British juniors are put to the test at training camp
THE BRITISH junior surf squad were back in Croyde at the weekend for their second training camp of the year.
They were again hosted at Baggy Lodge where they were able to warm up following the brutally cold conditions down on the beach.
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Twenty-one surfers ran through heat practices and theory as well as torturous fitness training and assessments.
With a place on the team to represent Britain at the World Junior Championships in Nicaragua in June at stake, it was obvious they were serious and there were massive improvements in the fitness tests from the last get-together.
Will Bailey, returning from a broken ankle, showed great form as he joined up with the squad for the first time.
Another North Devon rider coming back from injury, Taz Knight, who has had knee surgery, topped the under-18 boys' rankings by the end of the camp.
Lucy Campbell was also with the group for the first time and the all-round athlete was the girl to beat in the fitness testing.
Team manager John Ellis and assistant coach Damon Beveridge, both from Braunton, know all about the North Devon contingent's strengths and weaknesses.
Beveridge said: "North Devon has seven surfers in the squad, with five of them young enough to qualify for the next three world junior events.
"North Devon has been known for producing top-quality surfers for years.
"It's not just because of the quality of waves on offer, our local juniors all work very hard for their place and, with surfing progressing each year as a professional sport, they have had to.
"They all train on a daily basis, both in the water and out, as well as maintaining a healthy diet, which is vital for staying fit and for quick recoveries from inevitable injuries like Will Bailey recently went through."
There are high hopes of seeing a GB team in Nicaragua with a strong North Devon presence.
To follow the team, visit their page at surfinggb.com