The GoldCoast Oceanfest Archive
A round dozen in terms of years and wall to wall sunshine too!
Summer solstice weekend, pre 1999. Can you remember what you were doing ? I doubt that many of us can recall. From humble beginnings in 1999 to present 2010, the founders and growing team have dedicated their efforts to give everyone a sense of comfort and ease that comes out of mutual respect for one another. The result is that special ‘GoldCoast’ vibe to which you cannot place a price. To have created something so precious means it has been continuously nurtured with a passion; requiring to be grown organically, with great care, attention and affection from the heart. A worthy progression that continues to successfully combine core values and quality, whilst uniquely maintaining a youthful mystique.
The ‘Eco Oceanfest’ ethos stands ever strong in the forefront of the event. Committed to long term care of the environment and bringing awareness of this ethos to its visitors, not to mention 45 Devon schools on Education Day; a brilliantly organised action packed day of activities and awareness , which aims to educate and inspire youngsters to look after their environment ; a positive legacy we all need reminding of!
A no more timely a reminder than our 3rd Award, this time from the Youth Sport Trust – the body who support School Sport Partnerships on behalf of Department for Education and Department for Culture Media and Sport. This time as the regional winner for the School Sport Partnership “Leading the Legacy” – Innovation awards 2009/10 under the category for “transforming competition pathways within schools” linked to the GoldCoast Oceanfest Education Day competitions for the Year 6 pupils.
Competative sports events, exciting and extreme is a pre-requisite at GoldCoast evolving over the years to appeal to and include a larger participant and audience. It is through sport that we are invited to embrace our environment, seize opportunities, compete and complete new challenges as individuals, as part of a team, but most of all acknowledging the importance of taking part as a community.
GoldCoast Oceanfest supports many local businesses; whilst maintaining excellent rapport and strong working relationships with many local causes RNLI, Shelter Box, Seize the Moment, National Trust and Croyde Surf Lifesaving Club.
Music and Oceanfest.Two words that go together like Wimbledon’s strawberries and cream! The festival vibe is only complete when the music begins. Always plenty to tempt us. A mix of contemporary, jazz, ska ,blues, acoustic, local bands, new bands – the line up never fails to bring something new to the stage. Visitors and locals alike soak up the atmosphere in total relaxation ..and like this year, when the sun shines, there is no place like home !
This is the essence of Oceanfest. Enjoying all that is on offer with friends and family. The consensus, surely, for anyone who wishes to live in the moment. Everyday is a challenge. Be part of it. Be inspired. Be part of the experience that is GoldCoast and long may it continue.
Celebrating our 11th consecutive year of the GoldCoast Oceanfest production made us feel exceptionally proud, as its creators. When looking onto the ‘GoldCoast window’ from the world, everyone recognised the festival’s continued growth in stature; still remaining ever true to its roots, whilst successfully creating and maintaining a reign of upmost quality, which is so very important to us.
The 2009 world class line up of talent on the beach and on stage prompted a positive reaction, turning the summer’s longest days into an exciting, adrenaline fuelled, inspirational life changing weekend. SURF & MUSIC is what makes our GoldCoast world tick and this combination of influential, inspirational, soul-lifting, liquid and sound waves ticked a lot of folks boxes out there too.
Mraz came on down and proved the he ‘was ours’ – for a few hours at least! Supported by the ever approachable and super mellow special guest, Newton Faulkner, the GoldCoast 2009 was packed to the edges. Perfect musicians to maintain the momentum that Donny had generated the year prior and they both kept the vibe intimate with tight performances.
Another major coup for this year was the UK premier of the iconic surf movie, Bustin’ Down the Door, featuring our childhood surf hero’s Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew (aka Bugs) doing their thing on the North Shore of Hawaii during the winter of 1975. Surfing was never to be same again! as they literally dragged surfing into the professional era and made our sport credible and mainstream. Prompted by the movie, the surfing competition took a refreshing change of course in bringing a fresh new format back into the fold. Well it is all about singles and twin fins this year, perhaps a nostalgic trip back to the 70′s, where the journey began for some of us!
It was also between events that we were finalists, and eventually runners up in the FSA Business Awards for Environmental Responsibility; our second major accolade, having won the Services to Tourism Award a year earlier.
On the summer solstice weekend of 20th – 22nd June 2008, GoldCoast Oceanfest celebrated 10 years as an award winning Surf and Music festival. Yes it is true that headlining international music talent, free surfer and all round good guy Donavon Frankenreiter crowd surfed whilst every other participant and supporter contributed on a personal level to the incremental growth of the GoldCoast phenomena. Once again the over-riding outcomes were all positive and complimentary.
It was the year that Denise Austen and Nick Thorn proudly entered into the newly created Hall of Fame as the inaugural inductees. With everything from Parkdean’s beach volleyball and the Devon Cider beach football to surf comps and skate demos – as well as the chance to try it for yourself – everyone made the most of every moment on the sand. Eco-projects with 40 of the counties schools and a celebration of the environment also helped to make it a festival with a conscience.
The sports events went off without a hitch bar one, with the reintroduction of the Nipper/Junior surf lifesaving quadrangular event. The island Tribe backed contest was between Bideford Bay, Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe; whilst the kids all stuck around to see the big guns show them how it is done as we welcomed the Ironman and Diamond Ladies surf lifesaving Legacy crew back to Croyde. Surfing saw BIC Sport sponsor the first ever all women’s contest on the GoldCoast. The women also were back with sand between the toes in the Devon Cider sponsored beach soccer after an absence of a couple of years. Sadly, for the first time in our history we had to call off an event and the casualty was the Big Boy paddle race, cancelled due to unsafe ocean conditions as determined by our esteemed colleagues at the RNLI.
In the arena the Animal MTB team once again left the crowd in awe with their fresh new offering whilst the sk8 attracted support from the district councils Supersport programme which means in 2009 we are the qualifier for the Devon Youth Games. Pete King and his SUSO sponsored King Ramps and Pro Demo team of maestros will surely be having a positive influence on performances and maybe even selection of next years up and coming Sk8 and BMX’ers. The ND Gazette schools day took another step up the growth ladder as PedPass introduced competitive elements and exploited more of the real estate on offer with orienteering events too. Once again the RAF Falcons floated onto the beach on a slightly overcast day that brightened into a bashful evenings entertainment of music and passion with everything from melow vibes to chest thumping ska.
Saturdays music line up was a whose who of the international circuit of surf musicians as the under card was filled with the likes of Ash Grunwald, Farryl Purkiss, Mick Hart, Rob Sawyer, Rupert Oxlade and then Stevie Ray got his big break when Donny called him on stage for a collaboration on ‘swing on down’. Sunday was a tad disrupted with onshore, windy conditions however the show went on, as they say!
Things are hotting up for next summers event, our 11th consecutive production. 2009 is set to be bigger and better than ever. The Oceanfest is all about good times, great music, keeping fit and looking after the environment. It’s a lifestyle thing. You’ll love it.
The 2007 GoldCoast Oceanfest has passed off with nothing but praise for the the organisation and the support services, for the largest single event in the month long North Devon festival. The RAF was in attendance with both the Red Arrows…yes the Red Arrows AND the Falcons parachute display team, literally droping in on Croyde. Early afternoon brought with it the sun. It’s rays brilliant shine ushering in the Sundowner sessions. With enthusiasm both on and off the stage, everyone immersed themselves in the groove to the sounds of local lass, Amy Newton and her band.
Saturday and Sunday went off with a bang as the main beach sports events fell into play. In the O’Neill Gromfest at Oceanfest, a surf event aimed at the grassroots talent of surfing, Harry Timson won both the U12 & U14 age groups and in the U16 category Zoe Sheath took the spoils in the girls event. Stuart Campbell edged past Toby Donachie for the spoils in the boys division. Whilst on surf, GoldCoast wish to extend a big thanks to Darren Burrett and his team of instructors at Surf South West for affording over 80 children the chance to have a first time surf experience in the GoldCoast ToeDipper.
Local waterman and recently crowned European Ironman, Nick Thorn, continued to stamp his authority on the event, with an unprecedented double on the weekend. Firstly, winning the Daily Detox Surf Aquathon on Saturday and to follow, securing his 4th Surfed Out sponsored Big Boy paddle race title on Sunday, holding off a strong international field; with Australians Dan Humble and Tom Trembath taking the minor placings – no mean feat! Credit to first junior home, Weasel Faulkner (6th overall) and a big shout out to Kathleen Spears, a pupil from Braunton School, who was first lady, (10th overall) in the Saunton to Croyde 2km sprint paddle.
Other notable performances came from local girl Denise Austen and Albrecht Glitz of Germany. Once again Queen and King of the Parkdean Beach Volleyball Open respectively, repeating their 2005 wins. Denise has now won the event 4 years in succession and 6 times in total.
The beach soccer saw a reverse in fortunes for local team GB Gallacticos who lost to the Isle of Wight Select in the 2006 final, this time beating them in a penalty shoot-out. The Brazilians dominated the golden sands on Croyde beach in the Muller Rice sponsored UK Footvolley Open, taking all three podium spots. Congratulations to Luigui Oliveira and Dirceu Nogueira for finishing the weekend on top.
In the main arena displays by former World and multiple British champion, Martyn Ashton, wooed the crowds along with his Animal Braun Cruzer tour team mate Chopper Fielding.Seeing is believing when it comes to this mini ramp master as, once again, Greg Nowak showed he has a huge bag of tricks that no one else possesses. The EA Hub was a huge hit with the younger visitors and the Extreme Sports channel have since posted the footage of those who tried out in Presenter Search.
At all times, Swatch, the official event timing partners, ensured everyone seized the seconds. On the Corona music stage the Imperial Vipers and The Beautiful Girls, presented by local station Lantern FM, lived up to their billings as support and headline acts, delivering engaging performances on Saturday evening and were amongst many bands who have requested a return GoldCoast visit.
The Sunday line up was an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, folk, surf and rock, with the ‘Rupert Oxlade’ band stealing the show. The ‘refreshing’ rain showers on Sunday evening failed to put a dampener on local lads Junction 27. Ernie and the boys brought the curtain down on a weekends events.
The new strand to the 2007 GoldCoast Oceanfest, the EcoExpo, was a real hit with all the visitors and one of the exhibitors enjoying the weekend’s success was local renewable energy company Alvesta, who have committed to assisting the GoldCoast Oceanfest 2008 and also reduce its future emissions footprint following their positive experience this year. “The combined talents of everyone involved has positively enhanced the productions status and established a secure and welcome foothold on the festival calendar,” said Organiser Warren Latham.
The year ‘Meet Me at the Pub’ flew in from Venice Beach California to headline on the main stage. GoldCoast became an ‘officially’ licensed event complying to new legislation which brought added pressure to bear for the organisers but overall guaranteed the future of the event, with backing from the community. All beach events received credible affiliation sanctioning, further cementing Oceanfest on the national sports calendar. GoldCoast Oceanfest the coolest surf and music festival in Europe!
What a great year, the sun shined and the surf boomed like never before…truly awesome conditions, good ol’ Croyde eventually living up to its reputation.Big highlights included the O’Neill British Pro Open won by O’Neill rider Uncle Sam Lamiroy an old GoldCoaster. Amy Newton’s big album launch at the Sundowner Sessions. Joss Stone was on the GoldCoast for the weekend and it was rumoured JJ was going to sing a few ditties! RedBulls’ spine ramp was groundbreaking and Chopper Fielding from the Animal posse of rippers literally flew. The field of nearly 100 athletes who entered into the Red Barn Aquathlon were just superb, another fine example of people making the effort, getting down to the beach and doing it for themselves.
