The WSF recently sent a team to the European Seniors held in Casablanca Morrocco.
Tough conditions by the sounds of it, report written by Rhys Poulton below!
The team finished in 7th place overall, yew!!
This year’s European surfing Nations Championships (Eurosurf) was held in Ain Diab Casablanca Morocco. It was the first ever Eurosurf held in the country after the Eurojunior was held in 2008.
There were 14 teams competing. Our team was led by Manager Huw John, followed by Open surfers ‘Selfie King’ James Jones, Rhys Poulton (both Gower), Harry Cromwell and Alex Morris (both Pembrokeshire). The Women’s category consisted of debutants Libby Vernon (Swansea) and Georgina Lewtas (Pembrokeshire). Connor Griffiths (Swansea) was the Longboard contestant.
The team arrived at the Swiss Hotel in Casablanca a couple of days before the contest began, this gave them chance to become accustomed to the solid beach breaks in and around the contest site. Due to the location of the contest, the majority of the competitors all stayed at the same hotel, this created a sense of camaraderie. The crew were in high spirits and raring to get the competition underway.
The event provided chunky waves throughout the majority of the competition, which on occasions was affected by the wind. With these conditions being akin to Welsh surf, although warmer, the Welsh surfers were revelling.
All men battled through numerous exhausting heats and although some had dropped into the repercharge, it was nice to see that the majority of the Open surfers were active in the contest until the last couple of days. Unfortunately Alex Morris had drawn a ‘stacked’ heat and ended being placed a credible 33rd. Gone are the days of seeding’s possibly guaranteeing a relatively safe passage through the early stages of the contest. Many of the competitors representing European countries were based overseas. James Jones, Rhys Poulton and Harry Cromwell all went out at the same stage with Harry placing 17th and James and Rhys 21st respectively. Although the competitors were disappointed they had not progressed further, Rhys and Harry were stoked on achieving personal bests at a Eurosurf.
In the ladies division, the Welsh competitors were forced into very challenging high tide banks. Georgina Lewtas surfed a strong backhand attack and placed 21st, with Libby Vernon coming in just behind in 25th.
Georgina and Harry Cromwell stepped up to the mark to represent Wales in the bodyboard division. Harry’s hidden talent was discovered, placing 9th and Georgina 11th! Harry hopes that the bodyboard category will continue at the Welsh as he is very keen to enter.
Connor Griffiths started his campaign placing solid scores in his opening rounds. Connor was on form, excelling with high performance turns and lulling the judges with his old school footwork. The young Welsh competitor advanced to the final through the repercharge, he had everything to play for.
A 25 minute final consisted of Connor, Edward Delpero (FRA), Jon Irigoyen (SPN) and Adil El Harif (MOR) . Connor surfed a brilliant heat and managed to grab the score he needed in the dying seconds to grab 2nd. A true buzzer beater!
There has been a lot of rhetoric on social media recently in relation to the standard of Welsh surfing. It was nice to see there were some solid performances with some cracking individual results. The team was placed 7th. This was the first year in long time that Wales have beaten all of the Home Nations. However, most significantly I am sure that the Welsh team left a positive lasting impression on both the Moroccan’s and fellow competitors. The team were a unit throughout the event and most significantly didn’t let anyone down with their results. It should be noted that unlike many of the other competitors, the Welsh surfers were financially supported by their own Surfing Federation. So a special thanks to the Welsh Surfing Federation and in particular Linda Sharp, Mark Vaughn and Huw John for organising the trip and special mention to Bob Freshwater for coming as a Judge.
Video by Rhys Poulton below.
All Pics by Rhys Poulton, enjoy!!
Meet the Team!
Click on the pic for more info.