Watergate Bay welcomes longboarders

WORLD class longboard surfing will be on display at Watergate Bay this weekend as the Extreme Academy Midsummer Classic returns.

With entry numbers up by more than 50 per cent since 2008, the June 26-27 event has been expanded with the creation of two new divisions to accommodate an increasing number of junior surfers taking up the sport.

According to the British Longboard Union (BLU)’s secretary Vic Danks, the growth in popularity of the sport is down in part to the success of British longboarders on the world stage.

Danks said: “We’ve got three surfers – Ben Skinner, James Parry and Sam Bleakley – who are all currently ranked in the top 10 in Europe. They all take part in the BLU competitions, and I think one of the reasons why there are so many good junior surfers emerging at the moment is down to how accessible our events are.

“A junior surfer can enter the Open division and find themselves surfing against these top competitors and they learn so much that way. There aren’t many other sports where this happens.”

As the penultimate round of the BLU series, the Extreme Academy Midsummer Classic could prove to be a decisive leg of the race to decide 2010 champions.

Surfers will compete in six divisions this year.

In addition to the Open, Women, Junior (under 18) and Masters, there are new divisions for Under 16 Boys and Under 16 Girls – both of which have been heavily subscribed in the two previous events this year.

Will Ashworth of the Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay, said: “It’s really encouraging to see this event blossom.

“This is the second year we have supported the BLU as title sponsors of the Midsummer Classic, and for there to be so many young surfers taking part in the sport bodes well for continued success for our surfers in the future.”

Up and coming juniors will be spurred on to produce their best by Britain’s two competitors on the ASP World Longboard Tour, Ben Skinner and James Parry, who are both intending to enter the event.

**Archived 2010**

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