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Wave Project Surf Challenge gives competitors chance to showcase talents

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 23, 2012

Fistral beach yesterday

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I went to watch the UK's first surfing competition for people with learning disabilities, held at Newquay's Fistral Beach yesterday.

The Wave Project Surf Challenge was the first event of its kind, and showcased the surfing talents of some exceptional surfers, all of whom have a learning disability.

It was amazing to see so many competitors enjoying the fun contest, and I certainly underestimated the level of surfing ability that some of them clearly had.

Although the waves were not really playing fair, with a big, messy swell making it almost impossible for any surfer to find a clean face, the sun did co-operate and everyone enjoyed a great day on the beach.

The current summer showers make perfect conditions for going to the cinema, and next week sees the tour of Westcountry cinemas by award-winning surf film-maker Jack McCoy's new film A Deeper Shade of Blue.

McCoy has been capturing the surfing vision like never before – using a high-powered underwater jet scooter to travel along behind the wave to create a unique set of exciting new images.

Being able to travel up to 15km per hour underwater, McCoy's HD camera is mounted to the top of the scooter and is designed to be able to tilt up or down as well as spin 360 degrees to allow him to get whatever angles he sees fit at the time.

"The first thing the audience feels is that you're travelling underwater enjoying the view," he said. "In the gin clear waters of the tropics you get to see the wave, the reef and the surfers performing their dance from under and behind the wave like never before."

The results are a first for surfing cinematography and the images are nothing short of spectacular.

Meanwhile, sheltered spots this morning might hold a half decent wave, but by tomorrow the wind will be back to westerly, making the surf very messy and certainly not like Jack McCoy is used to.

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