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Britain’s first big wave surf contest goes off in Cornwall

Twenty eight year old Scott Eastwood was today crowned the first ever British Big Wave Champion at the British Surfing Association’s unique Gold Rush Contest at Fistral Beach, in association with Carve magazine.

With less than 30 seconds to go in a closely fought final, Scott took off on an eight foot wave to ride immaculately and score the elusive perfect 10. He beat fifteen other top surfers in one of the most exciting contests Britain has ever seen and took home ‘the gold’ – a cheque for £1,000.

Waves of up to 8ft broke throughout the day as the swell of Hurricane Gordon started to pound the coast and surfers and spectators alike crowded the points around North Fistral to witness some of the best contest surfing ever seen in the UK.

Dropping everything and heading for big waves has always been the quest of all keen surfers but all too often the best swells don’t co-incide with contest dates and competitors often have to make do with very small conditions. This means that they are unable to really prove their ability so to counteract this, the team at the BSA came up with the innovative idea of a contest that would happen when the perfect surf is forecast on the charts.

The resulting Gold Rush concept was announced with a 3 month waiting period and given the current hurricane swell, today was deemed as perfect as it’s likely to get. With 72 hours notice, the BSA gained special permission from Restormel Borough Council and the RNLI for the competition to take place and the 16 invite only surfers were informed of the competition by mobile phone and e-mail.

The day dawned with perfect sunshine and waves of around 6ft and an offshore wind. Throughout the heats, the surf continued to build and with offshore winds, the competitors couldn’t have asked for better. Following several exciting heats, Scott took to the water for the final alongside Grishka Roberts, Ben Skinner and Llewellyn Whittaker. Surfing phenomenally well, it looked like Ben Skinner was set to take the title but then Scott saw his perfect wave and went for it.

Scott said, “I think the BSA’s Gold Rush Big Wave concept is brilliant. I never normally do well in small wave contests and doing it this way by waiting for the waves to come then letting everyone know is really good. I never normally do well in small wave contests and today’s waves were far more suited to my surfing. The last minute wave and the score I got is pretty unbelievable and I’m obviously completely stoked to have won such a big new contest. “

Contest Director and BSA representative Tony Good said, “I’ve been involved with running contests for over twenty years and without a doubt, today’s contest was the most exciting ever. It’s refreshing to have these kind of conditions and see proper big wave surfing and without a doubt, this will become one of the most exciting contests on the British surf circuit.

Congratulations to Scott for his stunning result and also to everyone who took part. The BSA would also like to say a big thanks to all the lifeguards and to Restormel Council for helping us make it all happen.”

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