Earlier this month the 2016 Tri-service Surfing Competition took place with two fellow QARNNS from DMG(SW) Sub Lt Zoe Williams and LNN Laura Davis taking part.
The competition began with good vibes all round, the sun was shining, blue skies over the Cornish coast and some snazzy team jackets, however the only problem… no waves.
Meeting at RAF St Mawgan in the morning the teams travelled in convoy to Penhale beach. It is a brilliant location for a spot of surfing that on a good day sees clean, consistent, left and right hand waves. On day one of the competition the biggest waves were disappointingly only hip high and some just reaching our knees. We only had a 4 day window in which to compete and no better swell on the horizon the competition went ahead with the women in first. Laura was in the first heat of round one with Zoe following in the second. Laura got the QARNNS off to a good start with consistent surfing in hard conditions on her mini mal, successfully getting through to her second heat. In Zoe’s first heat of round one she found that the board she was on was not suitable to the conditions therefore she swapped her short board for one with more volume. With a new board and fresh arms she hoped this would help in her second heat.
In between rounds we cheered our fellow competitors and got to know the surf teams from the RAF and Army. For many it was their first competition and some had only started surfing that year, it was great to see so many women getting in to surfing. Zoe felt far more comfortable in round two with a bigger board under her feet she really enjoyed playing on a long board, something she is used to. This led her to come 1st in her second heat and was happily through to the semi-finals. Laura cruised through her round too coming 2nd in her heat and everyone on the beach was commenting on her laid back style on the board. With both QARNNS having a successful first two heats they were both through to the semi-finals.
The swell picked up for the Semis but so did the wind and the waves were choppy and unpredictable. This made catching clean waves difficult and with only 20 minutes to score, conditions made getting to the back of the surf difficult. Laura and Zoe were in the same heat along with fellow RN competitor Sandra Olmesdahl who was impressing all with fancy footwork on her long board. Unfortunately that meant it was the end of the competition for both Zoe and Laura but were both stoked on having got through to the Semis. Who knew nurses could make such good surfers.
Despite our fellow QARNNS not making it to the final it was a win for the Royal Navy in the women’s individual category with 1st place going to Sub Lt Sandra Olmesdahl. Go Navy!
We look forward to hearing more of the QARNNS success within the Royal Navy Surf Team.
Thanks you to Sub Lt Zoe Williams for the contents of this blog and check out the link here Tri-Service Surfing Competition 2016 which will take you to the gallery page with photos from LNN Davis.