Holly Bassett, Neal Gent & James Arnell-Smith all went down to Watergate Bay to compete in the BSUPA Sup Surf Nationals.
The Sup Surf Nationals are judged in heats so the best wave riding, wave selection, speed and flow get the highest points – Watergate this year produced some decent surf but if you were unlucky enough in low tide heats you had to ride the close out sections which were difficult for all competitors.
Neal had his new JP SUP delivered on the first morning of the competition so was riding a new board and hadn’t had much SUP time this season so went into the contest with moderate expectations. His performance however was far from that and he ripped through into the semi finals with ease and being only a couple of points between him and the overall winner in his quarter final round.
James who was competing in his first SUP contest – I think surprised himself in getting through the early stages of the comp – he rode extremely well and the right handers were in his favour. The 20 minute heats didn’t seem to phase James and he rode waves in an aggressive style that got him a place in the semi final.
Holly hasn’t been in the water much since the ISA Worlds in Mexico earlier this year but has worked hard on her fitness. We arrived at Watergate a couple of days early to get some practise and she looked like she hadn’t forgotton how to surf. As the two times defending Champion it was always going to be tough for a third consecutive victory but she gave it her all even after being physically knocked out by her own board in the semi finals and then continuing on into the final.
Congratulations to the winners Teena Beresford (first ladies) and Matt Barker-Smith (Mens Open 1st place).
Holly Bassett – 2nd Ladies
Neal Gent – 7th Mens Open
James Arnell-Smith – 8th Mens Open