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Proud Swallow's summer is made by carrying Olympic torch at Land's End

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 26, 2012

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Let there be light! One of Cornwall's brightest young surfers shone a little brighter last weekend as she proudly kicked off the Olympic torch relay from Land's End.

Tassy Swallow from St Ives, a member of the British Junior Surfing Team, was number 002, taking the flame from sailor Ben Ainslie on Saturday morning.

Tassy, who admitted to being nervous beforehand, said: "I'd seen Ben coming in and I thought I'll go and walk quite slowly, that's what Ben has done, and then the moment caught up with me and I think I ran a bit too fast – but I wouldn't change any of it.

"In years to come I hope to be sitting with my children watching the Olympics and telling them how I carried the Olympic flame. I'll keep it forever."

Having represented Britain in surfing four times, Tassy added: "Hopefully it will get surfing more recognised and who knows, it could become an Olympic sport in the future."

Something which might help to make that a reality one day was the announcement this week that the leaders of the UK Professional Surfing Association (UKPSA) and Surfing GB have reached an historic agreement over future co-operation, healing a long standing schism in the sport.

The UKPSA has operated independently of the national governing body for a number of years, with elite and professional surfers competing in events around the country for the titles. Contests run by the UKPSA have become recognised as setting the standards for efficient and professional contest management.

Surfing GB has been revitalised over the last few months by committees of dedicated volunteer surfers, led by iconic and inspirational figures such as former British and European champion Nigel Semmens.

"This is a massive step forward" said Nigel. "At last we are all pulling together, and that can only be of benefit to all surfers. I see this as being something that will be the instigation of a better future for British Surfing."

There was also news this week that three prominent Westcountry construction businesses have joined forces to support Surf Action, the Cornish charity that supports combat veterans, to move to new offices on the Heartlands project at Pool.

Midas Construction, the main contractor on the Heartlands project, has provided a free fit-out of Surf Action's new offices at Cornwall's latest attraction which combines leisure and entertainment facilities with heritage interpretation, creative industries, gardens and outdoor adventure. Construction consultancy Ward Williams have adopted Surf Action as their charity of the year and have been fundraising and promoting the charity to businesses around Cornwall.

Perhaps the brightest surfing news in the South West this week was the welcome return of the waves. The swell showed up early on Wednesday, bringing with it the summer sunshine, and as the temperatures picked up into Thursday, so did the surf, with decent waves on both north and south coasts.

Some beaches did get a thick blanket of sea mist, meaning the only way of scaling the size of the waves was to suit up and paddle out, but, by Friday, that had all burnt off, leaving small, fun conditions to cool the burnt faces.

This little run of summer swell does not look like it will last through the weekend, but we can always hope.

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