English team, which will take part in the European championships in Jersey from 26 September to 4 October.
Event organiser Pauly Jeffery of the English Surfing Federation said: "Our surfers don’t often get the chance to prove themselves in decent waves, but they certainly did on Saturday, and they certainly impressed me and the judges.
"There was a lot of committed surfing in some fairly chunky waves. There was a lot of paddling, a lot of hard work, and the good surfers got rewarded. "
Senior (Over 28)
Masters (Over 35)
Legends (Over 45)
Stand-up Paddle Surf
last updated: 05/05/2009 at 12:10