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Double Win for Porthtowan. Men’s and Women’s Surf Boat Crews at European Championships, France

September 17, 2011 Posted by Philippa in Latest News 0 comments

Double Win for Porthtowan
Men’s and Women’s Surf Boat Crews at European Championships, France

The 5th European Surf Rowing Championships were hosted by France at Soulac sur Mer, NW of Bordeaux.  The event was a great success, and the town of Soulac sur Mer were exemplary hosts.

Porthtowan SLSC entered two crews in the event, the Men’s Blue Bali, made up of Nick Healey, Ed Hartgill, Tim Bracey and Jules Chenoweth, swept by Gary Walters, and the Ladies Black and Blues who are Lowenna Bradley, Jo Lloyd-King, Becky Lloyd-King and Kim-Marie Clothier, also swept by Gary Walters.

The day started early with everyone on the beach by 8.30am, to be greeted by overcast, grey skies, and a windblown choppy 2-3ft swell.  Undaunted the crews powered out through the waves for a warm up, to assess conditions.
In the men’s competition, 9 crews had entered from across Europe, including crews from France, Italy and Holland. In the Ladies competition, there were 2 UK entries and 2 crews from France.

Due to the large number of entries, the men’s races were split into 2 heats, over 3 rounds.  The Blue Bali crew showed their racing prowess with powerful starts in the choppy, shelving conditions, and established an early lead in all of the heats, resulting in convincing wins in all three rounds.

In the ladies race, the Black and Blues showed that technique is all important, especially in windblown surf, as they pushed into the lead before the can, and cruised home with a very comfortable lead in all three of the rounds.

As the tide receded, the turning bouys were moved to so the men’s semi final was a bit more exciting. The Dutch crew gave Blue Bali a run for their money, and won the semi final heat, which gave them the choice of lanes for the final.

In the women’s final the Black and Blues showed that all their training has paid off as yet again they were first to the can, despite being pushed in the first leg by the ‘Amazonian’ Begle crew.  However, despite their small stature as a
crew, their fitness and technique paid off as they rowed home to victory, again with a comfortable lead, to become European Champions.

The Men’s final showed what Blue Bali are made of as they sped out to the can and powered home in style to a comfortable victory, to take their 4th win in the European Championships since 2007. The Porthtowan Ladies crew also won the European Championships in 2009, but this is the first year that both the Men’s and Ladies have won the European Championships.

At the presentation after the event, the winning crews were presented with medals by the Mayor of Soulac, and also presented with trophies – two beautiful pictures by a local surf artist.  The event was extremely well organised and all crews were made to feel very welcome by the event organizers, the town and Soulac, and all the spectators.  Film crews from local television companies were present, and footage has been shown on local news stations.

These outstanding results for the men’s and women’s teams testify to the hard work and dedication that the crews show to their training, and prove that the Cornish surf boat crews really are the best in Europe! If you are
interested in surf boat rowing and would like to have a go, check out, find your nearest surf club with a boat and have a go!


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