Thursday, 29 July 2010

Can you hear the Vulcan

RNAS Culdrose Airshow. Last year it rained all day - rubbish! We saw nothing! Yesterday, the weather was perfect! You could see everything. Star of the show was the Vulcan flying down from Hampshire. A very rare flight from the most amazing bird. My Uncle used to fly them so I was really keen to see one for the first time. BBC Radio tracked it as it made it's way down. And at just before 4pm, we saw here circling in the distance waiting her turn.

We were settled on top of the minibus at the end of the runway - and watched as she made her approach. Down towards us she came then banking hard to the North. The noise was unbelievable. If that thing flew over during combat you would just be out of there, it's not natural. It's a stunning aircraft. On one run, it got half way down the runway then pointed to the sky - the ground shook as spectators covered their ears!

Other stand outs of the day - the wing walkers were brilliant. And the Royal Jordanian display team were also off the scale. A very good day - highly recommend it for next year!

Today's top holiday tip - looking for somewhere to go to eat and where the kids can go off and play? Look no further than Carruan Farm - they just put in one of their barns a big kids play area with boats, a hay and soft assault course. We met my sister up their last night with her kids - they had a right laugh!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Polzeath - nice at night!

There was a very cool feel to the beach last night. There was an amazing sunset so I hotfooted it down to the beach to take a few snaps. There was loads of families wandering around the beach, some playing football, cricket. There's a lot more going on re. food down here in the evenings now. The Cone Zone have started to do take away pizzas, and the Galleon do these wood fire ones. So lots of people come down to grab a pizza and sit on the beach - makes a really nice atmosphere. It's busy, but it's not overly busy. It's a nice busy. Looked like everyone was having a great time. And that's what you want.

Oh, quick update on the night beach scene. I had an e-mail from a worried client, apparently there was a documentary about Polzeath and the posh kids. Well to be honest it never was as bad as the media liked to portray, but it was issue that needed management. Basically, when the public schools broke up the parents would send their kids this way unsupervised - which to be honest is ridiculous! So they'd come down, have the run of the rented holiday homes and no boundaries on late nights, alcohol or drugs. Originally Daymer was the meeting place and then it became Polzeath. Which was fine until word got out and then we averaged 400 kids a night, peaking up near 4 figures. It was a real problem. There was no control - the kids had a free rein and money to burn. So the local businesses contributed to a policing fund in order to maintain the villages reputation as a family resort. The police came in, banned alcohol and fires on the beach and basically made it far less attractive for the kids.

I had a chat with the local policeman only last week and he said the numbers were down to 40! So it's worked. They've all headed down to Newquay, which is a much better place for them. This time of year is family time anyway and it's never been a problem from here on in - it was just that two week period. It's been a couple of years since that was an issue.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

What's she trying to tell me?

I was the birthday boy today - and I have to say that it's been the best one I've had in years. I was woken early by the boys, with a large parcel. They unpacked it to reveal a tent and a sleeping bag! What's Janey trying to say? Perfect, we've chatted about a camping trip for ages and now we have the gear. So we descended on the garden for a trial run. Good job really. We had poles and guy ropes all over the place, but with the help of Sylv we eventually managed to assemble something that at least provided shelter! The boys are planning to sleep in it tonight - I give them about ten minutes before they scramble back into the comfort of their own beds!

This afternoon, with the horrible drizzly rain set in, we headed to St. Enodoc to join the boys up to the golf club. This is hallowed turf indeed. We played the Holywell Course and just had a great time. So thanks to the boys and Janey for the day. With age comes low expectations and in recent years they've come and gone without much ado. This was different and it was much appreciated.

Summers here!

"We're all going on a summer holiday" would have been the sing song for loads of families as they made their way down here over the past couple of days. It's busy, busy! The beach has been ram jam full! This was a question asked to Janey when she tried to board a bus in Bombay (as it was named then) many years ago. The conductor said, "I'm ram jam full", to which Janey replied "I don't want to know your name. I just want to get on the bus!" True story. It must have been hot!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Send in your photos!

Please send us in your photos! If you've got a good one, especially ones that are maybe a bit different, we'd love to see them. And if they're really good like this one, sent in by Steve Wells, we'll put them on our site. This is instructor Andy on a swelly. Some people are a bit snooty about swellies, "just for beginners" I hear them cry! But you can have some serious fun on them!

