The Elusive/Soundwave Jersey Surfabout was held at St Ouen’s Bay on Sunday in unseasonably warm temperatures and clean, consistent 2-3 foot waves.
Organised and run by Channel Island Team surfers Scott Eastwood and Sam George, the event is the first in the Jersey Surfboard Club’s 2014 contest calendar and was hailed as a great success by the competitors and spectators alike.
First in the water on the Sunday morning was the hotly contested Junior division. Pre event favourite Charlie Rio surfed solidly throughout to secure his place in the final along with three of the islands other top juniors Hayden Bishop, Finlay Clayton and Jay Clayton. It was Rio who started strongest in the final securing a high scoring wave at the start of the heat however with difficult low tide conditions, he struggled to find a good back up ride. Bishop surfed stylishly and consistently throughout however couldn’t find a wave that would enable him to perform to his full potential. Jay clayton wasn’t able to recreate the form that had seen him surf comfortably into the final and it was his older Brother Finlay who surfed with power and finesse to take the win over Rio with Bishop in third and Jay Clayton in fourth.
The women’s division was fought out between two of the islands top surfers Shelly Mcfarling and Charlotte Bayliss. Both have extensive contest experience both in Europe and the UK and the standard was high throughout the final. It was however the powerful turns of Mcfarling who took the win over Bayliss in a closely contested final.
The longboard division saw some new faces make the final as some of the more established competitors were knocked out in the semi finals. Will Glen took fourth place overall with a mixture of stylish nose riding and smooth rail to rail surfing. Contest organiser Sam George surfed consistently throughout to take third place overall whilst first and second place was a battle between North Devon professional Ben Howorth and Jersey’s former European Junior champion Josh Le Marquand. Despite some solid surfing by Le Marquand, it was Howorth who took the win after a solid score in the opening minutes that he backed up with another good score n the dying minutes of the final.
The coveted open division saw some of the islands top junior surfers pitted against a number of older, more experienced Channel Island Team surfers. Cousins Ben and Matt Chapman surfed solidly throughout the event to make the final along with current British Mater’s Champion Scott Eastwood and the in form Christian Boletta. Eastwood started strongest with a long walling left that allowed for a combination of snaps and cutbacks however he was unable to back the ride up with a second scoring ride. Fellow Channel Island Team surfer Ben Chapman suffered a similar fate and he also wasn’t able to recreate his earlier form whilst Boletta notched up a number of solid scoring rides and looked likely to take the win. It was however Matt Chapman, freshly back from a trip to surfing’s homeland in Hawaii who capitalised on the long left hand waves on offer that allowed him to execute a number of critical turns and tail slides that saw him narrowly take the title over Boletta with Eastwood in third and Ben Chapam in fourth.