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The Elusive Welsh Open with Jessie Tuckman

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Earlier this month I went to the Elusive Welsh Open, a surf contest in South Wales at Porthcawl. I love going to Wales! The girls and guys who surf there are a good laugh. I always end up hooking up with my friends Georgie and Libby at surf contests as well as having gone on trips away with them too, so it's nice to know a few friendly faces already.

Adam Laister, the videographer and landlocked surfer/snowboarder came along for the ride. The original plan had been to spend about 4 days in Wales, allowing us plenty of time to hunt for waves and seek out hidden spots. Unfortunately I had some budget problems which meant we could only do the weekend. Still the new plan was in place to compete on the Saturday and then spend half a day freesurfing somewhere.

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The Welsh Open was so fun. The day started with 40mph cross-shore winds and a decent amount of swell, which was being blown sort of flat. It was really challenging to catch small sideways waves. I entered the open and my first heat was against the guys. I paddled out near the north end of Coney Beach for shelter and about ten minutes into my heat I was all the way at the point on the south side!

I got out and ran halfway back up the beach as time was running out and against the wind I would have never made it all the way. It wasn't amazing for anyone in the water at that point but I was glad to get an equal third in the heat managing to find one wave.

The place we stayed was pretty much right next to the beach! We were so lucky, it meant that between heats I could run home, get a shower, wrap up in a warm duvet and stay hot for the next heat.

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The women’s heats were run when the tide started pushing in so the surf was progressively getting better. It was still hard to get much, the wind really pushed me sideways and was such a barrier to having any real flow. I was stoked to find I got a place in the final and also my friend Frankie, who I met previously on the surf tour, got through too!

The tide was high and the wind had dropped a bit for the final. I was so happy to see some wave faces. It was still a bit mushy as you can see on the video, but at least all the girls were fighting against the wind to complete some turns and just have fun out there. Emily Williams won and really smashed it.

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After the contest I had planned to spend Sunday surfing some local spots and was upset to find there were barely any waves. I went to Rest Bay which was the most open beach around and got in anyway as there was a little bit of what looked like sideways chop. It was very frustrating as all I wanted to do was let loose on the waves.

I've found over the last few years on surf trips and competitions that sometimes you score great waves and sometimes you don't. I don't let it bother me too much as it's all part of the challenge and we have tried to demonstrate in this mini documentary that we keep going no matter what and get stuck in there. The contest was a great success and I'd like to thank Elusive, the Welsh Surfing Federation and Christian Surfers.

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Check out the film by Adam Laister here:

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