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The Student Windsurfing Association

A word from the SWA Directors


First of all, we would like to give a massive congratulations to all the presidents that have run events this season. It has been noted that they have been really well run and as a result there has been a marked improvement in attending numbers. This is also due to fantastic support from all the other presidents and their clubs who have travelled the length and breath of the UK in order to make it to the events. So pats on backs all round!

It was a pleasure to see the re-emergence of some of the more northern windsurf clubs this season and this was reflected in the spread of the events right across the UK.

In the core event series Nottingham is now a well established event in the east/midlands and once again produced the goods, Liverpool ran their first event in a few years in the north and the joint efforts of Bristol/UWE made this last weekend a grand success at a new lake venue in the SWA calendar.

The wave events also took the organising skills to the next level by having all three presidents working really well with SWA Events Manager Sarah Arts to obtain the relevant beach permissions and ensure that there was wave suitable safety cover at each coastal event. We look forward to seeing how this series develops next season as the numbers have again increased dramatically helped in particular by Cardiff and Bangor/Birmingham being able to offer the option of inland free-sailing for those not yet ready for the mighty ocean. 

The website saw a complete overhaul last summer and we hope you like the new look. Not just the layout has changed however and the SWA Web team led by programming guru Aron Tsang have made it altogether more user friendly. The recent addition of the live chat system means the site has entered a new level of interaction and we imagine this will prove extremely popular come the start of next season when the site regularly sees 50+ members logged in at once. If you haven't yet tried it then login and click on it in the bottom right corner of your screen. Only in the last few days the SWA photo gallery has also been launched with pictures from the most recent events through to the first SWA event in 2000 and beyond, together with images from all our favourite windsurf trips abroad. If you hunt through them you'll soon spot some SWA committee members with a few extra hairs on their heads!

The SWA not only serves to coordinate events but also to promote Student Windsurfing to the wider UK and international windsurf market. This can be perfectly demonstrated by the efforts and achievements of our Media Manager Sam Burnett over the last season. The SWA has always had regular articles in magazines but Sam now works to such a close level with Boards, Boardseeker and Windsurf magazines that we regularly see three page spreads following the our events and antics. Aussie Kiss received a huge amount of coverage through all these magazines and we must thank them hugely for their support over the past season. The video by Boardseeker is a perfect portrail of the atmosphere created at Aussie Kiss so do check it out on their site.

Over the years we have developed bonds with companies in the UK who not only choose to sponsor the SWA but believe as strongly as we do in the Student Windsurf market being the future of UK windsurfing. Their support is invaluable; through demo kit and great student deals through to the amazng prizes we get to give away at the end of every season. Mark Hammond from Boardwise in particular needs mentioning for his tireless appearences at the Core events and Rich Marsh of Gaastra / Tabou who also puts so much effort into supporting the SWA and in particular with his sponsorship of the SWA Women's series. A recent but equally noteworthy addition to our sponsorship family is Jon from Spartan Wetsuits - having already won many of the UK pros over with their suits we have to agree they are undoubtedly the ultimate wetsuits for getting the warmth / flex ratio just right. Nick Bentley our SWA Marketing Manager has also been working with a huge variety of other sponsors all of whom are too numerous to mention but can be found on our Sponsors page here. We thanks them all and look forward to working with them even closer in the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

The development of the SWA never rests however and we are currently working with BUCS to see if we are able to offer our members third party insurance as part of the club affiliation scheme; safety first as always!

The next SWA festival - "AKX-rated" will be our tenth anniversary of the event so expect more than your average AK… As this is the time of the year when many club presidents are outgoing we ask that to assist us in keeping in touch with every club that you ensure you pass the full details of the incoming president to us so you do not miss out on any pre-AKX press releases. We'd hate for your club to miss out on the windsurf party of the decade!!

As always, the SWA committee are looking for more recruits and people to get involved in helping us make SWA achieve it's full potential (world domination in case you hadn't realised). If you're looking to add something extra to your CV and don't mind putting in a few hours a week then get in touch asap and we'll find a role for you. In particular we are always in need of budding web geeks so if you have a desire to improve your web skills and be given the free-reign of a frankly quite awesome website then get in touch. 

We're massively looking forward to the BUCS windsurfing championships 2011 which are now only a few weeks away. Hopefully see you there for some 25 knot winds and 25 degree rays! (We live in eternal hope). 

Big windsurf love, 

the SWA Company Directors 

Beaker Lindley, Chris Beng and Phil Cutter.