The final stage of the BSUPA SUP Surf Championships set a precedent for being the first SUP event ever at Fistral beach and provided competitors with some testing conditions off the bat. Strong onshore winds created a challenging environment that was met with ability and skill by the fleets.
On the lead up to the event the forecasted swell looked alarmingly absent either side of the competition date but a belt of NNW wind remained fixed on the forecast up to 2 weeks ahead creating a break to the calm. Thus indicating an event with short period head high swell at the expense of strong winds.
The riders were not phased and the swell on Saturday morning looked okay albeit certainly not classic. Sections and ramps were the order of the day meaning that the surfing would be potentially progressive playing to the conditions and the versatility of SUP.
Heats got started at 10am with 10 men and 4 women entrants. The shorter round due to fleet numbers allowed the competition to avoid low tide and therefore the finals were run on a rising tide. Men’s fleet saw a fight out between Neal Gent, Dave Ewer, Jason Sawyer, Marcio Dias,Matt Argyle, Blue Ewer, Max Shepherd, Todd Sawyer, Ben Fisher, Sean Facey and Aaron Rowe. A fleet mixed with veterans and young guns.
The women’s fleet saw Tina Beresford in a battle to retain her overall title against Marie Buchanan both whom have been firing in recent events. Added to this Cal Major and Elle Veale were in fighting mode to win the first ever SUP event at Fistral. It was everything to play for.
Fitness and skill was a prerequisite for the conditions due to strong currents, 30kts of wind and a tight packed sea state. Marie managed to keep her head down and smash relentlessly into the wind, a strategy that clinched her the lead and the overall title. With Tina in 2nd, Cal 3rd and Ellie in 4th. Congratulations.
In the men’s fleet perhaps by chance or due to the conditions, the new school emerged ahead of the vets for a new school show down in the finals. As the sun began to set and the tide rose, the spectators surged in to the bay to see what was expected to be a legendary fight for the title.
Emerge Ben Fisher and Aaron Rowe. Ben mixing smooth cutbacks and backhand reos with style. It turned out to be a day of left handers and Aaron had the edge with his snappy creativity enjoying his favoured front side. Now enter Blue and Max. Blue, who is becoming a formidable force, is showing strength beyond his 16 years. Max however managed to pick out a rare right hander which may have been the best wave of the competition and tipped the scales in his favour. Without much time to recover from a gruelling heat, he faced Aaron who’d been refuelling and resting ready for the head to head.
The final was picture perfect evening beauty despite the nearly impossible conditions in the arena. Despite the back to back heats, Max managed to hide any exhaustion by catching a charging right with Aaron responding with a left. In the end, it became a battle of a new style making the most of what Fistral had to offer for the forecast. Aaron pushed ahead to perform with his full style regardless of wave quality emerging as the men’s fleet victor of the first ever SUP event at Fistral and gaining the overall title.
Round Three Fistral Results
1st Aaron Rowe
2nd Max Shepherd
3rd Blue Ewer
3rd Ben Fisher
5th Neal Gent
5th Sean Facey
5th Matt Argyle
5th Dave Ewer
7th Marcio Dias
7th Todd Sawyer
7th Jason Sawyer
1st Marie Buchanan
2nd Tina Beresford
3rd Cal Major
4th Elle Veale
For full BSUPA SUP Surf championship results for 2017: