Claire in action in Thurso, Scotland, October 2018

Team England surfs up for Medical School project manager

Team England have come calling for Doctor Claire Eatock from the University of Exeter Medical School to represent her country in the World Surf Kayak Championships.

The Project manager will be heading to Peru to take part 19 – 26 July 2019. The competition, which has taken place for over 20 years, rates surfers on their tricks and wave riding.

Dr Claire Eatock, Project Manager for the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) programme, said: “To represent England at anything is incredible, but to compete in a sport which I love is a massive honour. Surf kayaking is relatively unknown and lacks funding, the team are still looking to raise funds for the trip, to get us and the boats over to Peru, in addition to our accommodation whilst we're there. I’m running a silk cocoon jewellery making workshop in June to help raise some much-needed funds. People are welcome to come and try their hand at making a necklace, bracelet, earrings or similar jewellery and donate whilst you’re there.”

Whilst Claire has a role as a researcher and project manager, her love of the sea and being an active outdoor instructor, leading expeditions in kayaking and coasteering around the world, has led her to represent England in surf kayaking.

Surf kayaking combines the wave riding skill of surfing with the agility and nimbleness of a seated kayak. Judged much like a surfing competition, competitors are judged on the skill of tricks they perform and the danger they perform them under. If a rider is controlled, performs a ‘radical’ trick and rides close to the wave break, they will be scored highly.

People are travelling from across the world to represent themselves and their countries in surf kayaking next month.

Host town Huanchaco is in the North West Peru, near the city of Trujillo. Huanchaco was the first Latin American town to be listed as a World Surfing Reserve by the Save the Waves Coalition. It was also where the Caballito de totora boat, used by fishermen, which is thought to be one of the first wave riding vessels hundreds of years ago.

If you are interested in the in the jewellery making workshop or supporting Claire in her journey to Peru, you can contact her via email.

Date: 11 June 2019

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