PICTURES: Naomi notches up her second world title as belly boarders brave the waves
Naomi Perkin put her own stamp of ownership on the 11th annual World Belly Boarding Championships at Chapel Porth on the North Cornwall coast – winning the Supreme Championship for the second time.
The 50-year-old doyenne of the wooden board first won the championship in 2011.
"I'm absolutely delighted," said Naomi, a homegrown champion from nearby St Ives.
The championships are a highlight of the surfing calendar in Cornwall . . . no wetsuits, traditional wooden flatboards, no fins and no leashes – just bags of enthusiasm. The 2013 efforts were acclaimed a great success by nearly 300 competitors, despite choppy, bumpy conditions, a falling tide and a very modest swell.
Job Vacancy: Plumbing & Heating Engineer RequiredView details
Trident Plumbing and Heating Services Ltd have a vacancy for a full time Plumbing and Heating Engineer.
Terms: Ring 01326 218934, email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post CV to Unit 1, Ponsharden Ind Est, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 2SG
Contact: 01326 330626
Valid until: Friday, December 20 2013
The event attracts entries from around the world, and has done much to rejuvenate flatboard surfing, which was at risk of being eclipsed, first by standing surfing, which came along 50 years ago, and then by boogie boards, which float and are easy to use.
This year's event was a far cry from the inaugural World Championships in 2002, begun by lifeguard Martyn Ward and car park manager Chris Ryan, when 20 competitors gathered for a memorial contest to Arthur Traveller, a panel beater from London who was a regular visitor to Cornwall and would bellyboard the waves of Chapel Porth whatever the weather.
This year, the event, run by the National Trust and the RNLI, was streamlined to accommodate more easily all the entries, though there was a shortfall in numbers caused by adverse weather forecasts.
"I think people from upcountry who had entered were put off from travelling down because of the bad forecasts," said Mr Ryan.
Panels of three judges presided over the heats, two heats at a time, with classes for men, women, seniors and children.
A highlight is the "expression session" at the start of proceedings, when surfers in historic beachwear make a splash for the cameras.