The Slyder Cup 3 – The Results
There’s an old saying, “Fourth time lucky”, well, maybe there isn’t, but there should be! After three previous scheduled dates when Huey sent either macking swell or none at all – the 2016 Slyder Cup presented by Reef went down on Sunday 27th November in clean, lined offshore conditions at Lusty Glaze. This annual gathering of the fins-free clan has become the embodiment of the Approaching Lines ethos of Good Vibes, Good Rides and Good Times, as Slyderati from across the UK descend on this cliff lined bay in Kernow to share the waves and the stoke. In attendance were body surfers, alaia riders, bellyboarders, paipo riders and mat surfers and wave craft of all pedigrees – foam, fibre, plastic, wood, rubber – it wasn’t about the shape of your ride, it was all down to the style of your glide. The only rule – no skegs, no foils.
Contest Director Mr. Nick Holden called the event on for a 10.30 and as the sun rose over the cliff-tops, the low tide banks and small, crisp, clean conditions served up some gripping heats for the hooting crowd.
The Body Surf division was a mix of new faces and familiar friends but the standard, as always, was super high with a blend of speed, style and spins. Defending Champ Rory Mason confidently progressed to the final, where he was joined by fellow chargers St Agnes’ Tony Clarke, Tom Wilkins from Plymouth and Andy Garner of Against the Grain Handplanes plus Jack Middleton and David Smith, fresh back from the World Body Surfing Championships at California’s notorious Wedge. In a nip and tuck shootout it was Rory who emerged victorious, claiming his place in the Grand Final.
The Bellyboard / Paipo division is always a closely fought affair with a battle of the old skool ply and nu skool foam crews. Ever the embodiment of the spirit of Slyder, ‘Adventures In Lo-Fi’ guru Martin Jackson rode a simple piece of B+Q ply offcut with aplomb. Local National Trust ranger Aaron Claxton won through to the final with some long rides and swooping turns, as did RAF St Mawgan’s Jack Whitfield, Jonny Davy who had already shown his class in the bodysurfing, Dick Pierce Bellyboards’ own Jaimie Johnson, and ‘Leven local Aiden Botha. There were some fast and technical waves traded, and at the final hooter it was Swansea slyder Keith Usher who took down the title – maintaining the run for defending champs.
The Surf Mat division saw a high quality showdown with a real mix with established experience and new talent. The surf mat professor and brains behind G-Mat Surf Mats Graeme Webster showed super style and progressive turns, while defending Champ Rich Pope picked off the bigger wedges to the south of the peak. Dorset ripper Ella Scott racked up some great rides as did Surf Mat stalwart Bob Booth from Widemouth. Young talent Marcus Reed from St Agnes was a finalist again this year laying down long stylish lines to finish runner up, but was pipped by demon slyder Demi Taylor whose arcing bottom turns and tight off the tops took the Surf Mat title.
Of all the classes at the Slyder Cup the Alaia is always the one that pushes the waveslyding boundaries the most, with those riding the traditional thin wooden boards up against modern foam shapes. Encapsulating this spirit, the final saw St Agnes charger Neil Reed riding a paulownia Alaia in the challenging conditions, impressing the judges with clean style and speed, while his son Leon laid down 360’s on his finless foamie and threw in a pop-shove-it for good measure. Badlands local Sarah Bentley laid down her trademark smooth spins and stylish turns on the speedy walls, with 10 year Arthur Randall making it four Aggie surfers in the final, impressing the judges with fast, progressive turns and spins earning him the title of Best Grom for his performance throughout the day. Leading the charge for the first half of the final was Newquay’s Angus Scotney, who threw in a steep and fast 360 spin while dropping into a wedgy wall and rounding it off with a 180 to fakie finish. But it was defending Champ Jimbo Bennett who stepped up a gear in the second half, with full rotation spins and turns that raised hoots and cheers from the crowd gathered on the Lusty beach.
As the tide pushed towards high, the four Grand Finalists showed full commitment – Rory Mason took an early lead with a shore break barrel to peace sign claim, Keith Usher and Demi Taylor traded fast wedges terminating on dry sand, while Jimbo threw in combination spins and floaters at will that left the shore line wide eyed and wild and saw Jimbo Bennett retain his title – justifiably taking the Slyder Cup trophy for a third time. All four competitors took off on the same wedging left, finishing in an explosion of foam, sand and laughter that perfectly captured the spirit of the day. Over fifty competitors came and shared the waves and the camaraderie. Roll on 2017 – and with the pool of young talent on show… maybe a new challenge for Chief Grom?
The final Slyder Cup x Reef Standings are as follows:
Runner-up and Body Surf Champion: Rory Mason on Adventures in Lo-Fi handplane
Third and Mat Surf Champion: Demi Taylor on G-Mat Surfmat
Fourth and Paipo Champion: Keith Usher on Krusher Paipo
Winner Best Grom: Arthur Randall
Winner Furthest Travelled: Malc Edwards, Llanelli
Our supporters Reef, Xcel Wetsuits, Da Fin, Slyde Handboards, Dick Pierce Bellyboards, US Fin Company, Lusty Glaze and Mullet Boards.
Huge thanks to everyone who turned out and helped to make it a day of good vibes, good rides and good times especially our judges Chris Nelson, Gee Piper and Antonia Atha, plus our excellent lifeguards Warren and Mark, Sarah Bentley and Stella Pope on registration and tabulation, John Isaac on official photographer duty and Chairman of Stoke Mr Nick Holden.
Body Surf Final
1st Rory Mason
2nd Jack Middleton
3rd Andy Garner
4th Tony Clarke
5th David Smith
6th Tom Wilkins
Paipo / Bellyboard Final
1st Keith Usher
2nd Jaimie Johnson
3rd Aiden Botha
4th Jonny Davy
5th Aaron Claxton
6th Jack Whitfield
Surf Mat Final
1st Demi Taylor
2nd Marcus Reed
3rd Graeme Webster
4th Rich Pope
5th Bob Booth
6th Ella Scott
1st Jimbo Bennett
2nd Angus Scotney
3rd Leon Reed
4th Arthur Randall
5th Sarah Bentley
6th Neil Reed