After crushing disappointment in November after the SKA Nationals was thwarted by seemingly the only weekend this winterwithout gale-force winds we decided to run Nationals take 2! Here is a little round-up of what happened…
Our competitors and spectators arrived and commenced the weekend on Friday night with a risky forecast for Saturday. We decided to cancel the competition for Saturday and many of our competitors couldn’t resist the lure of the sea so picked up a surfboard and went and enjoyed the waves. For the rest of us it was a perfect opportunity to enjoy the early spring, listen to some music and play a bit of volleyball on the beach!
With the forecast looking promising for Sunday we briefed the riders and then made our way to the pub where we ensured we were well hydrated for the fierce competition ahead! A few select ambassadors made their way into Bideford to get the locals hyped for the competition…
After a good nights rest we were down at the beach with promising conditions at 9am. The competition was a go! With our pro judges, Craig Smith (Flexifoil), Liam Proctor (Flexifoil) and Polly Crathorne (Cabrinha), ready to go – once they had jump started the truck…from abusing the heating… we got the heats underway!
First up was the Intermediates where we saw a high standard of kiting and everyone really pushing their boundaries. In this category anything hooked in goes! We saw people boosting big and some nice rotations!
After 3 heats and a final our judges cast their decision:
1st-Ross Browne (Exeter)
2nd-Ned Aufenast (Exeter)
3rd-Joash Clarkson (Exeter)
Prizes: Hadlow Freestyle Boards and Hadlow pumps (Flexifoil), Supersaturated ponchos and tour tees.
Next up, advanced. These guys were really pushing their limits of what can be achieved in pretty hard, gusty conditions! Throwing down hooked in and unhooked tricks up to air-passes we saw some really sick riding, and even a sneaky salmon thrown in by our very own fishmonger Tom Shaw!
Again we had 3 heats and then one of the best finals we have ever seen left us with:
1st-Tom Shaw (Bath)
2nd-Tim Wrinch (Bristol)
3rd-Cedric Bontemps (Southampton)
Prizes: Hadlow Wakestyle Board (Kitemare), Hadlow Freestyle Board and Hadlow pumps (Flexifoil), Supersaturated ponchos and tour tees.
We then had our Pro category. Here we only had three student entrants however Craig Smith (Flexifoil) made a specialappearance and threw down some huge tricks! Liam Proctor however stole the show with a world first, something that will be remembered for SKA Nationals for years to come… a Salmon to blind! That really left no option for the podium:
1st-Liam Proctor (Exeter)
2nd-Martin Hayes (Swansea)
3rd-Polly Crathorne (Edinburgh)
Prizes: Ion Battle Jacket (Bracklesham Board Riders), Supersaturated ponchos and tour tees.
The overall winners were Exeter (again) and this time they won some lessons for beginners kindly donated by Teamplayers!
Thanks to all of our sponsors, Flexifoil, Kitemare, Supersaturated, Bracklesham Boardriders and Teamplayers. Without them we couldn’t run this competition or give out the sick prizes that we did! A special thanks goes to Kitemare for letting us use their new shop as a venue for prize giving!
See you again next year!