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Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Thursday, 26 August 2010 15:23 UK
The World Bellyboarding Championships
The event has gone truly global in recent years with entrants from Australia, New York, San Francisco and British Virgin Islands
The event has gone truly global in recent years with entrants from Australia, New York, San Francisco and British Virgin Islands

The World Bellyboard Championship is a celebration of how surfing began in Britain more than a century ago.

Surfers of all ages gather together on Chapel Porth beach near St Agnes with wooden belly boards to ride.

Surfers from as far away as New York, Denmark and Australia have taken part in the event in previous years.

Now in its 8th consecutive year, the event is organised and hosted by the National Trust.

The event has gone truly global in recent years with entrants from Australia, New York, San Francisco and British Virgin Islands.
Robyn Davies, contest director

The celebration of all things connected with the art of traditional wooden board riding is held on the first Sunday in September.

Two friends came up with the idea for the event in 2002, to remember a holidaymaker from London, the late Arthur Traveller, who used to bring his wooden board to Chapel Porth every year.

Keen surfers Chris Ryan, who's the National Trust Car Park Attendant at the beach, and Martyn Ward, an RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, have seen their creation take off from its small beginnings.

Robyn Davies, contest director and NT surf guru says, "The World Belly Board Championship celebrates all that is good about surfing! This event brings a communal stoke factor back to an ever growing sport.

Competitors race for the waves
Competitors race for the waves

"The National Trust feel it's really important to highlight the pressures put on the coast and the beaches and what better way of doing this than by dusting down your old plywood stick, grabbing your brand new shaped model or unveiling your homemade creation and heading down the beach for a whole load of fun!"

The first surfers in Britain are believed to have been soldiers returning from the Great War in the 1900s. Stories of surfing from South Africa, Australia and Hawaii led them to copy the Hawaiian wooden 'Paipo' boards, which had no fins.

When Captain James Cook and his botanist Joseph Banks sailed into the Hawaiian Islands in 1778 they recorded sightings of natives riding waves stood on wooden boards.

Records show that it wasn't until the late 19th century that Hawaiian surfers travelled to California and ridden waves.

Essential Information

Chapel Porth, Cornwall - Sunday 5 September

There will be no parking or space to drop off at Chapel Porth car park on the day of the competition.

Alternative parking can be found in the area at Wheal Coates car park and St Agnes Head. There will be a free shuttle bus between St.Agnes village (library car park) and Chapel Porth.

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