Braunton's Garin Clay wins in first surf contest of 2013
THE NORTH Devon coast has been awash with waves in recent weeks.
The abundance of surf was probably more than the most optimistic surfer could have expected.
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For once, the swell hung around for most of the weekend, so those who hadn't managed to play hooky during the week were able to snag a few.
As the temperature has dropped in the last few days, the blazing day of sun and surf enjoyed by the lucky few on Wednesday last week is starting to seem a distant memory.
Luckily, you can still catch a glimpse with the video that went viral – see page 24 for the full story and watch the video at bit.ly/VZABFo
While the north coast basked in almost double-digit temperatures, the south was more chilly as competitors in the first contest of 2013 soon found out.
South East Cornwall Surf Club, holders of the British Interclubs open crown, kicked off the new year with a frigid surfing celebration.
Now in its sixth year, the Ice Cube has established itself as a pre-season competition warm-up – or maybe that should be a cold-up.
A lone North Devon combatant managed to tough it out and kick off their 2013 season in winning style.
Garin Clay, the 2012 UK Pro Tour under-12 champ from Braunton, made the pre-dawn dash down south, with help of the dad taxi, and managed to luck into the best conditions of the day.
Following a shore-break showdown that was pretty funny and saw destruction left, right and centre, the juniors hit the water.
'G-man' scored a right-hander with two top turns, linked with a cutback, then a racy left – easily enough to claim the handcrafted oak Ice Cube Trophy and a bulging goody bag. He also somehow ended up with a lifesized cutout of Kelly Slater.
Hopefully it is a good sign for the new year for Garin, but you will have to keep an eye on the groms snapping at his heels who couldn't make the journey.
Croyde Surf Club is holding its annual meeting at The Manor, in Croyde, on Saturday, January 26.
The club is keen to encourage new committee members and involve more community members.
Visit www.croydesurfclub.com for more information.