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Monday 29th December 2003
Fistral coup for Women's Surfing
Layne Beachley
Aussie Layne Beachley is set to show off her world beating skills at Fistral Beach. Picture courtesy ASP
World champion Layne Beachley could be surfing in Britain's richest-ever women's surf contest in Cornwall during 2004.
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+ There are currently 250,000 surfers in the UK.

+ The biggest surf normally occurs on a pushing tide, especially on the Bristol Channel coast.

+ Croyde Bay in North Devon and Fistral Beach in Cornwall are two of the most popular surfing beaches in Britain.

+ The first ever degree in surfing was offered by the University of Plymouth.

+ The record for the most number of surfers on a board was broken in 1989 at Fistral Beach, Newquay. Twelve surfers rode a 37ft longboard shaped by Tim Mellors.

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

World champion Layne Beachley could be surfing in Britain's richest-ever women's surf contest in Cornwall during 2004.

Layne Beachley
Layne Beachley in action

Fistral Beach, in Newquay, is set to host the 11th leg of the prestigious World Championship Tour in September.

Beachley, from Australia, won a record-breaking sixth consecutive world pro title with a superb runners-up finish at the final event of the 2003 series in Maui.

The Cornish leg of the tour has yet to be confirmed but if it does go ahead will be a coup for surfing in the South West. It's likely local wildcards will be awarded with Helston's Robyn Sunshine Davies and Newquay's Tracey Boxall among the contenders.

Robyn Sunshine Davies
Robyn Sunshine Davies could compete against the world's best pro's on home ground

The resort has also secured the 5star World Qualifying Series Nokia Pro for the second year running in August. French professional Emmanuelle Joly-Thomas left it late to win the event last season.

After a slow start in the final, Joly-Thomas fought back to clinch victory by less than half a point from Australian Neridah Falconer.

The ladies event will run from August 3rd to 9th and be incorporated as part of the Rip Curl Newquay Boardmasters Festival which also boasts a 4star WQS men's tournament.

Last year's winner was Australian Bede Durbridge who won the final with a superb backhand attack in 3ft waves at North Fistral. Durbridge defeated French pair Eric Rebiere and Gregory Pastusiak as well as Adam Robertson to take the title by just 0.2 points.

Newquay's Mark Harris and Geordie Sam Lamiroy were the highest-placed Britons. The pair were both defeated in the fourth round of the competition.

British number one Russell Winter, a past holder of the title, is likely to be eager to regain the accolade at his home beach in 2004.

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