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California -Known for their chilled-out demeanour and slow pace of life, it will come as no surprise to most people to learn that surfers have poor timekeeping.

What is more surprising though is how one sportsman made up for his lack of punctuality - by jumping 30 feet off a cliff and into a raging sea after he was late for a competition.

This unnamed surfer was spotted by photographer and graphic designer Allen Hughes as he was capturing images of a surfing competition off of Lighthouse Point, in Santa Cruz, California.

Hughes, 65, said: ‘Everyone else was watching the surfers out at sea, but then I noticed this guy running along Lighthouse Point. I watched for quite a while and before each heat the surfers would climb down to the end of Lighthouse Point and make a smaller 10 foot jump.

‘I noticed this guy run down to the end, he was late for his heat. I could tell he was anxious so I focused my camera on him and before anyone knew it, he ran and jumped off the cliff.

‘He timed it perfectly and landed just behind the white water and paddled out. I never did find out who he was. The cliff itself must be 30 foot high and the waves were maybe higher.’