As I begin to drag out those musty winter woollies from the depth of my wardrobe, I feel a teeny pang of sadness for my bikini that didn’t really ever see the light of day thanks to a summer that had tried and failed…miserably. Even if the weatherman wasn’t going to at least the Rip curl Boardmasters, now hailed as Europes biggest surf, skate and music festival, managed to bring a little ray of sunshine into our lives.
The Boardmasters returned for its 27th year to Newquay from the 4th – 10th August 2008 and was no doubt the biggest event to date. Once every summer come rain or shine, swell or no swell, the festival takes over the small Cornish town and engulfs Fistral beach for an epic week of world class action sports, music, pasties and untold debauchery.
Throughout the week, apart from the bar in the Fosters beer tent, it was at the waters edge where many people lined up to watch the progress of the men’s 5* WQS surfing competition in the pretty inconsistent surf. But where were the women? I came to learn that the only ladies battling it out this year was not in the surf but in the bikini clad Zoo Boardmasters Babe competition. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed but soon got over it as I went on to watch some of the world’s top male pro surfers such as Australia’s Nathan Hedge, Ireland’s Glen hall, Germany’s Marlon Lipke and South Africa’s David Weare go head to head in the water. Home grown talents such as Oli Adams, Alan Stokes and Rip Curl’s Jayce Robinson did us proud, but it was the all Brazilian final with Pablo Paulino and Wiggolly Dantas that saw some solid surfing, with 17 year old Dantas pulling out all the stops and becoming the youngest competitor to ever win the Rip Curl Boardmasters.
Apart from the Men's Surf Contest, there were many other festivities going on during the week down at the Surf Village to keep you sick with excitement. The Vans Summer Sessions, one of the highlights of the Rip Curl Boardmasters, returned to the Fistral car park to display the best vert skate comp in the UK if not Europe. It kept the crowds more then entertained, as did the new Relentless Aerial Assault competition, won by Matt Wilkinson, who whipped out a rather dashing winning air 360.
One, or rather one’s aching liver/feet, can’t also forget the five corker, rump shaking nights that was had of live music at the Beach Sessions at Fistral Beach and Unleashed over at Watergate Bay. Killer line ups at both venues, mellow surf vibes and quality music were had thanks to the likes of Rodney P, The Nextmen, British Sea Power, Seth Lakeman, The Zutons, The Pigeon Detectives and Groove Armada, just to name a few. I feel amped if not a little exhausted just reliving the memories. So, even though we can’t count on the arrival of the sun next summer, we can at least count on the arrival of the mighty Ripcurl Boardmasters. Make sure to pen this one in your diaries folks!