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The weekend of 22nd-24th April saw 130 students flock to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for an intense weekend of competition. It was all to play for – as results counted for both the students overall rankings across the SWA series, as well as BUCS points up for grabs for their universities. We’ve previously looked at who managed to win the BUCS points, and now we’ll see who came out on top in the SWA series across the year.
The SWA series consists of 8 events throughout the year – we kicked off the season at Aussie Kiss Student Windsurf Festival in Bude back in October, and have then travelled across the country to Plymouth, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bangor, Bristol and Nottingham – before rounding off the competitive season in Weymouth this weekend. Each event carries vital points as students battle for top prizes from sponsors.
Fitting with the theme of ‘The Great Migration’ students arrived in Weymouth from across the country on the Friday night, to set their tents up to form their territory for the weekend. An evening spent catching up in the pub was followed by an early start on Saturday morning as the sunrise woke the competitors somewhat bleary eyed.
The competition kicked off with the racing, with the results counting for the overall racing standings.
The race series was one of the most competitive, with the final standings all coming down to the results at Nationals in Weymouth. Alex Parker from Cardiff showed consistency across the year, and managed to pinch the top spot from fellow Cardiff competitor Amy who couldn’t make the final event. Series sponsor Patrik Diethelm rewarded Alex with a sponsorship for the next year.
In the Intermediate Fleet, Pablo of Bristol had a very successful day – with a 3rd place finish on the day enough for him to win the series overall. In the beginner series, Josh Wilkins took the title for the year, with a tie for 2nd place. A thumb war seemed the obvious way to break the tie – but after a stale mate it was called evens.
Advanced Race Series – sponsored by Patrik Diethelm
1. Alex Parker – Cardiff
2. Leo Calnan – Southampton
3. Matthew Duffin – Bristol
Alex Parker - "There’s been some really good competition and it was a close race for the top 3 at the end, I’m super excited to win sponsorship with Patrik and Sailloft to become part of Team xplg and looking forward to the future with them!”
Intermediate Race Series – sponsored by Horizon Watersports
1. Pablo Tarodo – Bristol
2. Georgina Stewart –
3. Dominic Kay - ??
Beginner Race Series - sponsored by Lagoon Watersports
1. Josh Wilkins – Swansea
=2 Alice Lyons – UWE
=2 Elizabeth Milbank - Liverpool
Exhausted from all the racing on Saturday, the students headed back to the campsite to refuel on some well earned fish and chips, before getting into costume for the evening entertainment. Deer, parrots and some questionable penguins were all in attendance as the students partied like they know how for the final night of the SWA series.
Sunday morning saw the conclusion of the freestyle and team racing series, as well as the final chance to grab points in the overall series.
Freestyle Series – sponsored by Boardwise & K66
Conditions for the freestyle series have encompassed both high and low winds – and it was the competitors who thrived in both that came out on top. Last year’s champion, Charlie Wilson of Southampton, had a fantastic competition on the day, allowing him to retain his crown, and in doing so bag a new boom.
1. Charlie Wilson – Southampton
2. Alex Parker – Cardiff
3. Leo Calnan – Southampton
Wave Series – sponsored by Puravida/Ion
The wave series saw some high level wave riding at both Bangor and Plymouth – we reported on how Matt clinched the title (link to Boards article), and in doing so won £250 of ION vouchers to spend on any of their products. New for this year, the wave series also rewards the most improved competitor. Ben Bulson of Bristol went home with a brand new Vandal sail after showing some serious grit and progress throughout the year.
1. Matt Cox – Plymouth
2. Sara Kellett – UWE
3. Tom Bennett-Lloyd - Bangor
Overall Series Results
King of the Wind - Men's Series - sponsored by Supersaturated
The overall series combine the results across all disciplines – race, freestyle and wave sailing – across all events – testing the students in all conditions. Combining his podium positions from racing and freestyle, Leo of Southampton just squeezed out Alex of Cardiff for the title and kudos.
1. Leo Calnan – Southampton
2. Alex Parker – Cardiff
3. Matthew Duffin – Bristol
Leo Calnan– “King of the Wind "absolutely stoked I won the title, it was close between Alex Parker and I so it could have gone either way!
Queen of the Wind - Men's Series - sponsored by Rushingham
In the female series, the top three had been super close coming in to the weekend – they knew it would all come down to the final competitions. With Amy not making it to Weymouth, it was a battle between two – with Sophie managing to edge Jane by a couple of points and take home a new mast courtesy of Tushingham.
1. Sophie Harvey – Birmingham
2. Jane Paddison – Liverpool
3. Amy Robinson – Cardiff
Sophie Harvey - "This year has definitely been the most competitive women’s series I can remember, so I was super excited to come away with the top prize! Going into the final weekend there was only a couple of points between Jane and myself so we knew that it was all down to the final race and freestyle. We had our share of collisions on the course (sorry Jane!!) but somehow I managed to get the advantage! Thanks to Tushingham for the mast!”
