THOUSANDS of music lovers, athletes, sun-worshippers and beach lovers descended on Croyde for the GoldCoast Oceanfest at the weekend. The 12th annual event was blessed with perfect summer weather that offered visitors the ideal conditions to enjoy the arr
THOUSANDS of music lovers, athletes, sun-worshippers and beach lovers descended on Croyde for the GoldCoast Oceanfest at the weekend.
The 12th annual event was blessed with perfect summer weather that offered visitors the ideal conditions to enjoy the array of world class sport alongside international and local music on show.
"We were blessed with fantastic weather, great crowds and very good ambience," said Mr Latham. "Once again we are delighted with the positive fashion in which the weekend was embraced by locals and visitors alike."
On Friday, the North Devon Gazette-sponsored Education Day - now in its sixth year - was attended by more than 1,500 young people representing 55 local schools.
The event, organised by PEDPASS with support from around 150 young leaders, gave pupils the chance to take part in beach games, orienteering events and attend workshops and presentations in the main Oceanside Croyde Arena.
While the masses of schoolchildren clearly enjoyed the day, the event received a further thumbs in the form of a School Sport Partnership "Leading the Legacy" accolade, awarded by the Youth Sport Trust, the body that supports school sport partnerships on behalf of Department for Education and Department for Culture Media and Sport.
On the beach on Saturday, more than 200 volleyball players took part in the Parkdean Holidays Beach Volleyball competition.
Players competed on 24 courts, packing the beach from the river to the rocks.
"If the event keeps growing this way, they will be stretching to Down End in another five years," said Denise Austin, who retained the Queen of the Beach title by beating Gaby Medricka in an epic top-two shoot-out, the fourth time they have met in the final.
"It was the best final ever for the spectators - tense, amazing rallies, controversy, drama," added Denise.
Other beach events on Saturday included the Legacy Elite Ironman and Diamond Lady Knockout events and the Island Tribe North Devon Aquathlon.
On Sunday, Woolacombe's Nick Thorn won his fifth Cushe Big Boy Paddle Race, heading a field of 17 competitors as he made the paddle from Saunton to Croyde in 20 minutes 48 seconds.
In the Thatcher's Gold Men's Beach Soccer, Average Joe's took the men's title, while Superstar Allstars won the women's competition.
Throughout the weekend, music lovers were able to catch a host of top local and international acts including The Magic Numbers, the headline act on Saturday night.
Other popular Oceanfest attractions included skateboard action on the vert ramp and spectacular trials riding displays by Animal Bike Tour legends Martyn Ashton and Sam Pilgrim.
"We are hugely appreciative of all the support we enjoyed from the residents of Croyde," added Mr Latham.
"We'd also like to thank the professional and service agencies; our sponsors; the athletes who participated; the musicians who performed; and our brilliant team of staff and volunteers."
GoldCoast Oceanfest Beach Sports Results
Goldcoast Inter-club Nipper Challenge
Thatchers Gold Men's Beach Soccer
Winners: Average Joe's
Thatchers Gold Women's Beach Soccer
Winners: Superstar Allstars
Parkdean Holidays Beach Volleyball
Queen of the beach: Denise Austin
Runner-up: Gaby Medricka
King of the beach: Daniel Maranhao
Runner-up: Jan Kucherko
Surf South West Surfing Toedipper
Surf Star of the Future: Ruben Gray
Legacy Elite Ironman/Diamond Lady
1st Freddie Hedger
2nd Joe Wall
3rd James Bunney
1st Dan Humble
2nd Robbie Sandbach
3rd George Haynes
Joint 1st Josie Williams/Mesha Wardman
2nd Kirsten Watts
3rd Grace Clarke
1st Ellie Parker
2nd Holly Hawkey
3rd Jenna Hawkey
Island Tribe North Devon Aquathlon
Men - Youth
1st Christian Brown
1st David Bartlett
2nd Iain Hinds
3rd Mark Lewarne
Men Vets 40+
1st Phil Parsons
Men Super Vets 50+
1st Dick Congdon
Men Vintage Vets 60+
1st Andy Ward
1st Dani Perks
2nd Ellen Riswhite
3rd Fern Kates
Women Vets 40+
1st Paula Robinson
Women Super Vets 50+
1st Susan White
Goldcoast Relay Event
Peter Dyer and Chris Stone
Cushe Big Boy Paddle Race
1st Nick Thorn (20min 48secs)
2nd Gary Sinkivicious (21.43)
3rd Greg Norman (22.46)
4th Andrew Byatt (23.05)
5th Zak Lawton (23.20)
North Devon Gazette Education Day Beach Flags
1st Ryan Owen (Orchard Vale School, Barnstaple)
2nd Byron Day-Rogers (St Margaret's School, Northam)
3rd Olly Stephens (Southmead School, Braunton)
1st Millie Rhode (St Margaret's School, Northam)
2nd Erin Rostock (Sticklepath School, Barnstaple)
3rd Ellie Kirby (Woolacombe School)
North Devon AONB Orienteering Challenge
Filleigh Primary School (Will Ayre, Thomas Corras, Francis Huntingford, Tom Worsley and Steve Latham)