Whilst the PWA competitors battle it out in Hawaii the UK’s finest took to a small beach in deepest Cornwall (South West of England) to take on the biggest storm of the last 26 years and fight for the British title.
Phil Horrocks was victorious after a tough battle through the double elimination, where he took down local Andy King in a massive super final to take the event win and the British title. Horrocks also beat the likes of Ben Proffitt, Timo Mullen and many more top level pro riders, proving just how high the standard of the UK riders at the moment.
Boardseeker catches up with Horrocks after his outstanding win, plus we will have the Boardseeker podcast from this epic event coming up very soon so check out the gallery of teaser shots, showing a little of what you can expect…
We went straight into the double and the conditions went off the scale!! I don’t remember waves that size at a Cornwall event… ever?!!
Going into the Cornwall BWA event, did you think you could take the title?
For sure I knew I was in with a shout, I knew that last year too and I managed to flame a 5 point lead or whatever it was. So, I actually preferred to know that I had to go there and try and win it rather than looking over my shoulder.
I know I’ve had the skills to do it for a number of years now, it’s just a case of pulling it all together at the right time.
I’ve always liked sailing in good conditions, I like it when it’s big waves, gnarly and you really challenge yourself, so it was really fun to compete here in Cornwall in the epic conditions we had this time around. How many comps over the years have been decided in dodgy 5.7 and small waves… it’s nice to win the good one when it comes along!
How does it feel to be British champion?
I’m really happy to be British champion, it’s pretty cool to have achieved it, finally! To be honest, winning it didn’t initially mean that much to me, the best thing about it was having my family there to watch and to see how happy they were when I won! Maike and my 3 month old daughter Keira were there, my brother, his wife, their son, and my mum and dad all came down to watch, to win it for them was epic!
Can you give us a round up… what was hardest heat, what were the conditions like, what equipment were you using?
The Friday conditions were fun, it was mostly onshore 5.0m weather with a hint of starboard and there were some nice waves to be had, I actually really enjoyed it and managed to stay in the elimination ladder until the wind dropped.
We were back on on big Sunday and I sailed a pretty good heat against Timo to make it to the final of the single, unfortunately I couldn’t repeat that against Andy King who was shredding so I had to settle for 2nd.
We went straight into the double and the conditions went off the scale!! I don’t remember waves that size at a Cornwall event ever?!!
Mast high barreling waves onto the sandbar! It was pretty epic. My brother Dave had an epic charge back through the double elimination, for a while I genuinely thought it might be him I face in the fight backs of the double elimination.
In the end it was Timo who fought back but I had probably my best heat of the day, I caught a couple of waves that opened up and I could get clean open face turns linked with nice airs, I got a 9.5 for one or two of the waves I heard later, so they must have been ok.
Andy King was the man in the final, I had to beat him twice to win, I used the same tactic of catching waves that offered turns and big air finish, rather than just a big air and in the end it seemed to pay off; although, at the end I was getting drawn away from my game plan and had a few big airs too!! It was nasty though, mast high and barreling, you could see the sand being sucked up the wave face! You just have to time it to perfection and hope! I think the photos will tell the story I hope.
What clinched the final for you do you think?
Choosing the right wave and going for it, my mum offered me some nuggets of advice on Tiree about sailing my heat that I’ve had in my head since and it seems to work!!
What are you plans now for the rest of the year? And going into 2014?
I’m hoping Chile is on, and then rhere’s a little Cape Town trip planned too, other than that it’s mostly working I’m afraid!!