The Student Windsurfing Association
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Plymex 2014 - A windy weekend

Here is the Event Write Up 

The third and final round of this year’s SWA wave series took place in windy southwest England last weekend. With Thursday nights’ forecast predicting gale force winds and 20ft+ swell, it looked like we would have our very own SWA Storm Chase! Students from across the UK made the long drive down to Plymouth for what would hopefully be an awesome weekend, and neither Plymouth nor Exeter universities failed to disappoint!

Despite the windy weather threatening to blow cars off roads, students finally started to arrive in Plymouth. After a quick introduction to their hosts, students descended on Fresher & Professor to start the weekend off. Whilst students were warned that they were in for an early start the next day, what was set to be a “quiet” night soon turned into a traditional Friday night SWA party!

With the wind forecast happening earlier in the day, Saturday was an early start for the competitors. With bacon butties to help the hangovers, everyone began the drive down to deepest darkest Cornwall. Battered by hail as we arrived in Marazion, the weather fortunately cleared up, and competition swiftly got underway before the wind died off!
Plymex 2014 beach


Plymex 2014 jetski safety

We were lucky enough to be joined by local Duncan Wallace from the 'K38 Safety' crew that had just covered the Red Bull Storm Chase – luckily this was a more relaxed weekend for the jetski with just a few bits of broken kit to assist!


While the organisers and safety crew prepared, the more eager sailors got out on the water with no delay. With everyone prepared and briefed, the heats began, with some intense competition between the best of the SWA. Ben Page (Southampton University/RRD/Andy Biggs) had a difficult job to hold on to top place in the series, with both Jony Price (Cardiff University/Puravida/Vandal), and Mike Ellis (Southampton University) battling through the heats to face him in the final. Matt Cox (Plymouth University/Spartan) sailed some brilliant waves in his first few heats, and joined Ben, Mike and Jony for a close final.


Head Judge Ian Ross from the BWA/RB Sails, along with Justin Dennington and Dale Pearce had a tough call to make in the final! Due to the dropping wind, competitors were told that they would only be judged on two wave rides, but there would be bonus points if they could land any jumping tricks – competitors took advantage of this, with Ben Page and Jony Price] fighting for first place with some impressive forward loops, despite the dropping wind and lack of power. In the end, Cardiff's Jony Price managed to get into 1st with the highest scoring wave, followed very closely by Ben Page (2nd), Mike Ellis (3rd) and Matt Cox (4th).


Puravida’s Jim Brookes-Dowsett summed up the day perfectly – “The storm last night was mental, but what a fantastic day for the final round of Puravida SWA Wave Series here in Cornwall.... good wind, nice head high waves and it even got really sunny! All the crew got out for some cross off riding too! Top effort from the student rippers! Jony Price and Ben Page are battling out for the title! Hoping for more tomorrow on the North Coast.... Really stoked with the student tour this year!!”
Plymex 2014 puravida


PLymex 2014 winners

After the competition finished, students split ways, with some staying to go back out, some heading off to go sightseeing at Land’s End, and some heading off to the north coast to go surfing. Everyone packed up and headed back to Plymouth for what promised to be a great night out! The fancy dress theme was Pokémon, with some interesting fancy dress, including a group of Pikachu’s from Solent! Everyone hit Bang Bang in true SWA fashion for a night of carnage, both on and off the dance floor. It was definitely a late night for most people, and fortunately a lie-in had been planned for the Sunday, as the wind was forecast to fill in later for the second round of competition at Mexico’s.


Sunday came, and the wind unfortunately failed to fill in enough to run competition. Despite this, intermediates from Solent, Plymouth and Bristol/UWE hit the water at Mount Batten for some flat(ish) water action! It seemed like summer had come, sunny and a bit of wind, with some windsurfers trying out some light-wind freestyle. It was certainly big-sail weather, but all the sailors enjoyed themselves, and it was a good way to get rid of the hangovers from the night before!


At the end of the weekend, the final standing was Jony Price taking 1st place, Ben Page placed 2nd and Mike Ellis finished in 3rd. For the Women's competition Lizzie Ellis took 1st place.


Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves both on and off the water and the event can be considered a great success.

The next SWA event will be Nottingham Pondlife on the 28th February - 2nd of March.

The 'Puravida SWA Wave Series' is supported by Puravida Boardriders, Fanatic, North, Ion and Vanadal Sails.



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