National Trust 12th Annual World Bellyboard Championships
World Bellyboard Championships
Chapel Porth, St Agnes, UK
7 September 2014
Bellyboarders compete to raise awareness of local coastal issues
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 August, 2014 - All across the UK and around the globe preparations are under way for the World Bellyboard Championships on Sunday 7 September. Organised and hosted by the National Trust, the event is helping to raise awareness of coastal issues following a winter of increased storm activity and accelerated natural processes around our coastline.
Boards are being unearthed, traded, repaired, crafted, painted, oiled, polished, buffed and fine-tuned. Some are even being ridden. Swimwear is being tried on, stitched, hemmed, taken in, and let out. And feverish trips to the seaside are squeezed in to get in those vital rehearsals before confronting the pounding surf that lashes the Cornish shoreline of Chapel Porth, St Agnes.
Now in its 12th consecutive year, this much-loved event attracts generations of prone belly surfers competing for a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance (until next year) to be crowned the World Champion. Along with the dozens of other prizes awarded on the day, there are over 30 trophies being handcrafted in ply.
Event organiser and National Trust ranger Nick Holden said: “All this board talk and salt water-encrusted eyebrows can only mean one thing… online entry to the Championships is now open.
“Is your swimsuit getting a bit thin? Go for the vintage swimwear category. Is your board covered in cobwebs? It’ll attract some attention for best patina. Have you ever caught a wave from waaaaay out back and ridden it so far inland you got sand in your pants? The longest ride could be yours.
“From humble beginnings the event has evolved and grown; but it never fails to retain a special atmosphere and spirit true to the simple pleasure of riding wooden boards.”
The National Trust believes that amongst the bellys, bunting and bake offs, the event holds a clear significance. Bella Crawford, South West Coastal Engagement Officer, said:
“Our coastline is enjoyed and celebrated by so many and the Championships really highlight people’s love of their beaches. Together we endeavour to take care of them. Returning competitors to Chapel Porth this year will undoubtedly notice the striking changes to the coastal landscape following the huge winter storms.
“Our long-term plan is to work with natural processes to ensure we can all access and enjoy our coastline forever. But as a charity, we’ll continue to need funds to help our cause and raise awareness of our coastal work – the Championships do both in a wonderful way. See you in the waves.”