Tokyo Surf Dream Still Alive
16th January 2019 Paul Andrews
Newquay’s Luke Dillon and Woolacombe’s Lucy Campbell have finished the surfing year in high style, with dreams of a Team GB appearance at Tokyo 2020 very much still on the agenda.
The pair, sponsored by Korev Cornish Lager, owned by family business St Austell Brewery, both played a part in this year’s world championships in Tokyo, getting to grips with the break that will form the backdrop to the Olympic competition in two years’ time. Luke and Lucy also helped steer England to the British Team title earlier in the summer.
On a personal level, 2018 was a season of real highs and lows for Luke, recovering from injury earlier in 2017 which put a dent in his aspirations to climb the ranks on the World Surfing League qualifying series.
Finding solace in home waters paid dividends for the Fistral surfer however, as he went on to pull off a thrilling top spot in the final UK Pro Surf League event of the year in wild waters off Cornwall’s north coast.
As Luke confessed: “It felt really great to be competing around the UK again. I’ve been all over the world chasing qualifying points in the last few years, but I felt I needed a break to refocus and I’ve had an amazing year making every UK Pro Surf final. I didn’t get the luck in one or two of them but finishing 4th, 3rd, 2nd and then 1st at the Night event was a great way to finish the season and get me focused on next year.”
2019 looks set to be another year of globe-trotting as Luke hopes to work his way back into the world top 100 by the end of July. Setting out to big-scoring events in Israel, Tenerife and Indonesia from January onwards, the travelling will pay big dividends, as Luke explains: “The World Qualifying Series is the best way I can get in touch with Tokyo 2020, as this is where I’ll meet up and compete with a lot of the guys who will be out there at the Olympics."
“Having said that, it’s been great being back on the UK Tour so I’ll definitely get in as much of that as possible. I’d love to finish 2019 as English Open Champion. It’s the only UK title I haven’t won though I’ve been second on two occasions. It would be amazing to pick that up and be able to say I’d won every UK title by the age of 24!”
Woolacombe-based Lucy Campbell’s year has been all about reinforcing her position as the UK’s number one female surfer. Crowned as both the English National Surfing Champion and British Surfing Champion, Lucy has well and truly earned the spotlight this year and should be a shoe-in if team GB gets the nod for Tokyo 2020.
But as Lucy herself admits, there’s no room for complacency in an increasingly strong and rapidly growing field of female surfers. Talking of her success across the year Lucy said: “I’m really happy in that I’ve had some great results this year and that has put me in a good place going into 2018 but picking up an injury before the Qualifying Series started meant things didn’t all go to plan.”
With her sights set on maintaining her top UK ranking, Lucy is also looking to ramp up her profile on a global scale, taking part in more international WQS events to raise her World Surf League rankings and increase her chances of a spot at Tokyo 2020.
Despite these far-flung goals, Lucy admits to having a secret favourite when it comes to more local proceedings, confessing: “I’m really looking forward to Boardmasters again this year. It’s a huge international event but right here on home soil. I took part this year but it was the first time I’d surfed since my injury, so it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I’m looking forward to putting that right in 2019!”
Whatever happens, 2019 looks set to be an eventful year for both Luke and Lucy, with competition for the final places at Tokyo 2020 still very much up for grabs. As it stands, many of those places look likely to be taken from the best performing national teams at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games. Fighting for places on the British Team being such a priority, you can bet there’ll be some red hot surf action in local waters next year as both Team Korev members look to stake their claim on a shot at 2020!