A pictorial gallery as the Cornish coast lights up during the season shift
Depending on your season preferences, the end of February can be considered the last day of winter. Spring is arriving the next day. Buds are appearing on dormant branches. Days are slowly elasticating at each end. And while the sea temperatures hold on to their winter chill, the sun can, for small brief moments, warm the side of a cheek.
In the UK, on February 28th, such a day of promise dawned in the southern realm. The month had already seen epic waves on both coasts of Cornwall and Devon, but this day dawned dreamy.
“It felt like a summer’s day,” said Tom Cornell, a North Devon photographer who made the drive down to Cornwall. “I arrived a little late, but the headland was packed with spectators and surfers. Everyone was lapping up the waves and the weather.”
Wavelength magazine photo editor and sharpshooter Toby Butler was also hand. He came over the hill to see Pete Geall slotted into one of the first really nice ones of the day. He then watched as Ben Skinner caught a gem on the first wave of the set before his son Lukas scratched into a screamer behind him. When Jayce Robinson was coned on the next set, Tobes had enough. He scrambled into his wetsuit and started documenting the action from the water.
“Most of the crew were on the same cliff, watching the same waves, on the same time frame all afternoon,” said Tobes. “As the light dropped the majority dragged themselves back in. The waves were really good by this point. Only a few went unridden, but I snapped one. The last frame I shot was a little nugget of Barnaby Cox.”
Of course now, a week later, with a thick carpet of snow covering a fair swathe of the UK, it all seems like a fever dream. For one day, winter was about to end.
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