Seven Cornish surfers at South To South final
Cornish surfers will fill seven of the eight places in the grand final of the South To South Frostbite Junior Winter Series.
Jack Whitefield, Josh Piper, Seb Smart, Morgan Elston, George Picking, Marcus Lascelles, and Bert Wright will be joined by Newport’s Robert Webster-Blythe in the mobile contest showdown next month.
The places were confirmed following the third qualifying event at Porthmeor, in St Ives.
Webster-Blythe made the journey down from Newport in Wales worthwhile by securing victory in the Under 18 division of the South to South Frostbite Sessions, and winning the qualifying series by a clear margin.
After a second place at Portreath, the 18 year old came out on top at Porthmeor is solid four to five feet waves.
With two of the three event results counting towards the final outcome, the ratings leaders were all in contention, lead from the start by Newquay’s Josh Piper.
Gwithian contest winner, Marcus Lascelles was back after six weeks out with an injured ankle, and in the under 16’s local boy Jack Whitefield was looking for a second victory, with Seb Smart from Sennen hot on his heels and keen to improve on his previous results.
From the start, Smart was looking like the surfer to beat, winning all his heats convincingly, though being matched on the other side of the board by Josh Piper, also surfing easily to the under 16 final, to be joined by Jack Whitefield and Morgan Elston from St Agnes.
In the under 18’s, it was to be a repeat of the previous weeks final, with the same line up of Josh Piper, Rob Webster Blythe, Jack Whitefield and Bert Wright.
Unfortunately by finals time the wind had swung onshore, and low tide Porthmeor was not playing ball, making conditions difficult.
The Under 18’s were first in the water, with Josh Piper taking an early lead with a powerful re-entry, and Jack Whitefield continuing his strategy of taking every wave he could find.
Robert Webster-Blythe showed his experience in wave selection, but with only ten minutes remaining there was no standout between the three of them.
Bert Wright, who had managed a final place in all three events, just couldn’t find the waves. Robert then pulled out the stops getting the highest scoring wave of the day, by pulling into the shorebreak, and taking the lead.
One good wave from Whitefield could have taken him ahead but it was not to be.
As conditions worsened the Under 16’s final got underway, proving to be hard work for all four surfers, and making it almost impossible to complete more than one turn on a wave.
Jack Whitefield, surfing his home break, couldn’t repeat his previous form, and it was Seb Smart who managed to show that bit more flair and determination to win on the day.
With all three qualifying events now completed, the top eight surfers will be taken off to surf the best waves that Organiser Tyson Greenaway can find on the day.
As to the location, Greenaway is keeping that close to his chest, but he has a number of “secret” locations in mind.
“The conditions have been so good to us so far, so we’ve got to make the final something special. I really want it to be great for them. That’s what this whole series has been about; giving the top juniors the chance to compete in the best available waves,” he said.
The winner of the final will win a sponsorship deal offering the youngsters a vital stepping stone onto a future surfing career.
1st Seb Smart
2nd Josh Piper
3rd Jack Whitefield
4th Morgan Elston
1st Rob Webster Blythe
2nd Jack Whitefield
3rd Josh Piper
4th Bert Wright