The following report was provided by CANI Surf Squad member Mathew Lamont on his experiences during the British Championships earlier this month
The journey to Freshwater West in Wales for the 2015 British surf kayak championships started bright and early at 5am on a Friday morning. We drove to Dublin and boarded the ferry just as the sun was coming up. Arriving in Wales we then had a 5 hour journey from Holyhead down to Freshwater West (20 minutes from Pembroke). We checked into the B&B at 5pm, before heading to the beach for a quick surf while it was still light.
On Saturday morning after a later start (we got up just after 6 am!) we headed down to the competition site. It was decided that we would run 3 heats of the junior classes, on a point scoring system, as only 4 of us were there. This gave us more opportunity to surf. I surfed the junior short boat event, and the first round of the open long boat. I finished 2nd overall in the junior short boat and progressed to the semi-final of the open long boat against some really tough competitors.
Sunday brought semi-finals in the open, and the junior long boat. My first two heats were the open long boat and junior long boat and although I went out of the open semi-final, I was very happy with how I surfed leading into the last 2 heats, as I had already won the first junior heat. With no results up from the juniors second heat, I really wanted to surf well in the final heat of the juniors going for the biggest waves I could see and surfing them to the best of my ability, getting into a really deep barrel and making some really good turns in the critical part of the wave. I felt really confident coming off the water although I had to wait an hour to find out the result. As Tim Thomas called out the placings, it was with huge relief and a real sense of satisfaction that I found I had come in 1st place, retaining my title for another year.
The other competitors were great, and Jack Davies surfed exceptionally well to take the 1st place in junior short boat. A massive thank you to everyone at Ride Surf Kayaks for organising the event, to CANI for their ongoing commitment to surf kayaking, and to Peak UK, Mary Peters Trust and Gath helmets for their assistance.