Luke Dillon and Peony Knight crowned 2020 English surfing champions

March 17, 2020 | Surfing
2020 English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships: spectacular performances at Tolcarne Beach | Photo: Surfing England

Tolcarne Beach welcomed the 2020 English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships.

It's been a weekend for the history books for English surfing.

Peony Knight successfully took the women's champion title for a consecutive year, and Luke Dillon returned to the English competition scene to claim the men's trophy.

Both surfers demonstrated clear style and flare in the water.

The event was held in Newquay to select the team that will travel to Scotland to compete at the British Surfing Championships and British Cup.

The build-up to the weekend saw a challenging forecast but one which promised waves and good weather.

A relocation to Tolcarne Beach provided the best conditions and the perfect amphitheater for spectators to watch the unfolding action.

2020 English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships: cold water and great waves | Photo: Surfing England

Luke's Grand Return

Saturday kicked off with eight fiercely competitive heats in the men's open division, and the live scoring kept everyone glued to the action.

Heats were coming right down to the final minutes as surfers were looking for those open-faced sections.

Seth Morris and Barnaby Cox were notable.

Both have just graduated from Team England Juniors and won their heats in Round 1 and surfed through to the men's final - Barnaby placed third, Seth took fourth.

It was interesting to see former champion Sam Lamiroy returning to the competitive scene and charging through to the semifinals.

Bude boys Stanley Norman and Reubyn Ash both delivered the airs and some impressive scores.

Stan charged to the final and placed second, and Reubyn dropped out in the semifinals in a tricky heat.

An exciting addition to the English Surfing scene, Beck Adler, who has dual nationality, traveled from Venice Beach in California to compete.

He certainly set some fire in Round 1, where he took the heat win ahead of Luke Dillon.

Luke fought back in the quarters where he won his heat and continued to an impressive final, and won the overall title.

"I am so happy to win the English Nationals. It's a prestigious title, and to add it to the collection is amazing," said Dillon.

"I've not competed in the UK for a couple of years due to being on the international circuit, so to come back and go straight into a win feels really good."

"The Juniors all weekend were pushing all the guys. Having those three in the final with me was both amazing to see and nervous to surf again."

"English surfing is in good hands, but it was nice to come out on top and show everyone I’m still a force."

Layback hack: English surfers prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games | Photo: Surfing England

Alys and the Knight

In the women's division, the talent right now is incredible. Most of the Under 18 Girls surfed in both divisions and certainly were charging hard.

Alys Barton surfed impressively in both divisions, taking the Under 18s Girls champion title and placing third in the women's final, just ahead of Lucy Campbell, who, after smashing her heat in the semifinals, took fourth place overall in the final.

Ellie Turner returned to the English competition scene and won two consecutive rounds before being nudged off the top spot by Peony Knight, who proudly claimed her women's champion title for a second year.

2020 English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships: the men's division was highly competitive | Photo: Surfing England

Under 18: Heart-Shredding Performances

In the Under 18 Girls, Lauren Sandland stayed true to form and was on Alys' tail throughout the event, taking second overall.

Belle Betteridge stunned the judges in the semifinal with a brilliant display of surfing and a comfortable heat win, taking her to the final where she took the third spot ahead of Tegan Blackford.

The Under 18 Boys were shredding - stand out performances from Stanley Norman, and Beck Adler saw both taking heat wins all the way through the event where they met in the final.

Noah Capps put the graft in and came first overall in the division, with Stan taking second and Beck placing third.

Max Bullen, who is also new to the English surf scene, delivered promising results and placed fourth overall.

"We were so stoked to deliver this event. Putting it on the calendar in March presented us with some challenges, including a late change of location to fit with the conditions. Still, we got some great waves," added Hannah Brand, operations manager at Surfing England.

"The atmosphere all weekend was electric. The standard of English surfing is so high right now, and the future is bright."

Surfing England is the national governing body for the sport of surfing in England. They are a membership organization run by surfers for surfers, in place to develop surfing from grassroots to elite level in the country.

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2020 English National U18 & Open Shortboard Championships | Results

Men
1. Luke Dillon
2. Stanley Norman
3. Barnaby Cox
4. Seth Morris

Women
1. Peony Knight
2. Ellie Turner
3. Alys Barton
4. Lucy Campbell

Under 18 Boys
1. Noah Capps
2. Stanley Norman
3. Beck Adler
4. Max Bullen

Under 18 Girls
1. Alys Barton
2. Lauren Sandland
3. Belle Betteridge
4. Tegan Blackford

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