Words: Josh Conlay. Photography: Georgie Raysbrook.
As the students rolled in the evening before the annual SWA Windsurf Champs, so did the storms! Rain, hail and wind greeted them, but only the latter was needed for the weekend ahead in Calshot, Hampshire.
After a dreary night, the clear blue warm skies ensured high spirits, and after the wind picked up, it was ready for racing. The individual events got under way, with the beginner and intermediate categories using the calm waters to their advantage. There were a number of furious storms battering the shore that left many running for cover, yet the high winds were welcomed by the advanced racers. Crowds watched on as Sam Sills from Southampton Solent was victorious in the hotly contested Division 1 category. In the Ladies Division 1, Exeter University took a clean sweep of the medals.
The evening’s events were in full flow on the renowned SWA party boat! Competitors and staff enjoyed the scenic cruise whilst dancing the night away.
Day two provided the opportunity for each university to club together in the Team events. With the Red Bull event vehicle playing some huge tunes and the crowd getting behind their teams the stage was set. The hustle and bustle of the team changeovers proved to be crucial, and eventually Southampton Solent University came away as the best team on the day, with Bristol University edging out Exeter University to claim second and third respectively.
Southampton Solent showed their true knowledge of the local area and claimed the overall prize, picking up plenty of BUCS points and numerous SWA prizes. The superb freestyle event proved to be a fitting finish, and the crowd cheered on the freestylers as they showed off their array of talents. With the sun slowly setting and an ominous dark cloud looming the last of the crowds made their way from Calshot, leaving the spit to absorb another tremendous storm.
A worthy mention has to be made for BU’s very own Sam Latham who returned after a strong second place finish last year taking third in the testing conditions. Last year’s third place George Bowles, also BU, was unable to attend this year’s festivities.