Flying the flag in the Open division are the number one and two from the 2011 Auto-Sleepers tour Damian Prisk and Jack Johns, and representing in the Drop Knee is 2011 tour winner Alex Winkworth. Under 18 National champion Steve Hall was the number one selection in the Juniors, but unfortunately he broke his arm practicing for the event on Saturday and so has had to withdraw. Our best wishes go out to Steve and we wish him a speedy recovery. His slot in the U18s now goes to Sam Brabyn, 2nd in the Nationals and winner of the U16s. Olivia Smedley the current women’s champ completes the team in the women’s division.
The team will be managed by BBC Treasurer and head judge Alex Ledbrooke, who will also be looking to do some shadow judging at the event to bring some insight to the British Tour.
Alex said “we’ve been working hard alongside Surfing GB to get our team registered and now that this final hurdle is out of the way it’s all systems go!” He continued, “we had originally wanted to make it cost free for the team but with current financial constraints that’s not been possible”.
However, acknowledging the importance of the event, the British Bodyboard Club has dug deep into its reserves to underwrite the team; and alongside the generous contributions from sponsors the club is looking to minimise the competitor costs to represent their country.
Chairman Rich Hall said; “we put the call out to both past and present sponsors of British bodyboarding asking them for assistance in financing the team, and we were blown away by the response. Cornwall College, Auto-Sleepers and Smith & Williamson have made significant contributions to the cause; alongside The Bodyboard Depot, Action Sports Distribution, The Pit, Bodyboard HQ, Corona and Collection House. Together they have raised almost half the overhead cost which is amazing”.
The event runs from 28 November to 4 December and the team will be based near Galdar in the north of the island. Talking about the team’s chances Alex said “we realise we’ll be up against some of the best bodyboarders in the world, and the Euro teams will be especially strong even though some of their most outstanding guys won’t be there due to IBA commitments. That said, our guys all have experience with the breaks we’ll be competing at and we know they’ll do us proud”.