British Surfing Championships & British Cup event recap

British Surfing Championships & British Cup 2021

Thurso East, Scotland

On the 10th-11th April 2021, the UK’s best surfers gathered on our Islands’ North Coast for what would be the first British Cup held in Thurso since the 80’s, and the first in Scotland since 1992. This event in particular being a special one. After over a year of no competition, Britains Elite surfers went head to head for the British title, and a chance to qualify for the first ever GB Olympic surfing team in El Salvador next month. The pressure was on.

Conditions held pretty consistently big & on-shore throughout the weekend, with the swell pushing in from the north rather than the usual North West. Those used to seeing Thurso East as a hollow, heaving monster were surprised at huge open faces, and not a tube in sight.


Photos by Oscar James

Lucky considering the time of year, we were greeted with 6-8ft of swell all the way through the weekend, with it only starting to taper off to about 4ft on Sunday. The local advantage of those who spend all winter in the Thurso shack was gone.

Photo by Oscar James

It was smiles all round the car park from the Athletes, and spirits were high, it was clear the surfers were happy to be back in a vest. Coronavirus restrictions made preparation an incredible challenge, but the SSF showed true professionalism and organisation.


Top picture: Mark Boyd laying it over, Bottom picture: Stan Norman, going left.              Photos by Duncan McLachlan


This spirit of collaboration and cooperation shone throughout the event. The English and Welsh teams reporting they felt a warm welcome from their Scottish hosts, and were all blown away by the setting they were greeted with; World class waves on one of the best breaks in the UK, mixed in with snow squalls, April sunshine and some of the best views in Europe. It couldn’t have been a more perfect (or British) platform to determine the UK’s top surfers in their quest for Olympic glory.

Local Phoebe Strachan was pushing hard this weekend Photo by Duncan McLachlan.    Photo by Duncan McLachlan


Harry Cromwell performed consistently all weekend                                                                      Photo by Thomas Horig


It wasn’t all sunshine & snow showers. Thurso doesn’t have to be hollow to have a bite. Photo by Duncan McLachlan


Lucy Campbell                                                                                                       Photo by Thomas Horig


A closely fought battle saw an all England Final on the women’s side, they were unlucky with a long Lull at the very start of the heat. Lucy Campbell using her priority to snag the best waves of the heat & coming out on top.

Stan Norman                                                                                                  Photo by Duncan McLachlan

The men’s final, while also tight, was anyone’s to play for.

The winning wave? An inside left by Stan Norman, and the only air landed in a heat all weekend. Yeah you read that right, a left, at Thurso East. Risky moves when you’ve got 20cm of water between your board and solid granite reef.

Luke Dillon was looking strong all weekend                                             Photo by Duncan McLachlan


Snow capped Orkney made a great backdrop for Barnaby Cox’s Signature Hacks.  

                                                                                                                               Photo by Oscar James


Ellie Turner on her way to 3rd overall.                                                         Photo by Duncan McLachlan


The Winners

Lucy Campbell (ENG) 1st, Emily Currie (ENG) 2nd, Ellie Turner (ENG) 3rd, Alys Barton (ENG) 4th.                                       Photo by Duncan McLachlan                                                                                                                  


Stanley Norman (ENG) 1st, Luke Dillon (ENG) 2nd, Harry Cromwell (WAL) 3rd, Barnaby Cox (ENG) 4th.                        Photo by Duncan McLachlan

British Cup of Surfing

1st Place: England
2nd Place: Scotland
3rd Place: Wales
4th Place: Channel Island

Congratulations to all the winners, and we wish them the best of luck in
El Salvador next month.

The Scottish Surf Federation would like to extend a huge thank you to the event sponsors – Event Scotland – Visit ScotlandImpact SportsWeret Surf Watches.

And also to the event affiliates – Caithness & North Sutherland Fund. Wavegarden Scotland. The Caithness Collection. The Highland Council.

You can view the full results and wave scores from all heats right here: ishcup/

Photo by Duncan McLachlan

Special thanks on behalf of Braw Surf to Thomas Horig & Duncan Maclachlan for these images, to the SSF for the opportunity to work with you all, and to absolutely everyone at the event for pulling together to make this historic event happen. Until next time. Words – Oscar James [Braw Surf]