Reef Presents the 2nd Edition of the Annual 5 to 1 Fin Fair

“Josh Ward, you need a 3.6 – a 3.6 to take the lead.” The words drift out over the line-up, the megaphone battling the buffeting wind to reach the five surfers out back. Gee Piper has just dropped into a macking set and snatched the lead with a super stylish drainer, all grace and power on his twin fin through to a final arcing turn. Sitting to the south towards Lushington, Josh Ward has already racked up a couple of high scoring waves, super tight carves on his Thruster, throwing huge fans of spray into the blustery wind. The beach marshal checks his stop watch… “Two minutes, you have two minutes!”

‘Challenging conditions,’ that’s how we termed the solid overhead swell in the six foot plus range that greeted the crew at P’Town that morning – a cheeky southerly wind adding a little spice to proceedings. The day was certainly testing everyone to their limits.

The 2nd Edition of the Approaching Lines 5 to 1 Fin Fair, presented by Reef kicked off at Porthtowan Beach, Cornwall on October 25th – the Saturday morning that saw summer officially transition into winter. This one-day gathering of finned fanatics celebrates the art of wave-riding and the humble skeg. With an emphasis on good vibes, good rides and good times, the contest – open to guys, girls and groms – consists of five categories: single fin; twinnie; Thruster; quad; and 5 fin, with a winner in each receiving accolades, a trophy, Reef goodies and a set of Shapers Fins of their choice!

The heats were soon in the water and it was clear that everyone was embracing the contest criteria laying down smooth, expressive surfing with power and stoke, while balls out going for broke. Impressing early on were Mischa Maguire posting one of the highest scoring waves, Porthtowan local Ben Davey who charged his heat but took a pounding in the shore break that left him unable to take up his well earned berth in the final and Chris Webb who laid down some huge moves.

In the single fin final, competing on an original 1970′s Tris board shaped by legendary craftsman Chops Lascelles, Jack Croker was defending his title against smooth lines from Adam Jones and Ryan Manetta, but it was Newquay’s Jimbo Bennett who put down some critical moves to take the number one slot. In the twinnies Gee Piper claimed the win against Adam Wheeler, Archie “Grom” Cross and Matthew Oldfield. Aggie charger Josh Ward took down Adam Hewitt, Jimbo Bennett and Chris Webb to claim the Thruster win while in the Quads Newquay’s Max Turner was the victor, threading into one of the event’s few barrels to beat Mike Keep, Chris Webb, Rich Braham and Sarah Bentley.

The paddle out for the quintet of 5 fin finalists coincided with the biggest set of the day rolling through, but Mount Hawke local Jan Clark revelled in the conditions snagging a bomb with aplomb and the win from Richard Vaughan, Sarah Bentley, Rich Pope and Chris Webb.

And so to the grand final, the clash of the champions, to be crowned the ‘King of the Fins’. The crowd has gathered on the beach. The five victors – Josh, Gee, Max, Jan and Jimbo – are spread through the line-up. Josh needs a 3.6. The crowd are on tenter hooks, Nick Holden is reeling off manoeuvre by manoeuvre on-the-spot commentary through the megaphone, eclipsing anything the ASP desk can deliver.  Josh drops into a buzzer beating last minute inside wave, drives down the line, climbs into a close-out floater. The hooter sounds. Over to the judges. The tension mounts. The score comes through – it’s just short.

Gee Piper takes the win for the twinnies. Elevated above the crowd, his golden crown glistens in the Porthtowan sunlight. He has journeyed far, from the northern lands of Newquay, braved the traverse through the Perranporth hinterlands and done battle on the sandy fringes of P’Town. But to the victor goes the spoils. He arrived a man, he leaves KING OF THE FINS!

Thanks to our friends at Reef, Shapers Fins, Allpress and Xcel for supporting the happening and all the competitors who made the event such a success. See you at The Slyder Cup!