New Severn Bore record
Wednesday, Apr 12th
When I, Matt Hammersley, Tom Wright and Danny Cartwright formed the Boreriders Club in Autumn 1997 and Tom created the Boreriders Website, little did we realise where it would lead (Extract 6, last paragraph, Still Stoked Lifestyle Guide to Van Life). We didn't know Steve King or Dave Lawson and I referred to these long distance wave riders simply as the "Record Breakers". No attempts were ever made in the lower river in the 10 years or so that Dave dominated the record and during the epic 1997 bores when the wave between Epney and Maisemore was averaging in many lengths 1.5 to 2 meters and peaking here and there at 3 meters, Steve's attempt was foiled by a bow wave from a boat. The conditions two weeks ago were approaching those I talk about in the Extra Feature - The Making of Longwave, needed to create the opportunity for a great ride and record in the lower river.
Surfers, both local and travellers, have been surfing at Newnham for decades. Dave James of Lydney has been on and off the wave with his surfboard for 25 years, so we can't claim anything new and Longwave tells it all through the interviews with these guys. None the less it is down to that small group of late 90's boreriders who pioneered the channels in the Newnham district discovering what can or can't be done in terms of long distance rides. To start with we argued whether or not Boatyards could be surfed standing through to the Newnham Channel and since those days Tom, Steve, Toby and others have achieved it. We've pioneered the miles of river in the dangerous downstream sections below Newnham and I believe my closing remarks in Longwave that the day will come when the bore will be ridden for some awesome distance are highlighted by Steve's latest achievement.
So, what of Steve King's latest record ride on the Severn bore? Dismiss the usual media errors, which do now seriously confirm doubts for the London Press' claimed distance for Col. Jack Churchill's first ride in 1955. On Saturday 1st April 2006, Steve King rode from the Strand Rocks to an undefined spot at the entrance to the Bollow Straight, virtually a mirror ride of Rodney Sumpter's epic ride and first entry in the Guinness Book of Records back in 1967. The outstanding part of Steve's achievement was to surf through from Framilode to Epney and completing the often sketchy Garden Cliff section. The opportunity is still wide open to extend the record distance significantly, I might say radically by surfing from Boatyards. For the future opportunity of those yet to come and to protect the achievments of those past it is vital that record distances are correctly and exactly measured Donny Wright