The weather was cold, and the water was colder, but the wintry climate of Britain's North Davon coast failed to damp the enthusiasm of surfers aiming at the European championship.
The weather was cold, and the water was colder, but the wintry climate of Britain's North Davon coast failed to damp the enthusiasm of surfers aiming at the European championship. The winner was expected to pick up about GBP 28,000 ($ 48,000) during a year as champion from advertising and sponsorships. Sixty-five surfers, fresh from a summer on the European beaches, made their way to Croyds beach on Saturday (29th September) to wrest the title from its current holder, Englishman Chris Jones.
Jones' main opponent was another Englishman, Graham Niie, a baker and captain of the English surfing team. Nile eventually won the Championship through his performance in the quarter and semi-finale; the finals were cancelled because of the weather.
Despite the frequent bad weather, surfing is becoming big business in the United Kingdom. One firm produces fifty surfboards a weak, plus necessary accessories such as wet suits. The firm's annual profits from the sale of surfing equipment have chimed to GBP 30,000 ($75,000) in recent years.
SYNOPSIS: The freezing waters of a beach in Dovon, England...l hardly the place for a sport inspired by the sunshine and smooth sands of Hawaii. The surfers get their circulation going, before tackling the icy waves.
At stake are the European Surfing Championships, and only the brave, or the mad, are risking frostbite and chills for the prize. Beneath the autumnal British skies, they took the plunge.
In socks and sweaters, and wet suits, to keep out the Atlantic breezee, the surfers went out to meet the big waves. Chris Jones, an Englishman, was defending his title.
The unpredictable British weather caused havoc on the first day of the Championships. Before even a toe touched the water, the rain fell, the wind blew, and the waves disappeared.
Another beach was chosen. This time six foot waves pounded into the shore.. it was enough for Graham Nile, another Englishman, to wrest the European title from his fellow countryman, which just goes to show that mad dogs and Englishmen do go out in the midday sun .. and the freezing sea.