Matt Lamont takes the title….
Following on from last week with the Irish open, I was heading to the British open and home internationals in Thurso, Scotland. I headed up a few days early to check out the wave and get some practice in. After some pretty small, playful waves in Thurso, I got invited to go and surf at Brimms Ness with Jack, Marc and Andy where we caught some really fun waves. The break was a pretty long paddle from the shore, and very exposed, breaking onto rocks, with a few steep sections. I loved it.
The next day, we had the home internationals, which is a team competition, where people from different nations surf against each other. There are two rounds, and you get ranked in your heat from 1-5, then add these scores up for the whole team, with the lowest winning. Unfortunately not enough people attended for a Northern Ireland team, however, I got to join up with a few people from the Isle of Man and Ireland to the get the 6 people required and form a rest of the homes team, although we weren’t able to get a ranking in the competition. This was great to be a part of, with everyone surfing brilliantly, winning the first round, really worrying the other teams. Due to the small forecast for the next day, we then had round 2, unfortunately, this round didn’t go as well with us picking up a few more points to finish 3rd overall.
The highlight for me in the homes was definitely round one, I had two amazing heats, in the long boat, my Attak just surfed brilliantly, carving top to bottom on some really long waves, then, in the short boat, getting on right hander than walled up perfectly for me to get a super long ride with a really good wall for some sick surfing.
After a day off, I was back in the water again the the first round of the open short and long boats, winning both heats, before the tide and wind killed the surf for the day. This lead to heats running from 8am through to 4.20pm on the Thursday. I managed to get through my heats in round 2, and then semi finals, only just scraping through the short boat semi final with a really tight heat, drawing with Marc, but just getting it by counting back to the third wave score.
After being so close to going out, I was really hyped up to go out and surf better in the finals. Three hours later, I got my chance. First up, I had the open long boat, I surfed as hard as possible and came off the water happy with how I’d surfed, but unsure of how I’d do. I was quickly back in the water again in the open short boat. This time it felt different. I surfed really well and pulled off a huge round house cutback, as well as a really critical carve on the lip of the right hand bowl. I felt a lot more confident this time leaving the water but also a lot more nervous about the result. I really wanted to win it, if I hadn’t, I would have still known I couldn’t have surfed much better, but still, I wanted the result.
A day later, after alternatively not thinking about the result, and constantly wondering how I’d done. It was time to find out how I’d done. I was pretty happy to come out with a 3rd in the long boat, and I’m hoping to keep working on being fluid in the boat, but I’m super happy with how it’s surfing. Next up was the short boat. I won, I won my first British men’s title. I was stoked to have done so well against so many good surfers and it’s been an amazing week.
Massive thanks to my family, Peak UK, VE Paddles and Mega Kayaks for their support, it’s very appreciated!