The first stop is the iconic beach of Balevullin in Tiree. A spot that can serve up a variety of conditions, successful competitors in Tiree must show an ability to adapt to anything thrown at them.
Tiree Surf Club and Blackhouse Watersports were delighted to host the first in the series of the newly established SSF ,Scottish Junior Surf Series on the 31st of July and the 1st of August 2021. The competition saw young surfing groms from Thurso (NSSC), Fraserburgh (BSC) , East Lothian (Dunbar) , Tiree (TSC ), Fife ,Jedburgh and as far as Lanzarote, come together for a weekend of surf and fun at Balevullin beach.
Tiree is often referred to as the Hawaii of the North due to its consistent surf and sun and it was a pleasure to the stoke of the 20 plus competitors who were buzzing from the start.
Onshore winds and a small swell made for tricky conditions on the Saturday and the young surfers had to work hard to show off their surfing skills. The first to take to the sea were the combined Under 12’s heats followed by the combined Under 14’s heats , the Under 16 girls semi final and the under 16 boys which went straight to a final. The cold northerly wind and a dropping tide meant the the remaining competition was postponed until the Sunday but a competitive game of rounders and a beach fire saw everyone remain at the beach for the remainder of the evening.
Finals day on Sunday started with a final for the under 12’s and they came out on fire! It was wave for wave for the duration of the heat and was too close to call for many of the spectators on who the winner would be. In the end it was Evan Whyte who took the top spot followed by Callie Cruicksnak in 2nd place, her brother Kai Cruicshank in 3rd and Lily Larg in 4th .
The under 14’s saw 5 competitors in the final and saw multiple waves from each competitor. Despite the small and choppy conditions the groms were clever with their wave selection and were able show off some their surfing manoeuvres. 1st place went to Evan Whyte, 2nd to Lola Mitchel, 3rd to Voe Brock , 4th place to Kai Cruickshank and in 5th place Barney Oakes.
The Under 16 girls was a closely contested heat with just 1 point amongst the finalists and all of the girls surfed with flair given the tricky surf. Finishing in first was Lola Mitchel, followed by Nadia Murray in 2nd, Olivia Sutherland in 3rd place and Robyn Larg in 4th.
The Under 18 boys were up next …This heat saw some wave scores in the excellent range and show that even in small surf it’s possible to score big. Ben Larg took 1st place, followed by Max Miller Cooley in 2nd place and Juan Morales in 3rd.
The last heat of the day was the under 18 girls. This heat saw some really clean waves and some excellent wave selection. It was The NSSC ’s Nadia Murray that took the top spot with Tiree’s Robyn Larg in 2nd, and Annie Herd from Dunbar in 3rd.
The enthusiasm of Scotlands youngest surfers and their ability to deal with such challenging conditions was proof of a thriving and determined group of young surfers. It’s an exciting time to be a surf grom in Scotland.
The prize giving took place at the Scarinish hotel with prizes from competition sponsors Blackhouse Watersports, Thirty Square and Hasta inc. Many thanks to all those who have supported the set up of the junior series and this competition. Huge thanks to all the parents who travelled to Tiree and to all of the competitors. Looking forward to seeing you at the next comp in Thurso !
Photos courtesy of Dutch Engels and Thirty Square !
Under 12 Combined:1st Evan Whyte Broch Surf Club 2nd Callie Cruickshank Broch Surf Club 3rd Kai Cruickshank Broch Surf Club 4th Lily Larg Tiree Surf Club
Under 14 Combined: 1st Evan Whyte Broch Surf Club 2nd Lola Mitchel Broch Surf Club 3rd Voe Brock North Shore Surf Club 4th Kai Cruickshank Broch Surf Club
Under 16 Girls: 1st Lola Mitchel Broch Surf Club 2nd Nadia Murray North Shore Surf Club 3rd Olivia Sutherland North Shore Surf Club 4th Robyn Larg Tiree Surf Club
Under 16 Boys: 1st Max Miller Cooley Tiree Surf Club 2nd Juan Polo Morales Tiree Surf Club
Under 18 Girls 1st Nadia Murray North Shore Surf Club 2nd Robyn Larg Tiree Surf Club 3rd Annie Herd North Shore Surf Club
Under 18 Boys: 1st Ben Larg Tiree Surf Club 2nd Max Miller Cooley Tiree Surf Club 3rd Juan Polo Morales Tiree Surf Club