Russell Winter: British surfing jewel

Surfing Great Britain, the national governing body for surfing in the United Kingdom, has reborn from the ashes of the past and prepares to develop and revamp its competitive squad and promotion of surfin in the British islands.


The new board of directors for Surfing Great Britain wants to make the UK a potent and vital force in the world of surfing by connecting with the British surfing population in order to produce a British World title contender within the next 10 years.

"While we have a massive amount of surfing talent in this country, male and female, we haven’t had someone competing internationally for a number of years. To reach the same level as someone like Kelly Slater, we need to have a more structured approach which puts a premium on top quality coaching and commitment, and which seeks and obtains sponsorship that reflects the massive interest in surfing in Britain", explains Nigel Semmens, the new chairman for Surfing Great Britain.

The last great British representative to compete on the elite tour was Russell Winter, from Cornwall, whose performances a decade ago met with serious acclaim from surfing professionals from the sport’s traditional hotbeds of Hawaii, Australia and California.

The new board of Surfing Great Britain is formed by athletes, coaches, environmentalists, media specialists and surf industry representatives.

Former British champions Gabe Davies and Sam Lamiroy from Newcastle, former Welsh champion Lloyd Cole and Scottish champion Chris Noble, are committee members and will be taking an active role in the progression of British surfing.

Alex Wade, surfing journalist and author of "Surf Nation", will also be giving his helping hand. "There is tremendous energy and excitement behind SGB as it seeks to push British surfing forward to the next level. By the end of year in which the Olympics returns to Britain for the third time, we expect to be well on the way to achieving National Governing Body (NGB) status", explains Wade.

The worth of surfing to the economy is estimated at £64m per year, in Cornwall alone, and at least £200m for the whole of the UK.