World Belly Board Championships set to make a splash at Perranporth

Lifeboats News Release

The annual World Belly Board Championships will be taking place on Sunday 8 September this year at Perranporth beach, where competitors will take to the waves on traditional wooden boards to raise money for the RNLI and celebrate surf heritage.

RNLI/Luke Dimech

2018 World Belly Board Championships

The World Belly Board Championships celebrate traditional surfing on wooden belly boards and the event is being organised by the RNLI to raise money for the charity’s vital lifeguard and lifeboat services.

The championships started at Chapel Porth in 2003 as a celebration in memory of Arthur Traveller, who visited the area every year to surf the waves with his traditional wooden belly board. Since then, the event continued to grow and the championships are now held at Perranporth beach, where 200 people compete in the water to enjoy the traditional sport and raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea.

On the day itself participants will compete in a series of heats to demonstrate their traditional surfing skills and, as the event celebrates surf heritage, there will also be prizes for the best period swimming costume and the best decorated board.

With the Watering Hole bar hosting the event, spectators can treat themselves to a drink from Skinner’s Brewery - the event’s sponsors - while taking in the gorgeous beach views. There will also be a range of stalls to browse and those wishing to learn more about the rich history of the belly boarding tradition can visit the surf heritage exhibition at Perranzabuloe Museum in Perranporth, which will be open on the day.

Martyn Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor in Perranporth and co-founder of the event, said:

‘The World Belly Board Championships are a celebration of the real old-fashioned style of surfing which goes back to the early twentieth century when people began to travel more and brought back the idea for surfing from other countries.

‘The day is not just about the belly boarding but also the social aspect of exchanging stories and meeting people from all corners of the world while raising money for a great cause!’

Notes to editors

  • Please find attached an image of the World Belly Board Championships from 2018.

  • Images of this years event will be available after the event.

  • If you would like to cover the event please contact Amy or Marianne on the numbers below

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Marianne Quinn, RNLI Media Engagement Placement at Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or Amy Caldwell RNLI Regional Media Manager at amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk or 07920818807

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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