Difficult decisions had to be made by race organiser Mark Ressel at the Icon Classic Ski Race off the North Devon coast to ensure the safety of the 54 competitors.

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Due to the blustery conditions, the race start was moved from Woolacombe to Combe Martin and the 16km route ran to a mile beyond Ilfracombe’s Tunnels Beach and then returning to the finish at Combe Martin. Paddlers reported tough and challenging conditions due to a four to six feet swell, 20mph gusting winds and driving rain showers.

Cornwall’s Glen Eldridge claimed a hat trick of victories in the open category, winning the third Icon Classic Ocean-Ski race in an impressive time of 1hour 16minutes.

Tarryn Brown from St Ives won the ladies race in 1hour 29minutes, while local legend Colin Smith won the Masters race in 1hour 26minutes.

Jim Ross and Scott Hynds won in a double ski in 1hour 21minutes.

A special category was introduced for a surf life saving specification ski and this was won by Andy Byatt in 1hour 27minutes.

Medals were presented by Councillor Andrew Jay from Combe Martin Parish Council.

Open: 1, Glen Eldridge 1:16:01; 2, Ben Farrell 1:16:50; 3, Luis Ventura (Portugal) 1:18:53.

Ladies: 1, Tarryn Brown 1:29:50; 2, Jenna Ferris 1:32:37; 3, Chloe Bunnett 1:34:36.

Masters: 1, Colin Smith 1:25:58; 2, Ian Timbrell (Australia) 1:28:10; 3, Simon Dark 1:29:50.

Doubles: 1, Jim Ross and Scott Hynds 1:20:54; 2, Michael Wright and Tom Daniels 1:23:24; 3, Pirran Shelly and Tristram Turner 1:29:35.

Open Spec Ski: 1, Andy Byatt 1:27:20; 2, Nick East 1:29:35; 3, Simon Lawrence 1:41:39.

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