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A beautiful sunny Polzeath greeted the surfers for the 5th Jesus Longboard Classic, held over the 15th and 16th October. Hosted by Tubestation, the Christian Surfers UK event saw over 70 competitors come from all over the country to compete in stunning conditions. A gentle offshore breeze and 3ft+ waves gave the long-boarders a perfect opportunity to show off their prowess in the waves

With four divisions and a prize purse of £1000 up for grabs, the juniors, women’s, masters and open categories saw some big names from the world of long-boarding enter, and it was also great to see entrants new to the competition scene.

The Masters were the first to hit the water and in perhaps the craziest heat of the contest, which included three interferences, they showed that they still have the skills, and the greatest enjoyment of being in the sea, as friends attempted to steal waves from each other. They showed great sportsmanship as they hooted each other into waves.

The Juniors were next to hit the water, which saw an incredibly high level of surfing and some closely fought heats. Zac Lawton showed that he will be a contender for future titles next year as he is about to leave the ranks of under 18 surfing.

In the women’s category a tight set of heats saw Anna Gooding, Davina Stickley, Ashleigh Bennetts and Claire Smail progress to the final.

The open category progressed quickly from round 1 to the quarter finals on saturday afternoon. A mix of traditional and progressive manoeuvers displayed the wealth of talent we have in this country, with some amazing nose-rides and big off-the-lips, and fins free turns.

Saturday could not have been any better as the sun shone all day, the sets kept on coming and the standard of surfing got better and better, which was only topped by a pod of Dolphins who joined the packed line up, and put on a spectacular display.

A surfers blessing at the Tubestation has become a traditional part of the Jesus Longboard Classic. After a stunning breakfast, all the surfers were given garlands of flowers as they listened to live music by singer songwriter Gareth Logan and a heartfelt message from Rich Balding of surf company, Nineplus.

There were some concerns that Sunday would see a drop in swell and be chopped up by the on-shore wind, but the sets kept rolling in under slightly cloudier skies and we were not disappointed. The level of surfing improved again as all of the semi finals and finals were closely fought out.

The results are as follows,

In the Junior Category, Jack Unsworth 4th, Connor Griffiths 3rd, Alex Maddocks 2nd and taking the win in his final year or under 18 surfing was Zac Lawton, with two excellent rides.

In a tightly fought women’s final that could have seen any one of the four take the victory,  a tied score for 3rd place between Davina Stickley and Ashleigh Bennetts meant that Anna Gooding took second place, and Claire Smail emerging victorious.

The master results had a popular Robert Davin in 4th, last years “longest nose-ride” winner- Pete Dudley in 3rd, Colin Bright taking yet another second place and Adam Chell scooping the winners trophy.

The open final was one of the most hotly contested finals ever seen at the JLC, which saw Ben Haworth get straight to business with an opening ride of 8.87. Ben went on to dominate the final, as he had done the whole contest, scoring three more excellent rides with an impressive combination of arcing turns, fast snaps and precision nose-riding. Ben went on to take the win with a heat total of 18.13. The other three finalists were hot on his heels the whole heat, each scoring excellent rides and making for a very exciting final. The judges were tested to the limit, with only 1.5 points separating 1st to 4th positions.

Taking the 4th spot was Ben Skinner, 3rd was Angus Murray and Nico Keruzec took second Place. The winner with a score of 18.13 was Ben Haworth, demonstrating why he is one of the UK’s top riders.

There were two other trophies given out on the day, The Longest Nose ride – sponsored by Wavehunters – won with an awesome hang five by Ben Skinner. The Most Progressive manoeuver trophy from Surfs Up, was taken by Ben Haworth for his off the lip fins free turn.

At the presentation, contest director Johnny Hillman of CSUK thanked the sponsors of the event, Nineplus and Atlantic House Hotel, and mentioned that this is a highlight of the competition calendar. “The thing that makes this contest, is the great vibe and sportsmanship showed by each and every one of the competitors” he said. Many of the competitors commented on how well the competition ran, and how enjoyable it was. The Tubestation is a fantastic place to hang out between heats.

Christian Surfers UK would also like to thank all the Christian Surfer Volunteers who gave up their time to run the event, Terry and Marta for keeping everyone looked after, and 360 Photography, Surfs up, Wavehunters, Tubestation, Mr Surfy and the support of the RNLI on the beach.

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