When: 2nd September 2012
Where: The National Trust owned Chapel Porth beach in St Agnes, Cornwall
£: Free (donations very welcome)
What is it?
Taking place at the National Trust owned Chapel Porth beach in St Agnes, Cornwall on Sunday 2nd September is a very special 10th anniversary celebration. The World Bellyboard Championships is a unique celebration of a surfing culture which has been a part of the great British seaside traditions since the 1920s. The first surfing of this type which we now call ‘Bellyboarding’ is thought to have started in the very early 1900s when a form of the Hawaiian ‘paipo’ board was copied by British soldiers returning from the Great War.
This much loved and well practised prone surfing on wooden boards has grown in popularity ever since and it’s simple, basic traditions remain the same today. In recent years thanks to the Champs, bellyboarding has received a platform to showcase individuals’ extraordinary talent and enthusiasm for riding these boards. It’s true to say that what started as a small memorial gathering of friends and family of Arthur Traveller, a panel beater from London who surfed on a plywood board at Chapel Porth, has become a creative celebration in the art of prone wooden surf riding. The ‘King’ Arthur Challenge Cup is still presented today.
The National Trust is now instrumental in organising and hosting the Champs and looks forward to Septembers’ 10th anniversary party at Chapel Porth. Contributors and competitors will gather in their hundreds to share stories, display boards, eat cake and go surfing with like minded people from Truro, Swansea and New York!
The National Trusts’ care of Chapel Porth and it’s surrounding dramatic landscape means that it has changed little over the past 50 yrs. It provides a perfect back drop for the vintage atmosphere, authenticity and characters of the World Bellyboard Championships.