British Junior Squad – Blog 2
On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of March the Calypso British Junior Surf Squad congregated again at Baggy Lodge Croyde (www.baggys.co.uk) for the second of their winter training sessions. This time around although the Croyde temperatures were still brisk, the squad didn’t have to deal with any snow. Saturday presented sunshine and clean surf in the 1-2ft range. With the surf forecast looking poor for Sunday, head coach Lloyd Cole got the squad into the water as soon as possible to take advantage of the conditions on offer.
Thanks to Ornella for other great little clip
Joining the Junior Squad for the first time were a group of the top ranked junior long boarders in the UK from the BLU tour. Arran Bright from Llantwit Wales, Sam Cavin from Sidmouth Devon, Jack Unsworth and Ashley Norman from North Devon. Pembroke’s Raife Gaskell is the 5th member of the long board division, but was unable to attend the training session. After being presented with their Calypso GB kit, they were straight into the water to start the first heat of the day’s competition.
Being watched by Head Judge Ester Spears and ETL judge Bob Freshwater, the conditions throughout the day were ideal for traditional long board maneuvers. Other than one tricky heat on the spring low tide, the waves were small clean and well shaped. Jack Unsworth showed impressive form in all of his heats to finish top of the rankings at the end of the day. Jack read the conditions well and combined some nice turns with good nose riding in all of his heats. In a close fought contest, Arran Bright edged out Sam Cavin by 0.1 to finish 2nd in the overall rankings. Both surfers were closely matched in every heat, but it was Sam who paid the price of having a slow start in the first heat of the day that would affect his heat average and cost him 2nd place.
Surfing after the Long boarders were the Under 18 girls. North Devon’s Lucy Campbell and Newquay’s Jaide Lowe were both keen to make an impression on the division after being unable to attend the first training weekend. However, throughout the day this division became a battle of the Emily’s. Bude’s Emily Currie and South Wale’s Emily Williams. Both girls fought against each other in all their heats, but it was Emily Currie that displayed the most powerful surfing. Emily continued to demonstrate her ability to link the most vertical turns. This had won Emily a prize for the highest heat score at the first training session. Emily backed this up with increased consistency to top the rankings ahead of Emily Williams in a close second place. Although all the other girls performed well throughout the day, none of them managed to maintain the consistency to keep their heat average close to the top two.
Throughout the days competition, arguably the most entertaining heats came from the intensely competitive Under 16 boys division. To further increase the pressure in this category, North Devon’s Under 14 British Champion Will Bailey was competing for the first time since recovering from a broken ankle. Every heat had displays of impressive surfing with the judges rewarding some of the weekend’s highest scores. Alex Gibson from North Devon, Harry De Roth from St Ives, Max Payne from Polzeath and Will Bailey all won heats over the course of the day, demonstrating their impressive techniques and repertoires. However toping the rankings for the second time and the only surfer in the division to finish with a heat average in double figures was Max Payne. Harry De Roth and Will Bailey both suffered a slow heat during the day that reduced their overall average scores. It was Harry that claimed second, Will 3rd. and Alex Gibson improved on his first squad training performance to finish in the top 4.
Looks like summer, felt like the artic
The final heats of the days running order were between the under 18 boys. Injury to Bude’s Miles Lee Hargreaves and illness to Newquay’s Sam Harwood meant this division was a three-way battle throughout the day. Paddy Daniel from Hayle, Taz Knight from North Devon and Rhys Poulton from Wales all won a heat each during the day’s competition. All three surfers showed their experience and were able to deal with the changing conditions due to a large spring tide. Nothing could separate the three surfers until the last heat of the day when the sun was setting. As the swell was fading it was local surfer Taz Knight, returning to the squad after a knee injury, who was able to pick off two sparse set waves to win the heat and top the rankings ahead of Paddy in 2nd and Rhys in 3rd.
On arrival at Baggy Lodge on Sunday morning, the swell had disappeared and the conditions were not offering enough to be able to hold any surfing action. Instead Head coach Lloyd Cole put the squad through their fitness assessment on the beach. All squad members performed well and a lot of them managed to improve their scores from the previous fitness assessment. The squad then split into three groups and completed classroom workshops in the warmth of the lodge. Assistant coach Damon Beveridge analysed all the heat results and fitness data from the weekend, while Head Judge Ester Spears took the squad through a wave scoring and heat strategy seminar. Lloyd completed the weekends schedule with a class on the importance of understanding and selecting the correct quiver.
The whole squad would like to thank everyone at Baggy Lodge for looking after and hosting two fantastic training weekends in North Devon. The squad will now move to Cornwall for the final two training sessions, which will take place at Fistral Beach on March 23rd & 24th and April 20th & 21st.