World title is as much about style as guile
Bellyboarding enthusiasts from the world over will descend on St Agnes for a day that has been billed as a celebration of British eccentricity.
The 11th annual World Bellyboard Championships will take place at Chapel Porth beach on the North Cornish coast on Sunday.
The event, which is organised by the National Trust, has grown into a pilgrimage for surfers who choose to ride traditional plywood or wooden-construction boards.
Event director and National Trust ranger Nick Holden said: "The Bellyboard Championship continues to inspire all involved with its simple, communal approach to surfing.
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"A small wooden board and your best bathers is all you need to enjoy the thrill of riding waves. We're hoping that, once again, competitors and boards will arrive in their hundreds."
As well as crowning a world champion, prizes are awarded for the wooden boards themselves and the best swimwear.
John Isaac, stalwart wooden board rider, renowned plywood evangelist and winner of the 2012 Spirit of Bellyboarding award, said: "The day is truly a celebration of British eccentricity combined with a genuine love of splashing about in the sea on little bits of wood.
"A competition where woollen swimwear is awarded and sliding shoreward applauded – you'll never forget it."
The day will also provide a chance for enthusiasts to meet the team behind the publication of an original surfing instructional booklet.
Surf-riding made easy, a 16-page instructional booklet, has been re-published by the Original Surfboard Company.
Sally Parking, who set up the company in 2008, said she discovered a second-hand version of the book dated to the 1950s.
She said: "I have not been able to find any reference to it by other surf historians – which leads me to believe this is the rarest surf-riding book of all.
"For me, however, the most special aspect of this book is that while the language and illustrations evoke a charming bygone era, the advice it gives is excellent and still just as useful today as it was 50 years ago."
Online entries are now open. For more information, visit www.bellyboarding. co.uk