The British Open Competition for Surf Kayak and Waveski, took place on Saturday 14th September at East Strand Portrush. Looking at the forecast as the week wore on, Saturday looked promising, but Sunday looked pretty grim, with gale force winds on the way. At a pre-event meeting at Portrush on Friday evening, it was therefore decided to hold the competition on only one day, despite the fact that this meant the organisers were going to be under huge pressure to get all the classes covered. Heats would be cut to 15 minutes, and a certain amount of juggling meant that people should have enough time between their heats to get organised for the next one, as well as hopefully have enough time to draw breath!
Saturday dawned bright and clear, if a touch chilly, but as the day wore on the sun gained more warmth, and it was a fantastic day altogether. The beach at East Strand was packed with people enjoying the weather, and they were treated to an amazing display as World Class Athletes from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all came together to give of their best. The juniors from the CANI development squad also took part in junior, Senior and Waveski classes, and had a wonderful experience being out on the waves with some of the best in the World.
The surf itself was pretty good too, as long as people were patient enough to wait for that all important wave – sometimes it seemed as though nothing was going to come through, and then a perfect set would arrive, so that our current World Champion Jake King was frequently able to show off one of his trademark high turns.
Jake and older brother Corin showed great skill throughout all classes of the competition, winning 1st place in Waveski and Men’s HP respectively. Aidan Brackenbury of England took home 3 trophies at the end of the day, winning both of the junior events as well as the Men’s IC. Northern Ireland’s Chris Hobson was also in fine form, and placed 2nd in two classes. Ashley Hunter took 1st place in both of the Masters classes, and Emma Fishleigh took 1st in both Ladies Events. Congratulations to all the winners, to everyone who competed, and most especially to members of our junior development squad who all did themselves proud. It was a brilliant event.
Thanks also to the NI Surf Kayak Club for hosting such a great event. Full results can be viewed on the NISKC website, and check out the CANI Facebook page for more photos from the day.