Extremeboardshots.com photographed the entire proceedings so well, it isn’t an easy brief, checkout the galleries and see if your mugshot is there. Thanks to Tim Pinney and Estpix too for their photo contributions, see credits.
Everyone was still telling us how to do it. We continue to create platforms for discussion and finding ways to build relationships with all sectors of the community in North Devon. For the first time and in association with Maniac Films, the 2005 GoldCoast DVD was released. Another big step forward. A smashing 90 minutes of pure summer action, a great keepsake, documenting all the events and music from the weekend. Again we worked real hard in wrapping up the event for another year. Changes are in the air however – rock on 2006! We look forward to seeing you in sunny June.
The year of the ‘Surfboard with a computer in it’. WiFI was all awash in the extreme techno world of surfing the net and the waves. Computer giant INTEL came to the GoldCoast and the event visibly went ‘up a gear’ and took on a blue hue. Loads of press, plenty of positive exposure, and the technos loved to hate the ability that you could go ‘online’ out in the backline. Max impressions generated totaled a staggering 80 million. Joss Ash from Bude won the O’Neill Pro again and Denise Austin won Queen of the Beach and all the titles in the Beach Volleyball Midsummer Fiesta.
The Longboard Classic was a ‘doggers delight’ as the train came off the rails and we coughed up prizemoney for a demonstration final! There was drama in the BigBoy Paddle when Ben Skinner and Andrew Cotton, agreed to share the spoils, after some negotiation, when both men failed to comply with regulations – and that was without the notorious measuring stick even coming in to it. Even more impressive, Wayne Cowie & Jason de Groet shared the spoils in a team paddle from Lundy to the mainland! Yeah, 20+miles on a paddleboard, usurped only by the mighty Nick Thorn the following Monday in a solo effort, raising funds for Hospice South West, GoldCoasts chosen charity as well.
The Red Barn in Woolacombe who along with the beach owners Parkin, is the only remaining local business who continues sponsorship support, picking up the baton for the inaugural Aquathlon. On the music stage, standouts were Blackbud, who have since gone on to bigger things and then local lads Junction 27, literally came of age and cemented their status on the GoldCoast.
The 5th anniversary of the event, and the Oceanfest is still struggling to establish itself on national sporting calendars. Always ointment in the eye so far as surfers were concerned, midsummer weekend, not notorious for surf, suddenly got real popular and appeared to be on everyones fixture list. The new sewerage treatment works were finally finished in Croyde, so there was much joy to be had. Less suspicious virus diagnosis at the hospital required then and well done SAS. South West Water sponsored the 2 Bays SurfSki challenge, paddling from Woolacombe to Croyde and won by Mark Ressel. World Bike Trials Champ Petr Kraus came to town with the Animal setup and promptly broke his thumb, warming up on Friday, so Martin Ashton, recovering from a serious injury had to play by himself.
Skate came back to Croyde but this time into the main arena. SRP’s clinic got the groms dropping in for the first time. Beach Soccer entered the fray down on the beach in Croyde, beating the burn, courtesy of Island Tribe sun protection, there’s a first time for everything.
It was an end of an era for headliners C-14, who had played at GoldCoast since 2000, they were to dissolve into something else, while a Galaxy of wannabees like Billy Crawford, Jameson, and the Intenso Project brought a weird kind of energy to the coast, with dancer troupes in vanilla milkshake flavoured popconcert.
Joss Ash won the second British Pro Open surf event sponsored by O’Neill.Corona come on board as music stage sponsors in a toe dip exercise that has since resulted in deep entanglement with the Oceanfest. The first Walls Surf Boat Grand Prix is hosted in Woolacombe, whilst in Croyde, Parkdean plc the new owners of Ruda, slipped into the gap left by the departure of RCI by hosting the midsummer beach volleyball fiesta. An article titled ‘Young Guns’ written in the official programme by local photog Ester Spears, aka estpix, was prophetic in identifying an up and coming RatPack from the area who have since gone onto secure the British Schools title for Braunton Comprehensive.
