Jessie Tuckman reports:
Earlier this month I went to the Elusive Welsh Open, a surf contest in South Wales at Porthcawl. I love going to Wales! The girls and guys who surf there are a good laugh.
I always end up meeting up with my friends Georgie and Libby at surf contests, so it’s nice to know a few friendly faces already. Adam Laister, the videographer and landlocked surfer/snowboarder came along for the ride. The original plan had been to spend about four days in Wales, allowing us plenty of time to hunt for waves and seek out hidden spots. Unfortunately, I had some budget problems which meant we could only do the weekend. Still the new plan was in place to compete on the Saturday and then spend half a day freesurfing somewhere.
The Welsh Open was so fun. The day started with 40mph cross-shore winds and a decent amount of swell, which was being blown sort of flat. It was really challenging to catch small sideways waves. I entered the open and my first heat was against the guys. I paddled out near the north end of Coney Beach for shelter and about ten minutes into my heat I was all the way at the point on the south side!
I got out and ran halfway back up the beach as time was running out and against the wind I would have never made it all the way. It wasn’t amazing for anyone in the water at that point but I was glad to get an equal third in the heat managing to find one wave.
The place we stayed was pretty much right next to the beach! We were so lucky because it meant that between heats I could run home, get a shower, wrap up in a warm duvet and stay hot for the next heat.
The womens’ heats were run when the tide started pushing in so the surf was progressively getting better. It was still hard to get much as the wind really pushed me sideways and was such a barrier to having any real flow. I was stoked to find I got a place in the final and my friend Frankie did, too!
The tide was high and the wind had dropped a bit for the final heat. I was so happy to see some wave faces. It was still a bit mushy as you can see on the video, but at least all the girls were fighting against the wind to complete some turns and just have fun out there. Emily Williams won and really smashed it.
After the contest I had planned to spend Sunday surfing some local spots and was upset to find there were barely any waves. I went to Rest Bay which was the most open beach around and got in because there was a little bit of what looked like sideways chop. The conditions were frustrating as all I wanted to do was to let loose on some waves.
I’ve found over the last few years on surf trips and competitions that sometimes you score great waves and sometimes you don’t. I don’t let it bother me too much as it’s all part of the challenge; we tried to demonstrate that in this mini documentary. We keep going no matter what. The contest was a great success, and I’d like to thank Elusive, the Welsh Surfing Federation, and Christian Surfers.