Jane Paddison - "Defending the title this year has not been easy! After Amy won the advanced racing at the Bristol event, beating all the boys as well, I was certain she was destined for the title of Queen of The Wind. Being of a similar standard, Sophie and I have had a friendly rivalry throughout the season, both ensuring we attended all the events as the points all add up! However she would always come out on top and the best gal won - congratulations Sophie!"
Team Series – sponsored by Boardwise
The team race series is arguably the one all clubs want to win for ultimate glory. Going into the final event of the series, Cardiff were leading the way with Southampton and Durham hot on their heels. With their 2nd place finish in Weymouth, Cardiff did just enough to cement the title, and take home £250 Boardwise voucher. Bristol managed to climb up the leaderboard to 2nd with their victory in Weymouth, and were rewarded with £100, whilst Southampton took home £50.
Thank you to Weymouth and Portland OTC and North Down Farm for hosting us for the weekend, and thank you to all the sponsors for supplying fantastic prizes – Boardwise, Patrik, Horizon Watersports, Lagoon Watersports, Tushingham, Puravida/ION, K66, Supersaturated and Colwyn Bay Watersports.
A massive congratulations to everyone who competed, and particularly those taking home the titles. The next event for the SWA is Aussie Kiss Student Windsurf Festival in October – be sure to watch out for the date!
Advanced Racing – Division 1
With the potential to earn BUCS points for their universities, 41 competitors took to the water on Saturday morning for the advanced racing. There were 5 races, with one discard, with the course building in difficulty to a figure of 8 slalom course as the races progressed. Competitors in the advanced division were allowed a maximum 7.5m2 sail, and many chose to team this with longboards to take advantage of the 15 knot conditions. Coming out on top of the fleet was Rob York of Bournemouth, who was joined on the podium by Matt Barton (Exeter) and Nathaniel Warren (Southampton). First female was Saskia Sills of Bournemouth, who managed to finish 4th overall.
Intermediate Racing – Division 2
With 23 competitors taking the start line, the intermediate competition was going to be close. With consistency over several races key to success, it was a tough race. Coming out on top was Benjamin Wall of UWE who managed to hold off the competitors from rival club Bristol – Juliet Cairney bagging 2nd with Pablo Tarodo in 3rd.
Beginner Racing – Division 3
The conditions on Saturday were ideal for the beginner racing, with the competitors taking part in heats throughout the morning. The top 5 competitors made it through to the final on the Saturday afternoon, giving them some time to perfect their gybes before the final. Top of the podium was Josh Wilkins from Swansea, who edged out his team mate Nick Harman. Rounding out the podium was Lucinda Wilkinson (Imperial)
Sunday saw the ultimate competition – the team racing event, run on the one-design kit of RRD FireRace 120L freerace boards and Tushingham Concept 7.5m2 sails. There were 17 teams entered from 13 universities, so teams were split into 3 heats, with just the top two advancing to the final. With the wind constantly shifting, it was a battle upwind to the buoy. In the end the top 6 teams, advancing to the final were Cardiff, Swansea, Durham, Birmingham, and two teams from Bristol.
With everyone watching on, Bristol 2 and Birmingham got off to a rough start, meaning it was four teams battling for the podium. Some excellent gybing from the Bristol competitors made the difference, and they bagged the top place with Cardiff not far behind. It was a separate fight for 3rd, with Swansea and Durham going back and forth as each team changed over competitor. Swansea just pipped them on the line to take the final podium position.
Team Race Results:
=7 Nottingham, Exeter, Southampton 1
=10 Southampton 2, Birmingham 2, Cambridge
=13 Imperial, Sheffield, UWE
Thank you to everyone who helped out making the event a success, including Colwyn Bay Watersports, Boardwise and Weymouth and Portland OTC.
We've teamed up and got a fantastic opportunity for a media savvy student to work with Kefalos windsurfing!
***About Kefalos Windsurfing***
Kefalos windsurfing, on the island of Kos, Greece, has been attracting windsurfers for more than 20 years. The geologic formation generates a thermal accelerated wind making it the windiest spot on the island!
The centre are keen to promote their set up to the windsurf community - and this is where you come in - they are looking for a student with a keen interest in video and media to act as an intern and produce a full web clip to promote the centre!!!
*** The Role ***
Up to a month this summer based at the centre - to produce a video showing the centre - it's location, atmosphere, conditions and much more!
This job offer includes flights and accommodation, as well as full access to all the kit and facilities of the centre!
*** How do I get hold of this role??? ***
As the role involves making a video - the people at Kefalos windsurfing want to see what you can do! Therefore we are asking you to produce a video of a windsurf event this year - capturing all the action and atmosphere! Whether it's BUCS nationals, a previous event on the series or something else it doesn't matter!
