The UKPSA Lynmouth Wave Breaker

After weeks of waiting, yesterday saw The UKPSA Wave Breaker Series at Lynmouth in North Devon given the go ahead.

A solid swell and favourable winds greeted competitors as they descended on the sleepy Devon town for a day of excellent waves reeling off down one of England’s best point breaks.

Although conditions appeared a little small and wonky first thing, after a few hours, which the competitors spent free surfing and eating fry ups, the tide moved into the sweet spot and the comp was called on. The wave demands almost an entirely different approach to any other wave on tour, with a necessity for flow, good linking of turns and maintenance of down the line speed taking precedence over attributes more favoured by the beach break events. As a result what ensued was a fairly unique day of British surfing competitions, with an abundance of waves allowing the 24 competitors to really demonstrate their surfing ability.

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Despite getting clearance to run the event from the council, the UKPSA did not have the powers to enforce the clearance of the line up, meaning competitors paddled out along side an assembled pack and were forced to share waves, sometimes in the most literal sense, with them. For the most part the free surfers were respectful of the competitors however there were some instances, generally where a competitor was dropped in on, which prompted notoriously outspoken tour commentator Nick Williams to bellow over the loud speaker that there were some in the line up who ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Whilst its understandable that the countries best surfers all turing up to your regular spot on the same day is not ideal, it’s perhaps worth considering, next time you find yourself in a discussion about Britain’s lack of competitive success on an international level, whether the fact that our competitors are not even afforded an entire line up to compete in may play its part.

The overall standard of surfing was extremely high, however certain competitors stood out from the get go. Miles Lee Hagreaves, for example put on a solid vertical backhand clinic throughout the competition only to loose out in a closely fought semi to eventual finalists Oli Adams and Egor Harriss. Harry Timson, who ended up as the only goofy foot in the final, also put on a impressive show shooting off down the line at lightning speed each time he got to his feet and attacking each section with a diverse and critical repertoire of manoeuvres.  Alan Stokes, Egor Harriss and Jayce Robinson also put on a consistent series of solid back hand performances, seamlessly linking textbook vert re-entries, big arcing carves and solid lip line floaters.

Eventual event winner Oli Adams surfed smart and explosively throughout the event, pacing himself perfectly to peak in the final, where he delivered an undeniable dominant performance. In true UKPSA style, Oli, who is still in recovery from a life changing operation less than a year ago, has been heaped with praise by his fellow competitors, with Stokesy hailing his victory ‘inspiring and motivational’ in an instagram post. We’d like to echo these sentiments as well as mentioning the fact that Oli may well have just become the first professional surfer to win an event with a colostomy bag, which is an undeniably impressive feat.

Here are the final results:

1. Oli Adams / Newquay

2. Jayce Robinson / St Ives

3. Mark ‘Egor’ Harriss / Newquay

4. Harry Timson / Newquay

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Words and Photos Luke Gartside 

  • Borno

    It’s a shame that it wasn’t noted that there was a great deal of dropping in on behalf of the competitors. They may be of the best in the country but it doesn’t teach any etiquette to their admiring peers.

  • mike

    An absolute shambles. Lynmouth is notoriously busy. What gives the ukpsa the right to just turn up and assume they can have any wave? That is what I saw in the lineup on Tuesday. Unfortunately surfin seems to bring out the worst in people and it was the so called best surfers in the uk that were doing the dropping in as far as I could see without a second thought for the others in the lineup. The whole thing just stinks. On one hand your magazine preaches about etiquette and then on the next your ambassadors of the British surf seen who are regulars in your pages are hailed the inocent party and that was so clearly not the case. It seems like there’s one rule for one and another rule for others. Fair enough have a contest but give the locals some warning and don’t just turn up and takeover. I can think of a few boys that were in your contest that wouldn’t appreciate a contest at a particular point break near nude. It just wouldn’t happen so why do it at lynmouth??

    • Tim Marks

      Thats a ridiculous standpoint. Its not difficult to give competition surfers some room in the line up and show some respect to them. They devote a lot of time, effort and travelling into competing. There not in the water to teach etiquette but win heats. If youre a local which you claim you have access to the break all year, giving them some slack on one day in a year is no great hardship. I would imagine your surfing could benefit from watching the UKs best surfers.

      • mike

        Hello Tim. The point being that lynmouth doesn’t break very often so when it does people will drop everything including work to get a wave. If the contest had advertised that this was going to run then maybe u wud have the choice not to bother losing out on a days wages as well like I’m sure many did. And come on mate kids around the country look up to these guys so basically saying they can do whatever they can do in the water really teaches a good example!!!

        • When comparing surfing to taking a day off work, we’ve got to remember that the surfers entering the contest ARE at work, there’s a couple of grand up for grabs at these contests and a lot of the competitors have expenses in excess of £100 to the get there, how do they stand in this situation?

          • Lickam Yballs

            Break out the violins! Those poor souls.
            a jolly to lynmouth with the boys is hardly work, or an excuse to behave like a dick and burn people who actually gave up a day’s pay from a real job.
            When did such z-list ‘pros’ become so entitled?

        • Tim Marks

          Mike I used to compete in the English and British surfing scene and have been surfing Lynmouth for forty years. The take off at Lynmouth can be easily a hundred yards long so there’s plenty of room to give competitors room unhindered. We’ve always had the problem of non competitors and competitors in the line up. These days four or even two surfers in a heat is small fry compared to the packed line ups that exist. I come from the days when Lynmouth was a secret spot surfed by a handful of people. I would except it make the best of it and look forward to the next time I could snag some good waves when it was uncrowded. We all know it’s wrong to drop in but at the same time we understand why a competitor does it surely, there’s not a lot of learning to be done there. A little less opinion and aggression in the water would be a good thing. Let’s have a return to the old school spirit of surfing.
          I agree the organisers should announce the contest on all platforms to give individuals the choice. It’s a bit inconsiderate to rock up and run a contest certainly.

          • mike

            Tim. It’s exactly that. It’s just the fact that the comp just turned up with no warning and no nothing. Maybe it was on Facebook or something I don’t know I’m not on it. But surely there cud b something done. I’m also aware lynmouth is fickle so u can’t just say I’m running the comp this day as that Wundt work. Mayb it should be run at a beach break where a surf able wave was more likely? What really narked me was the the negative report on other surfers in the lineup in wavelengths write up.wavelength should expect some come back and that is what I am doing.

  • Reason the UK surf scene sucks is cos you have to be a spoilt little rich cunt to be pro in the first place… Name 1 working class UK pro

  • Charlie Langridge

    Your all right, and your all wrong. British pro’s are so behind the rest of the world apart from one or two. If the UK pro tour turned up at Uluwatu or Narrabeen without letting people know and acted like a buch of wanna be’s they would get their head kicked in. If they aspire to be elite surfers then they should behave in the line up and more importantly push for their competitive environment to be set up right. I was in the water it sucked and just reminder Gents it Lynmouth not Rincon or Kirra. peace out!!!

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