Russel Winter: it's always the sun

Russell Winter and Gwen Spurlock are the 2010 UK Pro Surf Tour champions.

The best British surfer were crowned as the Animal Newquay Open closed its curtains. Although Winter was eliminated early in the event, his closest rival Gordon Fontaine only reached the quarter finals. Fontaine had to secure a first or second to clinch the title.

Russel Winter is the best UK surfer. He won Saltrock (Croyde), the Fraserburgh Open (Scotland) and the North East Open (Tynemouth) to gather important scores for the rest of the season.

The best female surfer is Gwen Spurlock. The rider from Swansea took the 2010 title for the second consecutive year, despite a very tight battle fought against Nicole Morgan.

Stuart Campbell was the prince of the Pro Junior series, while Luke Dillon and Tassy Swallow conquered the Under 16s division. Last but not least, Harry DeRoth won the Under 12 Open title and the trophy of "Wavelength Most Promising Junior".

The 2011 UK Pro Surf Tour will kick off next year with another altburn Open on the North East Coast.

Waves: bigger and tougher

The ocean waves are becoming bigger and more powerful.  Scientists have been studying the behaviour of large masses of ocean waters using buoy data and models based on wind patterns and have no doubt. The surf is really pumping.

The initial study focuses on the region off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and along the Atlantic seaboard from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Cape Hatteras, N.C. But this increase in wave height is also being confirmed in the North Atlantic off England.

There are several reasons for the observed facts: changing storm tracks, higher winds and more intense winter storms, all signs of global climate change.

The case of "rogue" waves is a bit different. The 100-foot giant walls of salt water do not show signs of having increased in number and height.

While statistics are still being added to these studies, US scientists believe too little is known about the oceans and that more should be done to understand their behaviour.

Discover the wave height forecast for your region.

Reubin Pearce: winner in foreign territory

The weekends Animal Open Surf Contest saw two new champions, some great weather and perfect conditions for the finals.

Reubin Pearce, from South Africa and local lady Tassy Swallow showed stunning form in 3 to 4 ft conditions to take the top spots on the podium at one of the year’s most prestigious contests.

Organised by the UK Pro Surf Association (UKPSA) and sponsored by Animal the event saw one of the largest ever entries with over 50 contestants traveling from all over the world to bid for this major title at Fistral Beach, Newquay.

The swell cleaned up for the finals, offering up some challenging surf for competitors to test their skills and demonstrate to the judges what they can do in the clean conditions. The variety of moves and action on display was described by Head Judge Esther Spears as, “Definitely impressive – the best seen in many years. This shows a promising time for British surfing.”

The highest scoring wave of the day was from South African, Reubin Pearce. Who got a 8.7 point wave in the semi’s which then lead him into the final against Jonny Fryer, Micah Lester and Mark Harris. Reubin went onto to win this years Open, 2nd place going to Micah Lester (Australia), 3rd to local Mark (Egor) Harris (Newquay) and 4th to Johnny Fryer (IOW).

The Women’s final, was a fight to the end. With 16 year old Tassy Swallow winning the Women’s division, leaving Jo Dennison (Freshwater) to pick up a very close 2nd place, 3rd went to Beth Mason (Swansea) and 4th to Nicole Morgan (Northern Ireland).

Other prizes were given to Gaby Rowe for the highest scoring wave in the Women’s division, where she received a skate board. Andrew Griffin also received £250 from Relentless for getting The Manoeuvre of the Competition award.

The one star event, supported by Animal is held on Fistral Beach, which is renowned as one of the best breaks in the UK.

This year’s Champion Reubin Pearce, commented, “I am over the moon to have won this event, after having no win all year, I’m stoked. I surfed as hard as I could and came out with a win so I am really happy it paid off.”

The results were as follows:

1.Reubin Pearce (South Africa)
2.Micah Lester (Australia)
3.Mark Harris (Newquay)
4.Johnny Fryer (IOW).

1.Tassy Swallow (St. Ives)
2.Jo Dennison (Freshwater)
3.Beth Mason (Swansea)
3.Nicole Morgan (Northern Ireland)

Pro Junior
1.Stuart Campbell (Woolocombe)
2.Toby Donachie (St. Merryn)
3.Lyndon Wake (Croyde)
4.Josh Piper (Newquay)

Under 16’s
1.Luke Dillon (Newquay)
2.Myles Lee Hargreaves (Bournemouth)
3.Jobe Harris (Bude)
3. Simon Trebilcock (St. Ives)