Cornwall - The Final Round of 2012

ROUND 4 - England

76 competitors in 5 fleets, 82 heats, 246 judge sheets, 492 flag signals, 1148 judging minutes and 30 pasties eaten by the judge team. Gwithian 2012 was another year of records including a record ladies fleet of 16. The event was supported by Puravida, Sandsifter, Oxbow, NoLimitz Masts and Redhanded TV.

The final round of the 2012 produced one of the most exciting finishes to a Championship we have ever witnessed. With standings so close after Tiree most of the tour leaders were on very shaky ground. And as the starboard tack conditions settled into Gwithian over 3 days, the titles for all fleets went down to the wire.

Phil Horrocks (Gaastra, Tabou, Chinook), went into the final round with a healthy lead on the pack. He just needed to make the final round to secure the championship for the 1st time. And after an amazing 1st round performance, the judges were sure Phil would go all the way. But it was not to be as he failed to progress far in the single and blew his chances in the double. Timo Mullen (Starboard) and Andy King forged ahead but fell to the Chambers (JP, Neil Pryde) and Proffitt (Simmer,Simmer,Oshea). But the biggest surprise of the day was James Cox (Ezzy, Big Salty). The gentle giant and popular competitor is one of the few pros who manages to run his own full-time company leaving little time to train to the same level as guys he competes against. But that didnt stop James from putting in an amazing 1st round performance and solid double elimination fight taking down last year's champion, Ben Proffitt in style. But in the final he came up against Jamie Hancock (Gaastra, Tabou) who had already excelled in his favourite Starboard conditions in the single elimination. 
The scene was set for an amazing final. Jamie already had enough points to win the Championship but he still fought hard to beat Cox into 2nd place and take both the England round and 2012 Championship title. 

Cornwall 2012 saw a record ladies fleet of 16 ladies. BWA Tour Manager, Nigel Treacy commented "we are delighted to see so many females competing. 5 years ago we were seeing number dropping so low that the ladies fleet was at risk of dying. Since we took over and with the help of FLO editor Amy Carter we have seen growth in numbers but more encouragingly a sharp rise in ability. It can't be long before British Ladies make their mark on the PWA tour".

The Ladies double elimination had the judges and spectators on the edge of their seats. New girl  Ling Ping created the first upset knocking Sophia Gilje (North, Fanatic, ION) down on the first round and in the double elimination Sara Kellett nearly went all the way with a stand out performance she moved from 9th to 4th position. But the main fight was always going to be between Debbie Kennedy (Hot Sails Maui) and Justyna Sniady who came into this final event with only 1.3 point between them. Both were willing to lay it all on the line to win the event and Championship and that soon became evident as Justyna Sniady, recovering from a broken foot hobbled to the start line after crashing into rocks on the previous day. Debbie also struggled with painful arm cramps in the cold waves. In the semi final Justyna failed to find enough waves and Debbie secured win over Justyna and the overall championship. It was clear by the final of this event as Debbie went out to sail against event leader Sarah Bibby, she was close to exhaustion and a freshly rested Bibby completed a clinical win. Event win to Bibby, overall Championship title to Debbie Kennedy. Commiserations to Justyna Sniady after a difficult year of injuries she is sure to be back with a vengeance in 2013

In 2010 BWA introduced a relegation system ensuring  the top 2 Ams in any year progress to the Pros fleet in the following season. There was a great deal at stake here for tour leaders Alfie Hart, Ian Ross and Tom Bennett Lloyd.
After a hectic 2011 Cornwall event the Ams fleet also capped at 32 entries. 

Ian Ross was unable to contend for the event as he was committed to the judging panel allowing Alfie a relatively trouble free opportunity to secure the Championship. But it was soon clear that the level of the top Ams was not far off the Pros and Alfie had to work hard to secure an event win over Emile Kott, Adam Cropper and Tom Bennett-Lloyd.  
This win also secured the Overall 2012 Amateur Championship for Alfie Hart and even with a missed event, Ian 'Chuckie' Ross still carried enough points to finish vice Champion. Both Alfie and Ian are awarded promotion to the Pro's fleet in 2013

We went into this event with only 1.3 separating Big Davey Edmiston and Dave White in the 2012 Masters Championship.

Local boy Justin Dennington was the stand out performer of the masters with a win in the single in his very first event. After the single elimination Dave White was sat in 2nd position for the event and with Edmiston in 4th it looked like White would take the Championship with 2 points clear. But on the final day the waves and wind arrived and forced the competitors to battle it out in the double. It went right down to the wire with a nailbiting finish. Cruely, the wind and waves stayed long enough for Edmiston to gain a critical advance but then dropped before Whitey got a chance to go further. Event win to new Master Justin Dennington, 2nd place to Dave White and Big Davey Edmiston took the overall Championship for 2012.

The youths Championship was a close run battle between Tris Levie and Luke Raistrick.

Over the 2 days the youths were on standby for most of the time as the judges struggled to find suitable time and conditions for the youngsters to show their skills. And on the final day, Head Judge Duncan Coombes threw them into the lions pit at Peter's Point. As other adult fleets struggled with the challenging waves, these 3 young guns rose to the challenge and battled through 3 more rounds. Head PWA Judge was notably impressed with the level and commented that he expects to see these young faces at PWA World events in the not too distant future. A very big well done to young Freddie Ide who qualifies to compete at junior level but managed to look at home with the youths.On the day, Scottish lad Tris Levie pulled out 3 impressive wins to secure the overall event win and Championship title for 2012. 

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