Who was set to take home the coveted crown of Shootout Champion?
As dawn broke over the famous surf town of Newquay Cornwall UK, the early promise of a clean contestable day of swell had arrived for the 8th annual Single Fin Shootout.
Held at the iconic Fistral beach, it was going to be a battle of stylish proportions to determine who was set to take home the coveted crown of Shootout Champion.
Breathless conditions greeted the excitable crew of surfers who had assembled from far and wide to ride the surf craft of yesteryear. Clean peaky 3ft rights and lefts reeled off out front. After a relaxed briefing from the officials, the stage was set and competitors were hastily pulling on their singlets and choosing their boards to meet the judges’ obvious criteria of Speed, Power, Style and Control.
Pre-1982 single fin surfboards were displayed on the rocky clifftop, next to the old lifeboat station. The boards are owned by collectors surfers and enthusiasts alike, frantic trading and bargaining were going down to secure the best ride, a quick rub of cool wax and final check of the leg rope to then scramble to the waters edge for the first heats.
The event quickly established the front runners on the single fins, but with a rapid deterioration in conditions due to a strong south westerly wind there was an element of positioning and local know how that turned up some surprising early round exists established purveyors of style.
As the officials and spectators battened down the hatches the top seeds entered the water and quickly established their dominance in the quarter finals. Strong carving full rail turns sliced through the onshore sections and the gathering crowd were treated to some highlight reel surfing, exhibiting all that the judges had laid down in the Shootout criteria.
THE PERFECT SYNCHRONICITY
In perfect synchronicity the conditions improved as performance levels heightened with outstanding performances from Richard Dodd and current European Champ Jay Quinn. In the first semi-final previous 3 times winner Jimbo Bennett and former 2 times European Champ Grishka Roberts made their way once again to the final.
As the tide flooded over the rocks the spectators were frothing out. Stood in front of the iconic old lifeboat station bathed in sunshine, beers in hand to celebrate an exciting final of quite brilliant levels of surfing. The atmosphere was buzzing. This unique competition format sets apart true style and performance in the spirit and soul of surfing heritage. True style wins the day regardless of age and equipment.
Jay had the look and determination was etched on his face, his performance level was incredible and he forged an early lead with a series of beautifully crafted righthanders peeling across the bay. This inevitably left a fierce battle for the remaining spots. All competitors continued to find sections to perform searing full rail manoeuvres with speed, power and control. Style was a given at this stage and a count back was required to separate the final 3 places.
In the end, it was former world junior champ and WQS competitor Jay Quinn taking the honours with stoked Shootout legend Jimbo in second, Grishka third and Rich Dodd taking fourth.
2019 Single Fin Shootout champion Jay Quinn says “It was another classic day for the shootout. I’ve managed to 3 in a row now riding Willy’s old Nirvana stinger single and I’m stoked. Best comp of the year ! Such a good turn out this year and all the boys were shredding”
Competition director and local legend Gee Piper “We are jazzed to showcase the most stylish surfing on vintage single fin surfboards in the northern hemisphere. The competition continues to go from strength to strength. What a day”
“Lightning Bolt have such deep-rooted and classic heritage in surfing history on a global scale, it’s amazing to be supported by such an iconic brand. Thanks to everyone involved for sharing the true spirit of surfing, proving that soul and style are still as relevant today as it was decades ago”