Talented Portrush man shortlisted in national surf photography competition

Lee Thompson
Lee Thompson

A Portrush-based photographer has been shortlisted in the Carve x Offshore surf photography competition, organised by prestigious international surf magazine Carve and Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery.

The shot, which was taken at West Strand in Portrush, was taken by local man Lee Thompson and features the gracefulness of a longboarder with the picturesque town as the perfect backdrop. Lee has been surfing for more than eight years but he decided to start photographing seascapes just two years ago in order to capture those split seconds in the ocean that give surfers and water users such joy and happiness.

Lee's shot

Lee's shot

The competition was open to British and Irish photographers, both amateurs and professionals, based all across the world. The photograph had to be previously unpublished and taken within the last year.

Sharp’s Brewery’s Offshore pilsner, launched in 2018, is inspired by Cornwall’s passion for surfing and those rare moments when the wind turns offshore, creating perfectly clean waves.

Both Carve and Sharp’s Brewery got together at on Great Western Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, to celebrate the end of the competition, enjoy refreshing Offshore pilsner and tasty Slope burgers to the backdrop of a colourful sunset and perfect surf. Adorning the walls of the venue were 15 of the very best shots from British surf photographers based all across the globe, including Lee’s. The location was the perfect spot as Great Western Beach is considered to be the original centre of British surf culture since the 1960s.

Lee Thompson said: “Having grown up with Carve magazine, it’s a really big deal for me to have been shortlisted in the Carve x Offshore competition and to see my photo printed in the magazine itself. This is only the second time I’ve entered and I was absolutely over the moon to be shortlisted. This has motivated me to continue with what I’m doing and to improve to get even more epic shots. Fingers crossed for next year!”

Steve England, director at Orca Publications, said: “We love celebrating British talent, whether they are surfers or photographers. Showcasing our unique surfing culture is what Carve magazine is all about and we love giving a unique voice to the talent that is out there. On behalf of both Carve and Sharp’s, we want to say a particular thanks to Lee for sending in your photo. Portrush has great surfing heritage and it is great that he is documenting the area’s strong surf culture.”

James Nicholls, marketing controller at Sharp’s Brewery, said: “Our longstanding relationship with Carve is one that we’re absolutely thrilled about and we couldn’t ask for a better link up for Offshore. When our team sat down to select our favourite shots from the competition, we found that it certainly wasn’t an easy task and Lee’s shot was way up there. Well done Lee!”

Lee’s shortlisted photo from the Carve x Offshore surf photography competition is featured in issue 197 of Carve magazine.