Holly Bassett competed and won the Ladies division last weekend in the BSUPA National Championships at Watergate Bay Cornwall. The Stand up Paddlesurf event draws competitors from all over the UK with divisions of men, ladies and juniors.
They have to compete in surf and get judged by a panel of trained ISA judges for wave riding style, wave selection and radical moves. Holly has been placed well in previous competitions in the junior section but has never made it through into the final heats of the ladies . This season she was very determined to do her best and get placed in the top three in the women’s division.
The heats last 20 minutes each so its making the most of the waves that come through and the style of riding the judges are looking for. Holly competed on the Saturday and won her first heat, on the Sunday morning the women’s final was held but the result was not disclosed until 5 pm at the prize giving. Former BSUPA British Champion Neal Gent was ripping throughout the event but difficult with inconsistent waves in his heat he was knocked out in a closely fought quarter final; Matt Argyle top wave Sup rider made it also through to the semis.
This year the level of riding has radically improved with new pro surfers entering the competition the SUP surfing standard is getting more radical. I had managed to get through to the 2nd round but lost against Jan Sleigh and Reuben in my second heat –the 20 minute heat felt like a 2 hour session! At the the prize giving we were surprised as the names were read out we realised she was in first place we hadn’t expected this – not only had Holly won the Junior under 16 girls, she had won the women’s and was awarded The Watergate Bay Water Women award for 2013 – “now we have a British Champion in the family it was emotional !”
Holly now has a place at the International Surfing Association World Championships in Nicagura in February .
Well done to all the competitors including new British champ Matt Barker Smith and in second place Aaron Rowe and Louis Harrow Junior champ.
Pics by Simon Bassett /Bob Berry