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Three British Teams in final of World Surf Kayak Championships 2007!

Dave Speller / Foto: BCU Surf Kayak Committee


October 2007 saw the World Surf Kayak Championships take place in the Basque region of Northern Spain. Although 17 countries attended this yearís championships only 9 managed to field a full team, which includes short and long boat categories for men, juniors, ladies, masters and grand masters. The event is run with heats of four competitors in a timed surf for 19 minutes with a panel of judges watching from a judging tower. The competitors are scored for a maximum of 10 waves in the 19 minutes and are scored on the take off, the number and success of manoeuvres on the wave and the length of ride.

The team event was run over two rounds and a final. After the first two rounds surfing at Bakio and Mundaka in conditions that varied from short steep beach breaks to the long rides of Mundaka, four teams made it through to the final day. England, the local Basque team, Jersey and Northern Ireland all secured a place and were all determined to win!

Team England / Foto: BCU Surf Kayak Committee

The finals were held at Mundaka, at the mouth of the river Gernika, which can be a seriously intimidating, barrelling wave and paddlers and support teams were noticeably quieter on the final day than they previously been as nerves set in. The Basque team quickly took the lead showing their local knowledge of the Mundaka wave. Conditions varied through the day as the tide dropped and rose again around the Mundaka sand bar that caused the wave to throw its lip and barrel at amazing speeds.

After the last heat the Basque team had comfortably won with Jersey and Northern Ireland placed joint second and England fourth just 2 points behind. To break the tie for second place the organisers look back to the number of 1st places that were achieved through the final day heats, but both teams had the same number! Therefore Northern Ireland just pipped Jersey at the post for second as they had just one more 2nd place in the rounds than Jersey. A nail biting time for all as the counting went on! The previous world champions, USA West did not make the final day, although they did well in the individual events. Wales were placed 7th and Scotland were placed 9th although Scotland did win the prize for the best team spirit and partygoing!

In the individual competition, which was mainly held on the beach break at Bakio, British teams also did well with Scotlandís Tracy Sherrington winning the womenís international class (International class is the long boats) and Jerseyís Ailsa McDougal and Northern Irelandís Erica Chisholm coming third and fourth respectively and Ailsa also come fourth in the womenís open final (the open class is for the short, high performance boats). The masters open final saw Simon Hammond from England coming second and in the menís open class Chris Harvey from Jersey came third. The masterís international class saw Englandís Gary Adcock come third and Richard Hobson from Northern Ireland come fourth. In the open international menís competition Darren Bason from England took third place and Johnny Bingham from Northern Ireland took fourth.

Dave Speller / Foto:

The juniors nearly wiped the board with some very impressive surfing. David Speller from Jersey won the open finals with Sam Davenport from England and Chris Hobson from Northern Ireland coming second and fourth respectively. In the junior international finals Chris Hobson took first place, Corrin King came second and Alan Knox third, all from Northern Ireland.

Alan Knox, Northern Ireland Junior / Foto:

The grand masters open finals saw Kevin Quinn from Northern Ireland in first place, Phil Carpenter from Wales in second and Englandís Steve Davenport, Andrew Hawker and Peter Day in third, fourth and fifth places. In the international class final Malcolm Pearcey from England took fourth place.

Four of the individual finals (masterís and open, short and long boat categories) were postponed until the day after the closing ceremony due to a lack of surf. This was a welcome decision as the day dawned with brilliant sunshine and the biggest, cleanest waves of the championships. We were all treated to Bakio at its very best! 8 ft+ waves peeled towards the rocks on the river end of the bay giving spectators, photographer and film crews a fantastic view of what was probably the best ever final of a surf kayak championships. An exciting sport to watch and participate in, the Worldís was an event not to be missed and training has already begun for the 2009 World which will be held in Peniche, Portugal when we hope it will be a British team who will come home with the coveted first place in the team event!

This years world championship proved that the UK has some of the most talented surf kayakers in the world and our BCU and regional committees are all keen to encourage newcomers into the sport and share the expertise of our competitive surfers.

If you are interested in learning more about surf kayaking or would like to compete on your own region then please get in contact with the surf kayak committees via e-mail

Competitions go on all over the UK and abroad all year and details of the competitions can be found at

Jenny Long Chair England Surf Kayak Committee

Steve Bowens Chair BCU Surf Kayak Committee

O Blog dos Kayaksurfers

Publicado em 12 de Janeiro de 2008

Texto - Steve Bowens / Jenny Long

Fotos - BCU Surf Committe +

Reportagem completa!