Surfing Championships a success

The Scottish Surfing Championships were held on the 31st March 2012 at Castle Reef, Thurso in some challenging 3-5 ft surfing conditions.

The day got off to a prompt start with the Junior division first hitting the water under the watchful eye of SSF lifeguard Mark Boyd with an outstanding performance by Jamie Bain of Fraserburgh taking an early lead.

The early rounds of the Open and Senior divisions then followed leading into some extremely challenging conditions which prevailed through the Longboard event as the swell began to build with the pushing tide. Mark Boyd secured a close win ahead of Scottish Surfing veterans Iain Masson (previous seven-time Scottish Open Champion) and Robbie McKay of Banff who was also recovering from a recent injury.

This year also saw the largest number of Ladies to have ever entered the event many of whom were also giving the lads a run for their money in the Open category with some extremely close surfing between Dee Ripoll, Sheila Findlayson, Sarah Dickson, Jill Noble and Shoana Blackadder. It was also an all Noble battle out in the Senior division with Chris Noble edging ahead of George Noble in the closing minutes of the final to secure the victory.

The Open final was a familiar scene with Boydie, Mark ‘Scratch’ Cameron and Chris being the top three for the last three years.  Ian Masson, a several time Scottish Champion had made an impressive comeback having surfed fluidly and stylishly throughout the competition and had been a standout in earlier heats.

Chris and Scratch had dominated the Scottish Nationals for the last 10 years and Mark Boyd was hungry for victory having placed 3rd the four years prior and having won all his heats on route to the final including a convincing victory over defending champ Chris Noble in the semi finals.

The start of the open final was much slower than previous heats with not many set waves coming through.  Mark Cameron linked turns and a 360 on an inside wave to open his account.  The only goofy footer and youngest competitor in the final, Mark Boyd, narrowly missed the first set wave of the heat having tried to maintain priority over Chris Noble.  Chris caught the wave underneath Boydie and nailed two solid turns to open his run, getting the better of Scratch on this exchange.

Despite a couple of earlier poor wave choices by Cameron, he found another insider in which he smoothly combined modern surfing with some classic turns.  Noble’s experienced showed as he waited patiently out the back for another set, meanwhile Boydie wasted time on some smaller inside waves as he panicked.

Boydie finally got a score on the board but it would need to be backed up to take the lead with only five minutes remaining.

Noble was in position for the final set of the heat after having waited patiently.  His first turn didn’t quite connect right despite the wave selection being superior to Cameron’s.  He finished the wave well however, with a radical snap on the inside section but it wouldn’t be quite enough to take the top spot.

Less than a point separated Scratch and Chris for first and second place, Boydie took the prize for highest wave score of the event as well as another 3rd place finish in the open and Iain Masson followed a close fourth.

“This has been the largest Scottish Surfing Championships we’ve held to date which is testament to the growth of the sport within the country and its clearly evident the standard has continued to improve year on year.

“The Scottish Surfing Federation would like to thank Mr Andy Bain, Patrick Murphy, Jason Mclvenny and Neil Simmonds for judging throughout the event as well as Granite Reef, Lunasurf and The Surfers Attic for providing sponsorship – without their support the event would not have been possible.

“Its exciting times at present for the Scottish Surfing Federation as we prepare for celebrating 40 years of the Scottish Surfing Championships in early 2013,“ said William Watson, Contest Director and Scottish Surfing Federation President.

Summary:

Juniors

4th David Finlayson (Aberdeen)

3rd Andrew Robertson (St Andrews)

2nd Greg Millar (MacDuff)

1st Jamie Bain (Fraserburgh)

Longboards

4th Ross Aitkenhead (Aberdeen)

3rd Robbie Mckay (MacDuff)

2nd Iain Masson (Fraserburgh)

1st Mark Boyd (Thurso)

Ladies

4th Sheila Findlayson (Thurso)

3rd Jill Noble (Fraserburgh)

2nd Sarah Dickson (Aberdeen)

1st Shoana Blackadder (Thurso)

Seniors

4th Chris Clarke (Thurso)

3rd Mark Cameron (Fraserburgh)

2nd George Noble (Fraserburgh)

1st Chris Noble (Thurso)

Open

4th Iain Masson (Fraserburgh)

3rd Mark Boyd (Thurso)

2nd Chris Noble (Thurso)

1st Mark Cameron (Fraserburgh)