- 18 November 2008 | Bodyboarding
It was 3rd time lucky for the running of the much anticipated Auto-Sleepers British National bodyboard competition this Sunday. The event had been postponed twice due to a lack of waves, but the combination of a 6ft swell and the low tide banks at Porthtowan produced an exhilarating display from the UK’s best bodyboarders.
The prospect of £2,000 in prize money had ensured that almost without exception the top 20 British riders were putting their skills on parade, in what some are already calling the highest standard British Nationals to date.
The early rounds saw some aerial manoeuvres that would have not have been out of place on the world stage. There were 9.0 and 9.5s awarded for a spectacular ARS (Air Roll Spin) from Porthtowan’s Alex Winkworth, and back-flip from Plymouth’s Danny Wall respectively.
The Judges were rewarding those competitors attempting the more adventurous moves, and ‘above-the-lip’ combination manoeuvres were those attracting the big scores.
From the Quarter Finals forward, each heat read like a who’s-who of British bodyboarding. The standard was so high that notable casualties were inevitable. But Bournemouth’s James Blackwell was surfing out of his skin, and secured a semi final berth against the odds edging out former English Champion Remy Geffroy.
The Semi Finals saw undoubtedly the top two waves of the day. In Semi one Damian Prisk combined two super tight spins with finding a rare makeable barrel and finished his ride with a confident looping roll to secure his progression. In Semi two, London’s Darren Halse pulled a clean ARS out of the pocket with a spin on landing; he too finished his wave with a roll to attract the only 10 of the day.
Danny Wall and Alex Winkworth followed Damien and Darren into the final, leaving Mark Griffiths, Bjorn Storey, Dan Skajowski and James Blackwell dreaming of what could have been.
The final saw Damien Prisk race into an early and ultimately unassailable lead, pulling combination ARS’s on two successive waves. This left the 3 remaining competitors playing catch-up, and though each man could have stolen the lead with a single score with a few minutes to go, none was able to secure a wave that would let them repeat their performances from the earlier rounds.
So Damien secured back-to-back British titles and a first place prize of £1,000. Full results:
Auto-Sleepers British Bodyboard Nationals:
1st Damien Prisk (Porthtowan) £1,000
2nd Darren Halse (London) £500
3rd Danny Wall (Plymouth) £250
4th Alex Winkworth (Porthtowan) £150