The Scottish Universities Surfing Championships 2018 was hosted by the University of Edinburgh at Belhaven Bay on the 21st of April 2018.
Coming off the back of one of the best winters on the east coast since I’ve been at university we had high hopes that this years contest would provide us with the goods. Sadly our fortunes didn’t last. Turning up to the John Muir car park on Saturday morning we were welcomed with ‘taps aff’ weather with the blistering Scottish sun making many of us fairer surfers reach for the factor 30+. Despite the lackluster wave forecast on MSW this beautiful welcoming had us dreaming that the forecast was miles off and we were in fact in for a treat. Boards and BBQ in hand we made our way with haste towards the beach. Breaching the sand dunes with unrealistically high hopes we were met with what can be best described as a millpond on steroids. The sea was quiet and so were we.
Not wanting to let this unavoidable glitch in our plans ruin the day, our trusty organizer and defending men’s champion Colin Brady (Edinburgh) spotted the smallest of bumps in the sea 400 meters to our left. It wasn’t much but it was just enough to run a contest of some sort. Staying consistent with last year’s running, a foamy shootout was called. We were on.
With the BBQ in blazing form and the universities of Dundee and St. Andrews turning up in full force, the heat sheets were written up. First on were the women’s who, due to the lack of numbers, went straight into a 5 woman final shootout in arguably the best conditions of the day. ½ ft peelers running left and right set up a back and forth final with the St. Andrews competitors coming out the gates firing early. Despite a resilient comeback from the likes of last year’s winner and president of the University of Edinburgh, Emily Dowd, Beth Leighfield (St. Andrews) prevailed taking first place in a display of small wave foamy magic.
Reigning champion Colin Brady, who posted the highest score of the mens heats, got a strong early start. A resilient fight back from Loic Hayois (Edinburgh) and Will Compton (St. Andrews) had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Our very own Strider Rasberry Wasilewski in the form of Samuel “Blueberry” Cooper provided some lyrical wizardry on the microphone from the beach, keeping both the spectators and competitors in the know of the scores. After 20 minutes of heated foam on foam action the horn was sounded. University of Edinburgh veteran and Hall of Famer Stephen Looser counted up the scores with the finalists eagerly waiting on the beach. Coming in at a two-wave total of 8.7 the defending champion Colin Brady clinched the title and became the first back-to-back winner in the competition’s history.
1st – Colin Brady (Edinburgh)
2nd – Will Compton (St. Andrews)
3rd – Loic Hayois (Edinburgh)
All-in-all we made do with what we had on offer and had a cracking day as a result. We would like to thank the sponsors Coast to Coast Surf School, Fitzroy Surf Co. and Rise Outdoors for their generosity and support by providing some awesome prizes to our winners. We would also like to thank the Scottish Surfing Federation.