CI surf champions crowned

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WILL MASTERMAN was ‘over the moon’ to win the Channel Islands Surfing Championship for the first time after beating defending men’s open champion Nathan Elms by just 0.34 points.

There was a carnival atmosphere surrounding the weekend’s action, with the Good Vibrations festival at the Watersplash and perfect conditions on St Ouen’s Bay providing an exciting setting for solid rail-to-rail power surfing.

Masterman, having shown consistent high scores in the heats, laid the benchmark with his first wave in the shortboard final, scoring an 8.00 from the judges after displaying an excellent run of bottom-to-top surfing in the pocket in a critical section of the wave. He completed six manoeuvres, including two big forehand turns, before finishing off with a inside closeout re-entry.

It was a performance of both quality and quantity from the 19-year-old, as he attacked the waves seven times in the 20 minutes allowed.

By contrast, Elms got up on his board just the four times in the final but a run that included a full turn tail slide put the pressure on Masterman with a score of 7.83, having scored a 7.00 in his first attempt.

However, Masterman held his nerve to score 7.17 on his fifth wave to edge it.

Guernsey teenager Tom Hook finished third in the final, ahead of Caesarean Matt Chapman, with all four finalists qualifying to represent the Channel Islands at the British Open in Wales in August.

‘I’ve competed in this for years but haven’t done recently because of Covid,’ said an elated Masterman. ‘My last Channel Island Championships was a write-off, so to come to my first one back in a few years and win … I’m over the moon.

‘I was confident. I’d surfed well all day and I just thought I should just carry on doing what I’m doing and not change anything. Usually my nerves are off the scale during the heats but I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere down here all weekend and I was just really at ease and felt really comfortable.

‘I take my hat off to Nath. It was always going to be tight between us two. Our scores were neck and neck. I had that first wave and then I had something to back it up but nothing necessarily great. I nearly had an air that I landed. It didn’t go too well but getting the ball rolling helped me a lot.

‘My arms are gone now. I’m absolutely goosed. It was non-stop paddling but that’s the way it should be.’

There were only two entries in the ladies’ shortboard open, with 12-year-old Nava Dowse-Harris completing a hat-trick along with her U18 and U14 titles.

Max Bennett won the U18 boys’ shortboard title after putting in an excellent display of surfing in the final, which included a score of 9.33 on his third wave. Meanwhile, Arran Hunt claimed first in the U14 boys’ competition.

Full list of winners in Tuesday’s JEP.

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