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It's six in a row for North Shore Surf Club at Gathering of the Clans


By Alan Hendry

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The victorious North Shore Surf Club team with the Gathering of the Clans sword and quaich. Picture: Malcolm Anderson
The victorious North Shore Surf Club team with the Gathering of the Clans sword and quaich. Picture: Malcolm Anderson

Far north surfers have continued their dominance of Scotland's inter-club championship by winning the Gathering of the Clans title for the sixth time in a row.

Thurso-based North Shore Surf Club (NSSC) finished top out of eight clubs in the two-day competition held at Pease Bay, near Dunbar.

Mark Boyd, one of the seven-strong North Shore team, was thrilled with their latest victory while acknowledging that other clubs are closing the gap.

"Everyone is delighted," Boyd said. "The competition is getting stiffer – it was a bit closer this year than it had been in previous years. But we still did well, we had some good results and a few wins in some of the divisions."

NSSC finished on 6610 points, ahead of Belhaven Surf Club on 5575, with Broch Surf Club close behind in third place on 5560.

North Shore surfers won three of the individual categories. Boyd took the honours in the open men's division, Phoebe Strachan topped the standings in the open women and Craig McLachlan led the way in junior boys.

McLachlan was also runner-up in the open men's competition, while Dylan Fogarty-MacDonald was runner-up in the masters section for over-35s. Olivia Mackay took fourth place in open women.

Also competing for NSSC were Chris Clarke (longboard) and Voe Brock (junior girls).

North Shore Surf Club's Mark Boyd on his way to victory in the open men's division at the Gathering of the Clans event. Picture: Malcolm Anderson
North Shore Surf Club's Mark Boyd on his way to victory in the open men's division at the Gathering of the Clans event. Picture: Malcolm Anderson

Surfing conditions were excellent by Sunday, Boyd explained.

"It was pretty stormy and big on Saturday, and obviously torrential rain like it was everywhere," he said. "But the conditions were really fantastic on Sunday.

"It was raining in the morning and the rain then started to disappear and the waves were perfect all day."

Asked about the key factors in NSSC's success, Boyd said: "We've got a pretty tight-knit club that push each other a lot and help each other as far as progressing our surfing is concerned.

"The club is really active with the juniors as well and bringing them on. It's all the work that the club does.

"We're probably quite lucky as well that Thurso attracts folk that are really into surfing."

Phoebe Strachan took on team captain duties as the North Shore "clan chief".

She said: “I was delighted to be clan chief for a second year. We had a really strong team this year and had Dylan Fogarty-MacDonald making his debut appearance.

"The competition was a lot tougher this year with Belhaven nipping at our heels but we all surfed well and proved we were still the ones to beat. I am extremely proud that the club holds on to the sword and quaich for a sixth year in a row.

"Part of this also goes down to all the behind-the-scenes work that the club does with the juniors. Also a big thank-you to Neil Simmons, who represented the club to judge at the weekend – often a thankless task but from everyone involved in the competition a much appreciated one.”

Craig McLachlan of North Shore Surf Club was the junior boys' winner and open men's runner-up at Pease Bay. Picture: Malcolm Anderson
Craig McLachlan of North Shore Surf Club was the junior boys' winner and open men's runner-up at Pease Bay. Picture: Malcolm Anderson

The eight competing teams at the Scottish Surfing Federation event included two from the host club, Belhaven.

Overall team results: 1 NSSC, 6610 points; 2 Belhaven Surf Club, 5575; 3 Broch Surf Club, 5560; 4 Edinburgh and Borders Surf Club, 4905; 5 Lossie Surf Club, 4185; 6 Belhaven Surf Club 2, 4005; 7 Wave Project Scotland, 3500; 8 Aberdeen Surf Club, 2065.

Individual results (leading four) – Open men: 1 Mark Boyd (NSSC); 2 Craig McLachlan (NSSC); 3 Sebastian Jiminez (EBSC); 4 Finn Clark (EBSC).

Open women: 1 Phoebe Strachan (NSSC); 2 Clover Christopherson (BHSC); 3 Callie Cruickshank (BSC); 4 Olivia Mackay (NSSC).

Junior boys: 1 Craig McLachlan (NSSC); 2 Finn Clark (EBSC); 3 Ansel Parkin (BHSC); 4 Fraser Brown (LSC).

Junior girls: 1 Callie Cruickshank (BSC); 2 Athena Sintoris (EBSC); 3 Rosie Moore (BHSC 2); 4 Sylvie Christopherson (BHSC).

Longboard: 1 Malcolm Findlay (BSC); 2 Sam Christopherson (BHSC); 3 Donald Peace (LSC); 4 Ruaridh Farquharson (WPS).

Masters: 1 Sam Christopherson (BHSC); 2 Dylan Fogarty-MacDonald (NSSC); 3 David O’Neill (EBSC); 4 Cahal O’Hara (LSC).

A fundraiser for the Scottish team heading to the World Junior Surfing Championships in Brazil from November 24 to December 3 was held in Dunbar during the Gathering of the Clans. A book launch of Surfing Scotland: Sixty Years of Surfing in the Cold Water Kingdom, by Malcolm Findlay and Andy Bennetts, also took place and those attending were able to get signed copies.


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