Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cornwall Hosts the 11th World Bellyboard Championships

If you thought the West Country was full of resident and visiting surfing fanatics, wait until you witness the World Bellyboard Championships.

That’s right, bellyboard. Traditional wooden bellyboards are ridden in the surf. No wetsuits, no leashes, just, well, bellies, swimsuits and boards!

The Championships are open to all, with online registration for new users opening on 1st August. It takes place at Chapel Porth Beach, St Agnes, and is run by the National Trust, in memory of Londoner Arthur Traveller, who loved visiting that particular spot with his wooden board. This year – the 11thyear of the event – it will be held on Sunday 8th September and more than 300 participants are expected.

"We are delighted to once again welcome visitors to take part in this unique event at one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall and therefore the world," commented Bill Makin, the National Trust Head Ranger who looks after Chapel Porth Beach.

"Our Mid Cornwall team, based in St Agnes, will once again be pulling out all the stops to make this small part of Cornwall the centre of the bellyboarding world."

The WBBC, as it is known, is a fun event but a world title is at stake. Some like to wear vintage swimming costumes and there is even a prize for the Best Swim Cap. Points are awarded in eight categories: World Champion, The King Arthur Challenge Cup, Over 60s, Under 60s and Youngsters. Style and design are also important, with awards for Best Finish, Best Patina, Best Paint, Best Artwork, Best Vintage, Longest Ride, Most Stylish, Best Trick, Spirit of Belly Boarding and the Long Distance Award.

Judges are looking for smooth directional changes, innovative manoeuvres, finesse and enjoyment levels. For traditionalists, the Arthur Traveller Challenge Cup rewards a more conventional style.

If you are an entrant, be sure to arrive before 10am on the day so you can check the board for your heat time.

There is no parking at Chapel Porth on the day but a shuttle bus will run between St Agnes Head and the event.

To plan your next visit to the West Country and to find a holiday home, go to