This weekend Fistral Beach hosted the UK Pro Surf Tour Nightsurf event, which see’s Britain’s top surfers battling it out under floodlights. Luckily the Atlantic decided to call off the obnoxious flat spell that has been plaguing us for the last couple of weeks, providing fun, rippable waves across the two days and with Red Bull blasting out tunes and Nick keeping the beach amused with his charmingly abrasive beach commentary the event turned out to a super fun way to spend a summers weekend.
The overall standard of competition was very high and each division was hotly contested, with a few notable stand outs, especially within the younger categories. Angus Scotney, for example, who walked away with a victory in the Adam’s Under 18s division and 4th in the Pro Junior seemed a favourite from early on, displaying impeccable rail work throughout the competition. Coming from behind in the dying minutes of the U18’s final, Scotney found a left hand runner, where he managed to link together no fewer than 7 turns to take the win over Harry De Roth.
Pro Juniors Luke Dillon and Jobe Harriss also shone, displaying solid arial repertoires that were unmatched by some of the older competitors. Their performances were rewarded as the pair placed highly in both the Open mens and Pro Junior categories, with Luke coming 2nd and 3rd and Jobe joint 5th and 1st respectively.
The Mens Open division saw major upsets on the Saturday afternoon as two of british surfings household names, Reubyn Ash and Alan Stokes, failed to advance past the quarters. In semi-final number one the local advantage proved key as the competitors tackled tricky high tide conditions in the dying light, with Luke Dillon and Mark ‘Egor’ Harris advancing. Similarly in the second semi, it was Russ Winter and Tom Butler, both from Newquay, who made it through, making the final an all locals affair.
The final took to the water just as the last bit of light disappeared from the sky, adding a further degree of difficulty to the conditions, however the competitors seemed undeterred, putting on an exciting show under the lights for the assembled crowd. In the end it was Tom Butler, riding for Osprey, who took the win, continuing the dominance he had showed throughout the event and exhibiting a masterclass in crisp backhand surfing.
After his victory Tom was treated to a celebratory beer shower, which although not as decadent as its champagne equivalent, was still just as aesthetically impressive. The local crowd were keen to congratulate him, and after a hug from his mum, one enthusiastic fan grabbed him earnestly by the hand exclaiming ‘Well done Stokesy’, much to the amusement of Tom’s friends. In his post heat interview, Tom said he hoped this victory would help him shake the ‘stigma of being just a big wave surfer’ and whilst we think theres nothing shameful about just being known for charging waves the size of double-decker busses, this win certainly cements Tom as one of Britain’s most diverse surfing talents.
Photos by Luke Gartside