The winner will be selected via a facebook poll of Kefalos Windsurfing's guests!
*** How do I enter? ***
1. Create an awesome windsurf-focussed video
2. Upload to Youtube
4. Await the voting!
The SWA Wave Series came to a close this past weekend in Cardiff. Despite the anticipation, mother nature had other ideas and wind failed to materialise.
This means that after two counting events in pumping conditions at Rhosneigr and the Bluff, Matt Cox reigns supreme as 2015/16 SWA Wave Champion. Thanks to Wave Series sponsors Puravida Boardriders and ION, Matt wins £250 of ION vouchers to spend on any of their products. We caught up with Matt for a few words;
SWA: Congratulations on your new SWA Wave Series title Matt, was there a particular moment that stood out this season for you?
MC: I would say the highlight was competing in the Plymouth comp in amazing conditions, full on down the line logo high waves, stacked on 3.7.
SWA: What do you think was the secret to your success?
MC: I think the secret to my success was probably just sailing down in Cornwall for the last three years and sailing whenever I can get out.
SWA: Do you have any idea what ION goodies you would like to spend your prize money on?
MC: I'm not really sure what I will spend the voucher on, possibly get myself a new wetsuit and maybe some new gloves for surfing in the winter.
SWA: We understand you are graduating this year, what’s next for you with regards to windsurfing?
MC: My plan for after uni is to keep windsurfing as much as possible and try and do all the BWA comps in the next couple of years
Equal on points are Tom Bennett Lloyd and Sara Kellett. A second place finish in the final counting event puts Tom into second overall with Sara taking third. Tom and Sara also win ION vouchers with which to pimp their wetsuit or accessory collections. A final prize of a Vandal Riot wave sail on loan for a year will be awarded to a standout unsupported rider at SWA Nationals in Weymouth.
Even without the wind the show must go on with the SWA - Cardiff Uni Windsurf Club organised a great selection of day and night time activities to entertain their eager guests. This was kicked off on Friday night with a catch up in the pub before a boogie at Glam night club.
After a chilled morning, of bacon and post night out debriefs, tour sponsor Puravida organised surfboard hire and a beginner session to take advantage of the beautiful swell rolling into South Wales.Rest bay at Porthcawl played host to a fleet of around thirty SWA surfers shredding the glassy waves at low tide.
Some of the more experienced surfers were rewarded with some building waves as the tide pushed in while others returned to Cardiff to watch the big England vs Wales rugby match and ready their fancy dress for the Disney/Pixar themed punch party.
From Disney princesses to the Incredibles, the student windsurfers dressed to impressed hit the famous Cardiff Students Union. Atmosphere in the club was electric because of the big match that day but everyone got involved pulling shapes on a very rowdy dancefloor. Then to end the night SWA students filled a local chippy chanting ‘CHHHIIPPPPS, chips, chips, all the chips in my mouth!”
Sunday was a lazy day for many hungover students with some opting for another go at surfing while others went to Barry Island for a good old day at the seaside with fish and chips and the penny slots. No wind all weekend, but beautiful blue sky and the first of the spring sun meant that Cardiff wave ended with smiles all round.
These are the final series standings for the 2016 Puravida SWA Wave Series:
|1||Matt cox (Plymouth/GA/Tabou)||0.4||4||-||4.5|
|=2||Tom Bennett-Lloyd (Bangor/Puravida/Simmer)||3||2||-||5|
|=2||Sara Kellett (UWE/Severne/Starboard)||2||3||-||5|
|4||Tom Pidden (Nottingham/Patrik/Sailoft)||4||7||-||11|
|5||Ben Bulson (Bristol)||6||7||-||13|
|6||Louis Morris (Bristol/Tushingham/Starboard||(15)||0.5||-||15.5|
|=7||Charlie Gilman (Southampton/Puravida/Severne)||5||(15)||-||20|
|=9||Nathaniel Warren (Southampton)||6||(15)||-||21|
|=9||Manny Devana (Southampton)||6||(15)||-||21|
|=9||Calum Healey (Southampton)||6||(15)||-||21|
|=9||Nick Welsh (Exeter)||6||(15)||-||21|
|=13||Rose Greensmith (Bangor)||(15)||7||-||22|
|=13||Shaun Ashmore (Manchester)||(15)||7||-||22|
|=13||Daniel Pingstone (York)||(15)||7||-||22|
That’s it for the SWA Wave Series this year, see you all at the final SWA event of the year at Nationals in Weymouth on 22-24th April. Details to follow for that, keep your eyes peeled. The SWA Wave Series will return in the autumn with the start of a new university year and the first of the winter storms. Huge thanks to our tour sponsors; Puravida Boardriders, ION accessories, Vandal Sails, Funsport and RB sails.