The year the SKY production television crews hovered from Westward Ho! to Woolacombe filming the Super Ironman event, WPD helicopter pilot extraordinaire Francis, took that chopper everywhere, tracking the Super Ironmen all the way through the event which was eventually won by Lyle Farragher from Wales in his second attempt. Nick Thorn wins the BigBoy after deciding not to compete in the Super Ironman and he is unchallenged by Waxer who withdraws due to illness and thus loses the opportunity to win the trophy outright. Paul Barrington got a 2nd in the BigBoy, whilst visiting Saffa Michael Grendon scooped a third to make up for a bummer in the Bic sponsored One Design Longboard competition! JBrothers ‘Longer’ premiered on the GoldCoast in Woolacombe presented by Sean Watts’ Mysto Machine (RIP).
Ester Spears also flew all over the Golden Coast capturing the Oceanfest under a magnificent indigo sky. Ali Cairns smacked his head on the big vert ramp in Woolacombe and after a visit to A&E in Barnie, recovered in Red Bulls most luxurious athletes lounge ever to grace the green sword opposite the RedBarn.
Alan Stokes took the first BSA endorsed British Pro open. Sponsored by O’Neill, in the winner takes all competition, Alan was hard pushed by staunch local Ross Thomson from SaltRock in skanky on-shore conditions. It could have gone either way and probably should’ve in our opinion. The grassroots driven, O’Neill Academy, is hosted in Croyde and 200 lucky kids get the stoke. Lastly, MBUK sponsors Round 2 of the UK Biker Cross series, down Middleborough Hill! That won’t happen again – rest assured! Nor will kites be seen on Saunton competitively again but the real reasons are not so apparent.
Galaxy 101 supported the music stage and talent with another first, when the Lisa Kelly and Paul Conroy sets on saturday evening were produced as a live network broadcast. Yucca Media build the buzz with streaming action on the big screen. Saunton SLC are named Amateur sports ‘Club of the Year’ whilst club captain, Mark Ressel was voted as ‘Coach of the Year’ for all sports in Devon. We lost a very good friend too, sadly Alan Rannochan lost his battle with cancer. We will always fondly remember his friendship and the waves we shared with him in Croyde.
The ‘school fete’ year with our friends from Quiksilver, all-time heroes Jeff ‘Mr. Sunset’ Hackman and Gary Elkerton. The Grommet Series came to Croyde on GoldCoast. Unfortunately the surf didn’t! ‘Foot & Mouth’ nearly spelled the end for us all in Devon! Justin Scott and Steve Winter were the only surfers caught on film doing anything resembling a manouvre. Stokesy won his first GoldCoast title in poor conditions. Summing up after the weekend over a coffee, Phil Jarratt from Quiksilver equated the event to a summer fayre, cool – thanks Phil, there’s nothing like a bit of truth serum to get the show on the road. The groms benefitted from the event bigtime and set the precedent for the O’Neill Academy and local school Braunton Comprehensives’ eventual ascendancy towards challenging and dominating the National Schools Championships.
Waxer won the Paddle Race again, with James Yeo a comfortable 2nd place. The crowds struggled in a gnawing nor’easter, with Denise Austin organising the RCI Volleyball event on the beach, whilst Reanna Walker’s posse from Hartland entertained from a low-riding stage, in the arena.
Brother and sister act, Nick Thorn & Michelle Gammon, cleaned up in the BlackThorn sponsored Super Ironman, capturing dramatic images from the ‘chopper’ of the paddle board tussle between, Thorn, Clatworthy and Byatt as they rounded Baggy caves. Events across all beaches from Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe kept the organisers well concentrated! The Red Bull vert ramp and sk8 team made it’s first appearance in Woolacombe and captured the imagination of local businessmen and kidz alike.
