A victorious Sam Lamiroy consolidated one of the best years of his career this weekend when he was crowned British Surfing Champion for the second time at the O’Neill British Surf Championships in Devon.
2006 has been an epic year for the surfer who grew up in the North East having made it to the quarter finals of the World Surfing Games, being placed 16th in the world, having surfed some of the biggest waves ever conquered in the UK and even finding the time to get married.
Following three frustrating postponements due to poor conditions, the British Surfing Association (BSA) decided to move the event to Putsborough in Devon this weekend to ensure ideal waves and surfers traveled to compete in the veteran, masters, seniors and open categories.
Clean 4-5ft conditions provided the backdrop for some fine British surfing action that saw Sam up against Newquay boys Mark ‘Egor’ Harris, Llewellyn Whittaker and Ritchie Mullins in the final of the open. Surfing strong all the way through the heats, Egor looked like a likely contender for the title but he couldn’t beat Sam’s form and in the end took second place with Ritchie and Llewellyn taking third and fourth respectively.
And 16 year old Beth Mason of Swansea also consolidated her position at the top of the UK’s women’s scene taking the British title. This marked yet another high point in a year that has seen her surfing as the youngest competitor in the Freespirit British Surf team for the World Surfing Games in California as well as completing her GCSEs. Jo Dennison of Milford Haven, Gwen Spurlock of Swansea and Kathleen Spears of Croyde took second, third and fourth places.
Also showing phenomenal form, Grishka Roberts, who has entered five competitions this year and won four, rode to victory in the Masters section with Jamie Owen, Neil Clifton and Jed Stone taking second, third and fourth places on the podium. Both Grishka and Jed will be traveling to Puerto Rico in January to represent Britain at the World Masters Championships.
In the seniors, Gabe Davies of Newcastle scored the top wave of the day with a 9.17 on a wave in his final against Paul Kirby of Bude, Gold Rush champion Scott Eastwood of Jersey, Neil Clifton of Woolacombe and Daz Wright of Newquay who came second, third, fourth and fifth. And in the Veterans, Gary Rogers of Saltburn took second place with Jed Stone of Newquay taking the championship title.
Karen Walton, National Director of the BSA said, “We are all really pleased to have been able to run the O’Neill British at last and the ideal conditions showed just how much talent we have in UK surfing. The weekend in Devon all went amazingly well and I would really like to thank everyone involved including top sponsors O’Neill, the judges, all the officials, the competitors, the spectators and the Putsborough Beach Café. Massive congratulations to all the surfers who made the podium spots and what a way to see out the year!”
The event was also followed by one of the best parties of 2006 with Anton and Matt of Avalon performing a gig at The Jube that had the whole pub singing and dancing.
1 Sam Lamiroy
2 Mark Harris
3 Richie Mullins
4 Llewellyn Whittaker
1 Bethan Mason
2 Jo Dennison
3 Gwen Spurlock
4 Kathleen Spears
1 Gabe Davies
2 Paul Kirby
3 Scott Eastwood
4 Neil Clifton
1 Grishka Roberts
2 Jamie Owen
3 Neil Clifton
4 Jed Stone
1 Jed Stone
2 Gary Rogers