Which reminds me - I should give you a progress report on my new McCoy. Took it out at Fistral yesterday to wet it's head. Lovely to duck dive, catches the waves pretty easily, and surf's good. Quite excited as it goes!

British Junior Surfing Champs

Liam ripping it up at Fistral yesterday

And so it was that down at Fistral yesterday the finals of the British Championships were held in 2-3ft surf. And we had a full compliment of Surf's Up! Elite riders right in the mix.

Saturday had seen the progression of all our riders through the heat stages and into the semis. Including Rhys, who is developing this habit of falling just short in his own age category, but excelling two age groups above!

Toby gets a score under his belt in the under 18s final

Under 12s final - Max and Liam paddled out in tricky onshore conditions. It was very surfable but difficult to pick off the waves. Harry de Roth, their number one rival for top spot got in a fantastic wave right at the off and established a good lead. Both Max and Liam had their moments, but it was Harry who took the title. No complaints. Liam got 2nd and Max 3rd.

Max on his way to third in the under 12s

Under 14s final - pretty much the same line up paddled out for the second final. But this time it was Liam who nailed an early high scoring wave - right up in the 7's. And again, establishing an early lead was to prove the winning tactic. To his credit he surfed so well. And fully deserved his new title as British Champ - not bad considering he's got another two years in this division.! Max busted out a few moves but didn't get the length of rides he needed to put him on the podium. He also will compete again next year in this age group.

The standard of surfing in the under 18s final was top draw. Here's Toby trying his best to chase down a win

In the girls under 18's we had Gabi. Gabi won the Heat of Death in the semis ie the one with all the favourites to win the title. As fantastic as that was it meant that she was the one to beat. I have no idea what happened, but the final just didn't work out for her.

Gabi storms to victory in the hardest draw of the semi - finals

She just couldn't find herself any decent waves. Each heat lasts only 20 minutes - if you're behind at the halfway mark that doesn't leave you long to get a couple of good ones in. Gutted for her - she really wanted to win the title and she was definitely good enough. That's just the way it goes sometimes. She'll be back.

Liam - the new under 14s British Champ

In the final of the Under 18 boys (these are not really boys) we had Toby. This level of surfing is so exciting and with high tide approaching the beach stood still as the competitors went about their work. Toby was first to put a good score down, and followed up with a fantastic second wave. It would take something special to knock the defending champion off top spot. I think the judging throughout the day was pretty good, but there would be a slight raising of eyebrows on this one. Luke Dillon, who'd just won the under 16's put in a couple of good rides, but to everyone's surprise, at the half way stage the news was announced over the PA that he'd gone into the lead? It was a lead that he was to hold onto, despite Toby's best efforts. Again, that's just the way it goes. It was tight and it didn't fall his way. Congratulations to Luke - who's performance in the under 16s final was probably the best surfing demonstration of the day.

Toby prepares for his under 18s final with a bit of quiet time.

Other results - Liam and Rhys made it to the semis of the under 16s (two age groups above), a brilliant achievement and to be fair they nearly got through. And Sophie, so good to see her back competing, got through to the semis of the under 18 girls.

It was a great day for the club. It was perhaps a day of what might have been. The title Liam got was probably the one we could least have expected at the start of the day. But the good thing is that our riders are right in there and given a fairer wind we could have walked away with any number of titles. As a team, our riders completely dominated - no other club came close to our strength in depth. And we're really proud of that.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wadebridge twinned with Brazil?

Copacabana? No this is just a normal Saturday evening down Wadebridge! It's Carnival time!

Billy on the right doing some keepy uppys. Morrissons have put forward a fantastic proposal to Wadebridge Football Club. They want to stick a supermarket on the land the club currently plays on and in return build a fantastic new football facility just down the road including an all weather pitch. It's a no brainer for the club - but Sainsbury's have at the same time put in a proposal to buy the current council buildings and stick a supermarket there (just across the road)! Wadebridge can only really support one of them! It's over to the planners but we know who we're backing. Although to be honest, we would quite fancy a Waitrose!

Surf's Up! staff Kit, Andy and Swampy were first on the scene of a nasty accident on Friday night. This car had rolled and the young lad was through the side window, trapped underneath. The boys had to lift the car to get him out. Our local policeman told me last night that they probably saved his life. Well done to them and let's hope the young lad makes a full recovery.

It's the big one for the Surf's Up! Elite Junior team down at Fistral today. I'm going to head off and lead the cheering in a second. Full report to follow later.