Last weekend’s wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of Britain’s most promising young surfers competing at the Quiksilver King of the Groms event in Newquay.
The two-day contest saw challenging conditions which brought some great competitive performances from local groms Toby Donachie and Leon Mansfield, who won the under 14’s event for the fifth time in a row. The girl’s event was also a tightly-fought contest, between Cardiff’s Gwen Spurlock, North Devon’s Karma Worthington and Holly Donnelly from Newquay.
The Quiksilver King of the Groms is a global competition spanning five continents. The British leg will has already brought events to Porthcawl in Wales on the 26th –27th May and in Ireland at Strand Hill on the 23rd-24th June.
The weekend’s final in Newquay drew a particularly large entry, with both the under 16s and under 14s classes attracted 48 competitors, compared to a usual 32. Each grom was battling it out in the waves with the hope of winning a coveted place in the grand final in Capbreton, South West France.
Groms travelled to Newquay from across the country, with strong entry from Bournemouth and Wales. The competition kicked off at Fistral Beach on Saturday, with consistent conditions of between 3ft and 4ft. But as Fistral was pounded with 10ft swells on Sunday, the action moved to Tolcarne Beach where there was a more manageable 5ft surf.
Contest director Jo Hillman of the British Surfing Association said: “There’s a lot more youngsters keen to get involved and compete at a national and international level. It shows real growth in the sport amongst under 16s. We had bigger sets of waves on Sunday which brought about more challenging conditions, and really pushed the competitors.”
1. Gwen Spurlock
2. Karma Worthington
3. Holly Donnelly
4. Tassy Spurlock
1. Leon Mansfield
2. Matt Chapman
3. Tom Good
4. Cavan Donnelly
1. Toby Donachie
2. Jack Butler
3. Stuart Campbell
4. Lewis Clinton