World Belly Board Championships make a splash for the RNLI
The annual World Belly Board Championships took place at Perranporth beach on Sunday (8 September) with hundreds of competitors taking to the waves on traditional wooden belly boards to celebrate surf heritage and raise money for the RNLI.
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 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 nearly 200 people compete in the water to enjoy the traditional sport and raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea.
Yesterday participants competed in a series of heats to demonstrate their traditional surfing skills alongside the much coveted prizes for the best period swimming costume and the best decorated board.
Martyn Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor in Perranporth and original co-founder of the event, said:
‘Conditions on Sunday were perfect, warm autumnal sunshine and a small wave, giving the competors chance to show of their belly boarding skills. It was great to see so many people, from all corners of the world, coming together to celebrate the history of surfing, exchange stories and meet other people.
Huge thanks to all the spectators and supporters who came along to cheer the surfers on, our sponsors at Skinners Brewery and the RNLI lifeguards providing safety cover. It was a fantastic, fun, family atmosphere on the beach and amazing that we were also raising money for such a great cause.’
Notes to editors
Please find attached a number of images taken at this years World Belly Board Championships. Please credit RNLI/Will Dax for all
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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 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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