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The Surf Relief Festival, Ocean and Beach Day a Success.

The Surf Relief Festival, Ocean and Beach Day a Success.

Surf Relief Festival Iron Man CompetitionTwo days of stormy weather couldn’t dent the enthusiasm of over 1,000 schoolchildren, surfers, lifesavers and beach-goers who took part in the Surf Relief Festival last weekend (17 & 18 July).

The two-day event, held at Cornwall’s Watergate Bay, raised over £4,000 for the charity Surf Relief UK to fund their ongoing ‘SurfAble’ project, which provides specialised surfing lessons for disabled children all over the country.

The event started with an ‘Ocean & Beach Day’ for over 100 Cornish schoolchildren on Friday 17th July. Despite strong winds and leaden skies the children had a great day on the beach taking part in rugby and surfing coaching sessions.

The event’s inclusive approach also saw the participation of children from Doubletrees School near St Austell. The pupils, whose disabilities range from autism to physical conditions, enjoyed surfing lessons run by specially-trained instructors from the SurfAble network of surf schools.

The Nippers, aged from 10 to 13, took part in a series of short races and relays which tested their running, swimming and board paddling skills to earn points for their team.

Portreath SLSC were the strongest club on the day, winning all but one age group to come first with 203 points. The team from Hayle SLSC were second on 267 points, and were the strongest in the Under 11 girls. Perranporth SLSC came third with 424 points.

Elsewhere on the beach, younger children enjoyed face painting and dance workshops run by Busy Bodies. The main stage saw entertainment from pop act The Vanity Girls and a demonstration of Thai boxing from Padstow Higher Level Thai Boxing Gym. Blue Reef Aquarium’s Rockpool Roadshow brought giant crabs and lobsters to a crowd of enthralled youngsters.

The Legacy Elite Ironman and Diamond Lady competitions both attracted very strong competitors, including many current and former members of the Great Britain lifesaving team. Portreath SLSC had more to cheer about with club members Dan Humble and Rachael Pascoe winning the competitions, which saw the athletes complete legs in paddle board, swim and surf ski – with a 500m run in between each leg – in a sprint format.

Humble led from start to finish, although 2008 British Iron man champion Robbie Sandbach gave him a superb race. Australian Humble said: “These guys here are amazing competitors so it’s pretty tough to stay at the top when you do get ahead. Credit to all of the guys here that are based in the UK for 12 months of the year – I’ve got it easy when I’m only here for six months of the year and six months in Australia, the guys here do an amazing job.

Competition Results from the Surf Relief Festival, Watergate Bay

Legacy Events Nippers CarnivalSurf Relief Festival Nippers
1 Portreath SLSC – 203 points
2 Hayle SLSC – 267 points
3 Perranporth SLSC – 424 points

Legacy Events Elite Ironman & Diamond Lady
1 Dan Humble (Portreath SLSC)
2 Rob Sandbach (Woolacombe SLSC)
3 Lloyd Rosewell (Pen-Y-Bont SLSC)

Diamond Lady
1 Rachael Pascoe (Portreath SLSC)
2 Fay Mills (Woolacombe SLSC)
3 Eva Murphy (Woolacombe SLSC)

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