From small tremors come big rumbles, and this was as big a rumble as it could get. On Friday 14 August 12 local surfers stepped in to the boxing ring to raise funds for the Jersey Surfboard Clubs trip to the Eurosurf in Morocco. They competed in six bouts in the dark, grimy surroundings of the Watersplash.The event is organised by Roley McMichael and was a sequel to the Royal Rumble which took place last year for the first time. We spoke to Roley about the event and the training involved.
“Surfers boxing at the beach was obviously something people were desperate to see as tickets sold out almost immediately and could have sold three times over but the venue is part of what made this event so good. Even the boxing fraternity were saying the same. In some ways it’s too small but, absolutely perfect at the same time.
Initially the event came from needing funds for the JSC sending a team to the Azores for the previous Euros in 2013 and was just going to be a one off event. I had never put on any form of event so threw myself in at the deep end and decided to create something that had never been done at the Splash and was totally out of my comfort zone. Ben Murray had put on a white collar event or two and I got a few pointers from him.
The original Royal Rumble was such a success that it just wouldn’t go away. So when we needed money for our next trip, it was easy to know what to do, but it meant another lot of hard work putting it together.
Chris McBernie, Mark Trench and Luke Kilwin were my boxing experts and along with Tom Wilkinson who fought originally, they trained the fighters twice a week for 10 weeks solid. I trained with them too so saw how much it meant to every single one of them and how hardcore the training is too.
The fights were all evenly matched, with only two fights ending in draws, they were those between Ford Ramsden versus Alex Romeril and Aaron Rowe versus Alex Vibert. The other four saw, Lucas Bellhaiche beating Nathan Fogg, Jared Delap won his fight against Clint Loake, Kevin Davies, beat his best friend Simon Goode and the much talked about Manners versus Harben fight saw James Manners narrowly beating his body boarding counterpart Scott Harben, in what was, the fight of the night and brutal beyond belief. Apparently anyway. I can’t watch.
Everybody is “definitely fighting in the next one”. Or so I heard 300 times afterwards. We’ll see about that when it comes to signing up… Although at the moment, there are no plans for a third event although the chances are it will happen but will only be in 2017. Just in time to fund the next senior Eurosurf.
The night ended with more surfers, as DJs this time, downstairs with Brad Ferguson, Steve Ferbrache, Ryan Herve and Sam George finishing it all off perfectly.”
The money raised from ticket sales and the sponsorship Roley was able to secure for each individual boxer will cover the cost of their upcoming trip and they also have two further sponsors in Breda and the El Tico, which means they’re all set to make their trip.
Local photographers, and of course surfers, Matt Porteous and David Ferguson, were on hand to document the evening, and it’s their photos of the event you can see here, thank you to them for letting us use their photos so that we could bring you a taster of the evening.