Horlock fends off Cogswell for Josiah’s Bay Easter Surf Classic title

Zebedee Bamford, 3rd, Bobo Cogswell, 2nd and winner Derek Horlock.

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway.

In a competitive battle on Saturday, Derek Horlock edged Bobo Cogswell to win the Josiah’s Bay Easter Surf Classic that attracted 70 participants.

“I’m very surprised to win. Such good surfers in the field, Bobo was out there and getting some good waves, maybe I’m just super lucky today,” Horlock told Island Sun Sports afterwards. “I had two beers, calmed the nerves and I was good to go. I saw some beautiful waves and I was in the right spot at the right time.”

Cogswell, who coached the BVI team at the World Surfing Games in Puerto Rico last month, said he has been weaning himself off a three-fin board and trying to get better at riding a thruster. 

“In today’s conditions, I would ride a fish, but I chose to ride a thruster and I managed to make a few good turns and I’m happy to be on the podium for sure,” he said. “It was such a high level of surfing today. Tom Merrigan is an absolute legend. He has been surfing with my dad, his friend since the ‘70s in Cane Garden Bay. Just everything, from the grooms to the legends, super legends, the girls, the level of talent is through the roof and I’m so excited for the future.”

Despite torrential rains that delayed the start, BVI Surf School director Steve Howes, said it was one of the best competitions in a long time. “We’re getting more and more people entering and we had 25 entrants in one division,” he noted. “The waves were better today (than the Christmas Classic) . It was better for all age groups to get out there and really get involved.”

Alec “Woo” Dick-Read, chairman of the recently formed BVI National Surf Association who won the Super Legends division ahead of Merrigan and Ben Bamford, told the gathering that the reason the body was set up is to give youngsters and opportunity to compete in big events and maybe the Olympic Games one day.

He pointed out that Tayshaun Jones, Rush Broderick and Zebedee Bamford were the first to compete in regional competitions in Puerto Rico.

“You girls, you’ve been amazing and keep being amazing,” he said. “You boys, all of you, keep going because we want to send you to some great events and give you an actual path to compete in the big wide world.”

Division winners: Girls Grooms: 1. Evie Stanton, 28 ½. 2. Haven Meyer, 26. 3. Livia Vaff, 25½. Boys Super Grooms U11: Tommy Bovio, 21½. 2. Porter Cross, 21. 3. George Holingsworth, 16.5. Boys Super Grooms 12-17. 1. Danny Henderson, 36. 2. Bodi Hodges, 32½. 3. Oakley Hodges, 30. Women 18+: 1. Tiara Jones, 43½. 2. Liza Toppa, 34½. 3. Hannah Pike, 31. Men 18-39: 1. Derek Horlock. 2. Bobo Cogswell. 3. Zebedee Bramford. Super Legends: 1. Alec “Woo” Dick-Read. 2. Tom Merrigan. 3. Ben Bamford.