The ‘Vikings’ of Crydda let the ocean festival into the fold. Probably the last year we’d see the Barnstaple Majorettes twirling their sticks then, suppose the same could said of the Utterly Butterly bi-plane. Longboarding went to Woolacombe with the Red Barn stepping in as sponsor and it was the introduction of Magnum SUPA Ironman sponsored by Walls. This event was a manic deathwish dreamt up over a few pints in the Aggie with old local lifeguard stalwart Julian Reynolds, to attract mainstream press interest. Picture this… SurfSki from Westward Ho! to Croyde via Saunton. Transition to surf rescue board on Croyde beach after a 1 km beach run, paddle to Putsborough (yeah!), run to Woolacombe, u huh… transition and suit up for a numbing 1500m surf swim. Then run in home to finish on the green sword under the Walls Magnum Arch, covered by helicopter film crew, to be aired in 9 countries over 17 TV channels. Just a pity the mainstream press just couldn’t muster the imagination.
The Island Tribe ‘Kids Tribal Challenge’ was all about grassroots as the nipper lifesavers engaged in a beach orientated mix of sandy sports action. Wayne ‘waxer’ Cowie wins the Big Boy paddle race. The Red Bull mini ramp plus Matt Pritchard and Christian Stephenson who between them brought the touring Vans sk8 possie and some other team riders arrive in the Ruda carpark. Exploiting the Stribbling manufactured half pipes and park design and a car wreck – brought in to make the sk8 park feel ambient street. SaltRock continued the relationship with the Pro expression session won by Mark ‘Igor’ Harris, and Biotribe did their tag team thing for those who were knocked out early. Kites invade Saunton Sands in a midsummer collage of earth and sea activities. Carbon 14 start their long association with the event by playing on a trailer stage next to the Lime kiln pointing out to sea, and little did we all know how a dog show and falconry display could be so disrupted by the back blast!
D-day, the first GoldCoast 2000 Ocean Festival takes place in Croyde and Woolacombe. Local brands stake their claim, with SaltRock and Tiki taking Saturday and Sunday for short and Longboarding respectively. Windy and overcast conditions result in a penalty shoot out for the shortboarders on Saturday with SaltRock’s south west area rep Phil Stanier doing the keeper duties. On Sunday onshore surf conditions produce reasonable swell and visiting Saffa Craig Cuff puts paid to long time BioTribe boyo and welsh hero Guts Griffiths best laid plans. Craig wins in the ‘no leash allowed’ final – another quirky Tiki Tim Heyland idiosyncrasy.
A strange lumo green energy drink call Sych attempted to quench thirsts but most settled for the Jose Cuervo and watched competitors slam and spike their way to the King and Queen of the beach volleyball titles. The first and last Killa Hilla sponsored by No Sweat Outdoors, was held up Challacombe Hill, exiting Woolacombe. The road was closed for the Saturday as contenders lined up on all manner of bikes. The course tested athletes of national status to the max, with the then local Royal Marine and national X -Country champ Paul Lazenby, taking the honours.
Paul Marshall a close friend of the sponsors took a huge wipeout and had to be hospitalised! We all breathed a sigh of relief when we saw him later that evening supping a pint of the amber nectar in Billy Budds. Paul has come round in the GoldCoast story as the man who oversees all things on the schools day at the Oceanfest, and he has had a huge and positive impact on the growing success of this much respected aspect of the Oceanfest delivery. So just remember if you bump your head big time in your early years, fear not as you may still get a chance to be a big player in the education system!! Island Tribe sponsored a quadrangular surf lifesaving inter-club Nipper challenging between the UK’s premier clubs Saunton, Woolacombe, Croyde and Bideford Bay. Woolacombe always wins! If the organisers knew then what they know now!… who knows?