STAGING European Surf Rowing Championships 2009 - British Rowing

European Surf Rowing Championships 2009

On Saturday the 5th September 2009 the 3rd European Surf Rowing Championships were held on Tolcarne Beach, Newquay, Cornwall and attracted crews from France, Holland and the UK. Surf conditions were perfect with a 3 – 4ft wave giving crews the chance of a good soaking on the way out as they rowed through the surf and also the opportunity to catch a race winning wave upon their return to shore.  

As the mens crews lined up for the three round robin races it became evident that some crews had attracted some big guns to give their boats extra fire power. Surfboat Holland (NED) had Athens Olympian and Oxford – Cambridge boat race winner Gerrit Jan Eggenkamp in their crew. The Molesey Marauders crew included oarsmen Tom Stallard – Beijing Silver medallist and from Germany, Sydney/Athens Olympian Jan Herzog.  


The three round robins allowed the 15 mens crews to accrue points with the top 10 pointscoring crews going forward to the elimination stage in the two semi finals of five crews per semi. The top three crews from each semi go forward to a six boat final. None of the french crews made it past the round robin stage and Holland did not make it past the 2nd semi final finishing fifth with the Perranporth Desperados in 4th.  

Spectators lined up to watch a thrilling final with 2007-08 European Champions, 2009 UK Champions and current leaders of the Summer Series pointscore Porthtowan Blue Bali firm favourites to win the title in alley 2. The Barracudas in alley 1, Twickenham Tridents alley 3, Porthtowan Blue Betty alley 4, Llantwit Major Crocodiles alley 5 and The Molesey Marauders in alley 6.  

At the start Porthtowan Blue Bali and Llantwit Major Crocodiles took up the lead being closely chased by the other crews, at the bouys Blue Bali turned first and it looked to be all over. Mark Bannister sweep of The Barracudas had other ideas and on the way back came the command "get me on to this wave…! "……..The crew rose to the challenge and drew up alongside Blue Bali.  

As the boats touched the beach the bowmen have to leap from the surfboat and sprint 20m to thier own finishing flag. Who had anything left in their legs? In one of the closest finishes of the day The Barracudas from Bristol, rowing for Bude Surfboat Club pipped Porthtowan Blue Bali to win the Mens 2009 European Surf Rowing title with Porthtowan Blue Betty in 3rd, Llantwit Major Crocodiles 4th, Twickenham Tridents 5th and The Molesey Marauders 6th.  

In the Womens event six crews started in the round robin with four crews lined up for the final, 2007 european winners The Bude Runners, 2008 european winners Perranporth Rebel Angels and the fast improving Summer Series leaders Porthtowan Blue Belles and Porthtowan Blue Blaize. No one was laying any bets on the outcome as all four crews are very evenly matched. Once again it came down to a thrilling finish with all four boats on the same wave and the sprinters deciding the final outcome. Porthtowan Blue Belles winning the Womens European Surf Rowing title from The Bude Runners in 2nd and Porthtowan Blue Blaize 3rd and The Perranporth Rebel Angels 4th.  

European winning medals were presented by Olympians, Tom Stallard, Jan Herzog and Gerrit Jan Eggenkamp and a trophy was also presented by the Tolcarne beach owners to the highest combined mens and womens club pointscore – 1st Porthtowan 51pts, 2nd Perranporth 50pts and third Bude  

Thanks must go to Kate Briant – Tolcarne beach owners, to Spike and her brilliant band of surfboat officials, to the work party and the RNLI / Perranporth SLSC for the provision of lifeguard safety cover   



  • 1st The Barracudas – Chris Sparrow, Russell Crofts, Martin Downey, Dominic Hall – Sweep Mark Bannister
  • 2nd Porthtowan Blue Bali – Nic Healey, Mladin Maranovil, Tim Bracey, Tom Hanna – Sweep Gary Walters
  • 3rd Porthtowan Blue Betty – Pete Hill, Ed Boyns, Ed Hartgill, George Hartgill – Sweep John Richards
  • 4th Llantwit Major Crocodiles – Gethin Edwards, James Edwards, Josh Edwards, Ben Thomas – Sweep Marc Scarborough
  • 5th Twickenham Tridents – Mike Dowell, Scott Smith, Adam Ellis, Estevao Pape – Sweep Richard Meadmore
  • 6th Molesey Marauder – Tom Stallard, Angus Warner, Jan Herzog, Gavin Weeks – Sweep Peter Gaisford  


  • 1st Porthtowan Blue Belles – Phil Plester, Louise Gapp, Collette Hartgill, Kim Marie Clothier – Sweep Gary Walters
  • 2nd The Bude Runners – Jessica Lynnes, Louise Paton, Emma Bartrop, Sue Roper – Sweep Mark Bannister
  • 3rd Porthtowan Blue Blaize – Annika Ryberg, Yvette Stevens, Samanths Williams, Lowenna Bradley – Sweep John Richards
  • 4th Perranporth Rebel Angels – Liz Tremayne, Shelley Hardwick, Karen Hardwick, Alex Pearson – Sweep Peter Gaisford