The day was warm and balmy as we parked the jalopy up at Wheal Coates car park, up on the cliff near Chapel Porth. No parking actually at the beach, as it's a very small car park and totally taken up with exhibitors tents and vehicles and the tea/registration tents. Bellyboards clutched under our arms, plus the paraphernalia required for a full beach day and in the company of a lovely chap in his 80's, who was on his way down with his board, we descended the steep path to the cove.
There's the engine house of Wheal Coates tin mine that clings to the 600ft cliff close to the edge. A lovely place for a picnic....but not today! We had other fish to fry. And ply to fly.
What brilliant hammocks someone had erected! They are sectional and can in theory go in a car boot!
John Isaac's jalopy is even older than ours and much prettier. He had serious misgivings about driving it, later on, when the heavens opened, as it has no windscreen wipers! Fab boards propping up the radiator grille, too.
Sally Parkin's Original Surfboard stand, very stylish and displaying some lovely boards. I particularly like the stripey zebrano boards; very tactile!
Hurricane Irene had sent some heavy swell over the pond to amuse us, but at high tide it was just a bit too feisty for the bellyboarders and the lifeguards deemed it safer to wait till the tide retreated a little. No matter, the sun was out and there was time to relax and take in the beauty of this stunning little cove.
National Trust folks were on the ball, directing competitors to the registration and tea tent (free tea before your heats and after, to warm you up!)
People were taking their boards to the judging area to be judges for best artwork, patina, vintage, etc. Can you spot mine?
Lots of boards arrived as people turned up and I couldn't fit them all in the picture! No prize for me, but I got lots of nice comments about it and the one that won was right in front of mine in this pic. See the wicker bellyboard lying down against the propped up ones (it has a white shape on it)? Talk about lateral thinking... and Woll said he saw it being ridden in a ladies heat. Brill!
The chap here is holding one of my favourite boards, all done in laundry marker pen then varnished. Behind him is the Traditional Surfing stand, some stunning ply there on display. The awning, on loan from Christian Surfers was to come into it's own when the rain rolled into town. Gavin and Tamsyn kindly sheltered us from the storm.
People coming down from Wheal Coates
So many fellow bellyboarders to chat to; they're such a friendly bunch.
Some wanted a higher viewpoint. This is Sky Sports, I believe.
A home from home! Seed surfboards's dinky stand. So civilised! (I'm loving the occasional tables inside the van!)
Soon every woman and her dog were waiting for the action to start.
Checking out the heat lists.....Mr Woollatt in Junior Mens heat 4
And Mrs Woollatt in Junior womens heat....4.
This chap had co-ordinated swimtrunks and board!
And here's a touch of days gone by...
Swimming in a wool costume would trouble me; so much scope for a 'wardrobe malfunction'!
More knitted goodness...
...and some decidedly iffy. I'm told that certain cheeky areas were exposed by the wave action!
The photoshoot. With about 345 entrants it was hard to get us all in the same shot! My and Woll's boards waving at the back! (Mine 4th from the left, Woll's 6th)
The Ladies expression session....everyone in at once! That's me just about to enter the water in the black cozzie. (6th from right)
I'm in there, the blonde about 4th from the right, walking back into the surf after a ride. The water was surprisingly balmy. You believe me don't you? Well it was. ;-)
Woll waiting for the chaps expression session. 2nd from right.
The above 4 photos with the kind permission of Alasdair Lindsay
It started to spit with rain as we emerged from our heats and within a very short space of time......
"I want to go HOME!"
"So do I!"
"We're off!" (Great transport solution!)
The gusting heavy rain dampened proceedings slightly and totally prevented me from sketching; my paper was wet and my hands so cold I had trouble getting changed out of my cozzie. Shame....but I may work up a few drawings from the photos I took.
Fortunately the skies cleared in time for the awards ceremony so everyone was able to gather to applaud the winners.
What a great day! I can't wait for next year!
Many many thanks to the WBBC crew, The National Trust people and all who made this event such a success.
My campervan handwarmers from my Secret Santa ......oh what a godsend they were!
And my poor shoes....soaked through!