Jersey Longboard Riders Summer Series at Secrets
Seaflight/Laneez Summer Series
´After a two-month break caused by the poor surf conditions this summer, the Jersey Longboard Riders managed to stage round 2 of the Seaflight/Laneez Summer Series at Secrets this weekend. Conditions were clean and consistent throughout the event, peaking for the finals as the tide began to drop and some great shaped waves rolled in over the sandbanks.
The qualifying round of the Open section featured five man heats who had to contend for the best waves with a busy Secrets crowd. Gordon Blake got off to a flyer in his heat but was then chased by a group including brothers Harry and Nick Trower and Neil Dorringtonn who used a combination of nose riding and powerful cut-backs to chip away at his lead. Blake then found a couple of high scoring waves to pull away at the end and it was left to Nick Trower to claim second place. The second semi-final was almost identical as Sam George put in some great manoeuvres in the long lefts and pulled into the lead whilst the ´pack´ of Chris Bell, Ben Chapman and Joe Davies fought over second and it was the diminutive Davies who floated his way into the final.
The Ladies final was the first to be contested and featured two newcomers to local contests - Fiona Elliot and Gracie Davies - and the more experienced Nina Blake who is back after a knee injury. Blake used this experience to select the best waves from the packed Secrets peak whilst Elliot and Davies settled for the less congested inside waves and battled it out for second place, with Fiona Elliot just edging Davies out despite losing her best wave score due to a drop-in penalty.
There was no problem with experience for the final of the Masters event. At a rough guess more than 100 years of surfing history paddled out in the four man final although, as no waves were caught for the first 5 minutes, there were worries that it might have been a bit much for a few of them. In fact, the swell did a vanishing act for much of the final and good waves were hard to come by. Gerry George grabbed the wave of the heat on his backhand and rolled back the years with a display of bottom turns and off-the-lips to surf it into the beach. Richard Bates picked up the most waves but in doing so managed to interfere with Terry Spars via a drop-in and saw his best wave score disappear. George managed another good score on the right-handers and despite the late efforts of Dave Blake, who was aiming for a Blake family clean sweep of the titles, hung on for a popular victory.
After the efforts of his dad, Sam George was looking for a similar result in the Open final whilst Gordon Blake was keen to open his account in this years Summer Series. A pick-up in the surf gave the surfers plenty of options although the final settled into a regular format for these two surfers at Secrets with George nose-riding and floating on the long, fast lefts whilst Blake stuck to the bowling, shapelier rights which offered up the chance of rare tube or a big, off-the-top manoeuvre. Both surfers put in some big scores whilst Davies and Trower, both still juniors, couldn´t get the bigger, peak waves and fought it out for the lower places. It was Blake´s final wave that decided it as he combined a nose-ride, drop-knee cutback and a superb cover-up in the inside tube section to post the best wave score of the day and edge past George by little over a point on the judges score sheets.
The results leave Sam George at the top of the standings for this years title with two rounds still scheduled for September.´
1. Gordon Blake
2. Sam George
3. Nick Trower
4. Joe Davies
1. Gerry George
2. Dave Blake
3. Terry Spars
4. Richard Bates
1. Nina Blake
2. Fiona Elliot
3. Gracie Davies
Contests - Surfersvillage