Thumping double-overhead waves provided the canvas for an impressive display of surfing at Watergate Bay this weekend in the new format English Open Championships.
With Saturday’s pulsing 6 to 8ft swell on the limit of contestable conditions, organisers opted to run only the elite Open division. But by Sunday the waves had dropped to a more manageable 4ft, allowing all eight divisions to be completed in fun, albeit choppy, surf. Newquay-based Johnny Fryer claimed the presitigious Open division title in a closely-fought heat.
Any of the four finalists – who included Cornishmen Josh Ward, Andrew Griffen and Shaun Skilton – would have been worthy winners. “It was a crazy final,” said a delighted Johnny Fryer after receiving his trophy as the English Open champion.
“The boys were all ripping, there were a lot of waves ridden, and it must have been super, super close. I’ve been second and third before and I just didn’t want another second. It feels great.”