New Format to English Nationals Attracts Celeb
Here's the press release:
A new-format English National Surfing Championships will return to the waves of Watergate Bay next month, bringing positive changes for both competitors and spectators.
Instead of one event, the Extreme Academy will host a series of weekends of top-level surfing this year, starting with the English Open Championships on the May Bank Holiday weekend (2nd & 3rd May). National titles will be decided in eight divisions.
And joining defending champions Tom Butler and Ben Haworth at Watergate Bay will be TV presenter Justin Lee Collins of Channel 4’s Sunday Night Project and ITV2’s The Justin Lee Collins Show, who will be attending the event as part of a new series on Sky1 in which he learns to surf.
“The English Nationals is a huge event - last year we had over 300 competitors surfing in 27 different divisions - so this year we have decided to split the competition and run it over several weekends," said organiser Pauly Jeffery of the English Surfing Federation.
“As well as making the event easier to manage, we’ll be able to focus on creating a better experience for the surfers by choosing the best peaks to run the heats, and in the Open division we’ll be introducing a ‘man-on-man’ heat format for the latter rounds, similar to the elite world tour events. The end result should be better surf for the competitors, and a more exciting experience for spectators on the beach."
As well as the Open division, the first weekend will crown champions in the Women, Masters (over 28), Veterans (over 35) and Legends (over 45) divisions. The Longboard, Women’s Longboard and Stand-up Paddleboard divisions will also take place.
The remaining 19 divisions for the various junior, bodyboarding and kneeboarding categories will be run at a later date.
Justin Lee Collins, from Bristol, is attending the event as part of a new documentary on surfing to be broadcast this summer.
In recent weeks, the TV presenter has been training hard at the Extreme Academy, learning to surf from scratch for one of the films. The documentary featuring Justin surfing will be entitled Justin Lee Collins: Surfer (working title). The series is made by production company Tiger Aspect, and will be transmitted on Sky1.
Pauly Jeffery added: “We’re really pleased that Justin will be attending the event, and hopefully his involvement will bring some great exposure for our sport, as well as making people aware of how much effort and preparation the competitors put into training for events like the English Nationals."
Entry forms can be dowloaded from www.watergatebay.co.uk/englishopen - entries for the event must be lodged by Thursday 30th April. Please contact Pauly Jeffery at the English Surfing Federation on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07737 004529 for more information.