Tomorrow sees the 41st English National Surfing Championships return to Watergate Bay hosted by Extreme Academy and sponsored by P20.
The event attracts the best surfers from across the country to compete for the English title in 14 categories. Past winner Oli Adams (2008) and defending ladies champion, Hannah Harding, will be battling for the title. They both stopped by at Watergate Bay to test the surf and chat about their surfing careers.
How long have you both been surfing for?
O: I have been surfing since I was five, so a total of 22 years.
H: Whereas I only started surfing six years ago at the age of 20. I really wish I’d started earlier, but better late than never.
What are your career highlights so far?
O: I won the Engish National’s title back in 2008 and hope to win it again this year. I also was the champion at Lacanau Air Show in 2011.
H: As defending champion of the English National’s title I can’t go without mentioning it as a highlight; I’m really hoping to retain the title for 2013. I also won the UK Pro Tour in 2011, which was pretty awesome.
Where in the world is your favourite place to surf?
O: I love surfing anywhere along the West coast of Ireland.
H: That’s a tough question but it has to be Lakey Peak in Indonesia.
What do you enjoy most about surfing?
O: I free surf for a living and love the flexibility that gives me. But competing gives me a real buzz and I especially love winning titles.
H: Yeah, I really enjoy competing too, but I also love the social scene that comes with surfing; travelling the world, meeting new surfers and learning new things from them is truly amazing.
How much training have you done for the event?
O: I’m constantly in the water, anytime spent surfing is training to me.
H: I’ve been in Bali for the past month training, I definitely feel ready for the event.
What conditions are you hoping for tomorrow?
O: It may sound strange but I’m hoping for big, onshore waves. If the surf is too clean at Watergate Bay you can close out a lot.
Good luck to everyone competing tomorrow, we are sure it’s going to be a great event!