Saturday & Sunday 2nd/3rd October 2010
European Tour of LOngboard Round 3 Watergate Bay.
Winner: Remi Arauzo FRA
Runner Up:Ben Skinner UK
=3rd Place Adam Griffiths UK & Alexis Deniel FRA
This weekend saw Watergate Bay host the third round of the European Tour of Longboard. This is a 5 round event to crown the European Longboard Champion. The event attracted all of the top riders involved in the race to become the 2010 champion. Surfers from both France and the UK are in the running to stake a claim to this years Crown.
Watergate Bay offered great facilities to host the event. Both in terms of the contestants, organisers and those coming along to watch. The balcony gave judges an ideal platform to view all of the action.
The weekend was a mixture of conditions. On Saturday for Round 1 and the Quarter Finals we had blue skies and big heavy surf. The benefit of this was an empty beach break for the surfers to explore and exploit. Sunday threw up a grey start, big heavy surf and an off-shore wind. Not the perfect conditions for the Semi's and Final but this did not hinder the quality of the surfing in any way.
Saturday saw all of the big contenders safely through to the semi's but also threw an opportunity for some of the upcoming youngsters. The surf was challenging in size and force but this didn't stop Youngster like Angus Murray and Trevelyn Garland throwing up big performances. The French challenge was strong today and Remi Arauzo and Alexis Deniel showed why they were favourites to win. Home grown riders also high in the standings also came through with ease, Ben Skinner, James Parry and Adam Griffiths safely through to the semis.
The full line up for the semi's being:
Heat 13 (Semi 1)
Nico Keruzec FRA - Red
Adam Griffiths UK - White
Aurelien Meyneux FRA - Yellow
Remi Arauzo FRA - Blue
Heat 14 (Semi 2)
Alexis Deniel FRA - Red
Ben Skinner UK - White
James Parry UK - Yellow
Trevelyn Garland UK - Blue
Sunday saw a delayed start to see if the wind was going to die down as forecast but this was not the case. Semi 1 saw Remi Arauzo dominate with some very aggresive surfing. Adam Griffiths was hot on his heels surfing just as strongly, to make it through to the Man on Man semi's. In Semi 2 Ben Skinner really came out firing laying down a few markers for those who thought they could take the event away from the driving force of getting this round hosted in the UK. Alexis Deniels surfing slightly away from the others in the surf was able to pick out some heavy left handers that mixed aggressive surfing with some traditional moves.
Man on Man Semi's
Remi Arauzo v Adam Griffiths
Ben Skinner v Alexis Deniels
These two heats really saw the surfers involve step up there games. Both showed how much a longboard can be thrown around. Ben Skinner doing this with a real mix of style, mixing hitting the lip with long and difficult noserides in tricky conditions, leading him to a spot in the final. Remi on a borrowed board after snapping a board yesterday really got in the mix hitting lip after lip. He even managed to come of the lip so hard on one that the landing he made make the beach wonder if he was going to snap another board!!! Both these semi's brought often loud responses from the spectators.
Ben Skinner v Remi Arauzo.
This was almost a surreal final. France v UK. The crowd had even separated into their own camps. Ben and Remi even picked different spots to surf in. Ben out to the left picking of some fierce rights and Remi out to the right dropping into some spanking lefts! Both riders showed a big mix of surfing styles. Ben Skinner holding down a massive Hang 10 and Remi picking out an Air or two! This was a very close final that often saw the lead change hands. Both rider fighting very hard for the win. The final conclusion went to Remi Arauzo. Ben Skinner at a home event was obviously bitterly dissapointed by his result but was gracious in defeat. Ben stated how proud he was of bringing a round of the ETL to the UK and is looking forward to holding it again next Year. Remi stated how stoked he was to win but also how enjoyable it was to come to the UK to surf in this round. Remi thanked Ben Skinner for organising and setting up this round.
It was has been a inspirational weekend of surf. France and the UK battled hard and each countries surfers showed how far European Longboarding has come. This has defintely been a successful event.
The next two rounds are as follows:
Round 4 Bouznika, Morroco - 21st/22nd November
Round 5 Estoril, Portugal - 27th/28th November
For more information on Ben Skinner: http://www.skindogsurfboards.co.uk/
Corduroy Lines: Longboard & Retro Magazine