The 2018 Billabong MiPost Welsh National Surfing Championships
The Welsh Surfing Federation is pleased to announce that this year´s Welsh National Surfing Championships will be co-sponsored by Billabong (through Cove Distribution) and MiPost Mailing Solutions, Cardiff. In a statement, treasurer Mark Vaughan said: “Having secured the backing of Billabong and MiPost last year, we’re delighted that Billabong as one of the world’s most recognized sporting brands and MiPost a long supporter of sports in Wales have both committed to sponsoring our flag ship event and Wales biggest surfing competition. That the WSF has been able to retain sponsorship from these companies is testament to the great work carried out by the WSF committee and the excellent relationships which have developed.
We offer our a huge thank you to both Chris Seage (Cove distribution) and Ken Vaughan (Mipost) for their generosity and commitment to surfing in Wales.”
The Welsh Nationals is scheduled to take place over the May Bank holiday weekend of 5th, 6th & 7th May at the usual venue of Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire. The contest is the most prestigious event of the WSF year, bringing together competitors of all ages to compete for one of 15 national titles as well as offering the chance of securing places in the national team to compete at European and World level.
2017’s event produced superb conditions with the highlights captured by the WSF’s videographer Jack Abbott:
Competitors, officials and fans will all be hoping for a repeat of last year’s wave quality and surfing action!
The Women’s Open title could prove to be one of the most competitively fought in years! An ever growing talent pool will be matched against the likes of the ever improving Ffion Hughes and Niamh Mathias! In addition, rumour has it there are talk of come backs from some of Wales most successful competitors! Will this be the year that ends nearly a decade of dominance from Joanne Dennison and Emily Williams?
Last year saw former World Junior champion Jay Quinn set the men’s event alight with highly progressive surfing to be crowned Men’s Open Champion. Jay’s title win did not come without a fight with Rhys Poulton, Cieran Hughes and James Jones all providing strong competition. 2018 will see the new school pack of Logan Nicol, Jo Morris and current British Pro Junior Champion Patrick Langdon Dark chase down the senior pack. Locals Alex Morris and Billabong’s own Harry Cromwell provide plenty of optimism for a long overdue Pembroke win.
The WSF would like to wish all our competitors and officials alike the very best of luck at the event and pass on thanks to the National Trust and Pembrokeshire Parks for allowing us to use Freshwater West once again.
Entry forms and event details are now available here
British Home Nations Olympic Statement March 2018
In August 2016 the International Olympic Committee announced that Surfing would be included in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as a demonstration sport.
On 16th March 2018 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released to all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) the approved qualification system for Surfing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
The key elements of the qualification system are as follows:
- 20 men, 20 women.
- Maximum of 2 surfers per gender per National Olympic Committee (NOC).
- Qualification spots will be earned on an individual basis, by name.
- In accordance with IOC guidelines, the qualification events have been determined in hierarchical order of qualification, as further explained below; If two surfers of a gender have qualified through the first hierarchical order, that NOC will not be able to qualify more surfers of that gender through qualifying events lower in hierarchical order.
- All surfers selected by their respective National Federations for their national teams must participate in 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games in order to be eligible for Olympic qualification. The final details of the eligibility requirements are still under review by the ISA and the IOC.
The hierarchical order of qualification will be as follows:
- 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour: First 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women.
- 2020 ISA World Surfing Games: First 4 eligible men and first 6 eligible women.
- 2019 ISA World Surfing Games: 4 men and 4 women selected based on their continent. Top finishing eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
- 2019 Pan American Games: First eligible man and first eligible women in the surfing competitions.
- Host nation slot: One man and one woman slot will be guaranteed for the host nation of Japan, unless already filled through the above hierarchies. Should athletes from Japan qualify regularly, their slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2020 World Surfing Games.
We have made submissions of funding requests and submission of all relevant data to UK Sport. On extensive analysis, UK Sport believe it is currently unlikely that currently any British surfer will win a medal in Tokyo 2020. UK Sport investment is wholly focused on medal winning performances to inspire our nation.
It is also yet to be confirmed if surfing will be in the 2024 and 2028 Olympics which also makes attracting investment into surfing a challenge. We will continue to collectively work to source performance funding.
We collectively recommend to all interested surfers that in order to attract funding from UK Sport, podium results in major international events needs to be achieved. Should podium performances be achieved, this would be clear evidence of medal potential at the Olympics and allow us to put forward a better case for UK Sport funding.
Collectively the Home Nation Federations will continue to monitor the status of the Olympic pathway and we are in close communication with all the relevant governing and decision-making bodies.
If you have any further questions, please contact your respective home nations body and for further information please visit their websites or the International Surfing Association website.
Scottish Surfing Federation
Welsh Surfing Federation
Channel Islands Surfing Federation
To view the complete Olympic Qualification System for Surfing in Tokyo 2020, click here.
A statement from WSF President Huw John….
“Sadly, this morning we received the news of the passing of Ireland’s Brian Britton.
Brian had so many achievements in Irish Surfing they are too numerous to mention and his achievements with European and International/World Surfing are equal to those achieved at home.
This man was a true great and pioneer of surfing, not only in Ireland, but around the world too, and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him – especially those who worked, travelled and laughed with him.”
Huw John – WSF President
Wales set to enter Worlds Open for the first time!
Four years since Wales’s recognition by the International Surfing Association and the green light to compete under our nations flag. The Welsh Surfing Federation is delighted to announce it’s first team to compete at World Open level.
Dubbed the Olympics of surfing, over 50 countries will compete for medals over the weeklong competition held at Grande Plage, Biarritz, France during the 20th to 28th May. With surfing set to makes it’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, this event will undoubtedly be the first step towards Olympic seeding and eventual qualification.
Whilst the Welsh Juniors have travelled to Ecuador, California and the Azores to compete at ISA World Junior competitions, the event in France this will be Wales’ first opportunity to compete against some of the biggest names in the sport. Performance expectations are realistic, yet the team is determined to show that despite Wales’s vastly inferior surfing conditions and lack of funding, that Welsh surfers are highly competitive and capable of creating upsets.
The team is made up of 2 women – Joanne Dennison and Emily Williams; and 4 men – Harry Cromwell, Alex Morris, Mark Vaughan and Rob Webster-Blythe; along with team manager Stuart Bentley, who had this to say.
“Despite a number of first team absentees and a slightly senior feel, the men’s team have great experience, which should ensure we offer a challenge to the full time pro’s our guys will compete against. Our ladies, Jo and Emily have been competing internationally for sometime, are highly capable athletes, are our current Welsh number one and two, who perhaps offer our best chance in the event. I’m very excited about the week ahead.”
With Wave pool technology such as that adopted by Surf Snowdonia, surfing’s reach is growing inland and towards major UK cities. It’s not out of the question that in years to come that a world surfing champion may just as likely hail from Wrexham as Hawaii.
Live coverage will be available on the ISA website here.
We will keep you updated with heat schedules when possible..
Langland Boardriders Claim 2018 Wilkinson Sword
Surfing in the Olympics!
Surfing has been accepted into the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, huge congrats to all who worked to achieve this historic feat!
The WSF is proudly affiliated to the following organisations.