The world's leading surfboard riders are in France for the eighth World Surfing Championship.
GV Surfaces carrying boards along beach, near Seignosse, France.
SV Surfers preparing boards. (2 SHOTS)
GV Spectators on beach.
GV Surfer riding waves and wiping-out.
SV Woman sunbathing.
GV Surfer wiping-out.
SV Spectators and judges.
GV Surfer riding waves and coming to shore.
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Background: The world's leading surfboard riders are in France for the eighth World Surfing Championship. This year, the contest is being fought out on the beaches around the south-western resort of Seignosse.
SYNOPSIS: The Bay of Biscay has not been kind to surfers in the first few days of the competition. The Atlantic, which often lashes this Les Landes coastline with formidable waves was unusually calm for the early stages of the contest.
But on Wednesday (10 September) the wind was up, and combined with a heavy swell, the surf gave competitors an opportunity to begin showing their class...or lack of it.
For some, the sun-drenched beaches have other attractions...while out on the waves, contestants were indulging in more strenuous activities, all for the benefit of the judges and hopefully, a higher ranking in world standings. Most professionals -- the majority from Hawaii, Australia and South Africa -- have dedicated years to mastering the art of wave-riding. That includes knowing which board to use in different types of waves, and particularly reading sea and wind conditions. When it all works, few sports can match surfing for both skill and grace.