Boardmasters Festival: Epic Weekend of Surf, Skate & Music

The Rip Curl Boardmasters Festival, Europe’s biggest surf, skate and music festival ended today after a hugely successful seven days of brilliant sun, world class surfing, skating and awesome live music. Title sponsors Rip Curl consider the event to be one of the most successful to date, certainly the largest in 26 years, and as always, attracting over 250,000 people to the UK’s most famous surf spot.

The Men’s Rip Curl Boardmasters 5 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfing contest ended on a high, with former Foster’s ASP World Tour surfer Ben Bourgeois (USA) defeating Brazilian excitement machine Heitor Alves in tricky, 2-3ft (1m) surf.

The surfing contests started one week ago with 168 surfers, but at 4pm today there were only two competitors left standing on the winner’s podium. For Bourgeois, the win launches him to second on the WQS Ratings, just 24 points behind WQS Tour leader Tiago Pires (PRT).

“I haven’t won a contest in so long, so just being up there and getting that feeling is so awesome. I’m stoked,” said Bourgeois after the presentation. “I’ve been on a little roll lately and I just wanted to keep it going here in England. I was just trying to take it heat by heat and it all came out my way at the end. I’m so happy.”

The Unleashed summer nights hosted on a cliff top location at Watergate Bay, accompanied by a stunning sunset, proved to be the most successful Unleashed concert for the Rip Curl Boardmasters since it’s inception three years ago. Headlined by the energetic Funeral For A Friend and melodic Ash with the afternoon sets fulfilled by The Subways and Fightstar on Friday 10th August.

After six days of non-stop action at the Rip Curl Boardmasters, Paolo Nutini’s headline appearance at Unleashed on Saturday 11th August induced a refreshing atmosphere to the week-long shenanigans. Playing alongside the Watergate Bay surf spot, Paolo delivered an ambient set that captivated a 10,000 strong crowd.

The highlight of the evening was officially handed to Paolo Nutini who was joined by Unleashed acts Newton Faulkner, Scott Matthews and Ruarri Joseph on the orbital stage to deliver their rendition of Jungle Book’s ‘King of the swinger’s’ which instantly sent the audience regressing into a field of apes!!

The Relentless No Half Measures stage on Friday hosted hot new acts Enjoy Destroy, The Future and Reuben who encouraged an energy packed audience and delivered performances that are certain to see them continue to rise. Saturday’s line-up in the marquee included electro DJ acts Tiny Dancers who threw down a resoundingly successful alternative to the mellow vibe on the main stage.

Relentless also premiered their eagerly awaited No Half Measures (NHM) Tour movie featuring highlights from the BMX and Wakeboard Tours. The NHM Vert skate Tour also took place over the week featuring the country’s 10 best (and unruliest) vert skate kids. The Tour proved a great success with all the kids skating incredibly well throughout the week.

The proof was in the pudding with Sam Beckett and Sam Bosworth both qualifying for the Men’s Pro Skate Event Final. Bosworth came in 7th out of 16 original entries and Sam Beckett came third. Sam will be a dominant force in vertical skateboarding. Watch out!

At the Vans Summer Session Pool Gap, featured at Unleashed, Matt Crowhurst scooped the Best Trick Prize. The stunning pool gap constructed for the music site holds 200,000 gallons of water and was the playground for some of the country’s biggest and best wakeboarders including Jonty Green, Marc Rossiter and James Young.

The final action sports contest of the festival, the Vans Summer Sessions was completed after a fierce weekend of competition. After Saturdays qualifiers 10 skaters progressed to today’s final. All the guys were skating really well to claim their share of the $20,000 purse.

Standouts in heat one included Jussi Korhonen and the ever dangerous Terence Bougdour, a 2 time winner of the event. Heat 2 featured Aussie Renton Millar and youngster Sam

Beckett who were wowing the crowd with some of the best skating ever seen in this country.

Before the results were announced there was just time for a best trick contest whih was won by Renton. The final placings saw Sam Beckett in third, Terence Bougdour second and Renton Millar take the victory and a total of $7000. Not bad!


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