Interviewing Jo Wright, women’s series winner from Exeter University
Q: What was your highlight of this year’s SWA season?
A:For me Aussie Kiss was awesome, it was my first time attending an SWA event with Exeter University. It was great to catch up with everyone I hadn’t seen for a while and not that I need to mention it- but the partying was SICK! On the windsurfing side of things, the team racing didn’t go too great, as during a change over between myself and Kirsten O’Callaghan, I managed to unfortunately drop the sail at the exact wrong time and clonk her on the head, with the mast. I was hoping for more in the freestyle competition, and after a tactical pre-heat nap and some tips from Plymouth’s Scott Perry on how to sail a freestyle heat, I managed to pull off a vulcan as well as some old school freestyle moves to give me the overall win for the women, which I was very happy about! Aussie Kiss certainly filled me with enough enthusiasm to want to attend all other SWA events, and the tour definitely didn’t disappoint!
Q: What are you looking forward to most for next season?
A: Aussie Kiss in October, after a summer abroad, it will be great to see everyone. Also I will be helping to run the marketing side of things for the SWA next year, so I’m looking forward to having an input on that and hopefully getting lots of awesome prizes lined up.
Q: What would you like to see added to changed in the series for next year?
A: Maybe making events slightly cheaper, although I understand they are run at very low costs anyway and hopefully some decent wind for next years wave series. Getting more girls to compete would be awesome too, there are so many more out there who are good enough – if you can turn around then you can enter a freestyle heat and if you can plane in the foot-straps and waterstart there is no reason why you cant enter a wave heat!
Q: Exeter Uni. Windsurf Club has a good bunch of talented girls coming through. Do you think it helps sailing with lost of girls of a similar standard?
A: Yeah, before joining Exeter University, as a female, I had always been out numbered by guys on the water – whether that be racing, seasons abroad or just sailing at my local spots. When I turned up at Exeter it was awesome to find so many other girls super keen for windsurfing. I think sailing with other girls is great, but just getting out on the water with anyone, regardless of gender, is great and makes you push your level so much more. Sailing with guys I find to be very useful in breaking the fear factor on moves – with the tendency for guys to have a more ‘Man-up and just go for it attitude’, it often pushed me to go for new moves. (Seeing a 70 year old man Vulcan perfectly in Dahab, was my motivation to finally learn the move, I just had no valid excuses after seeing that!)
Q: What do you like most about the SWA?
A: The SWA is awesome because it opens up windsurfing to a huge market of very enthusiastic students wanting to have a LOT of fun. It makes windsurfing affordable to everyone (with free lessons and demo kit at all events). Everyone attending the events has a huge grin on there faces – aside from maybe the early morning hangovers! It also pushes the level of student windsurfing, and helps university windsurf clubs to develop.
Q: What are your plans for the summer? Training hard for next season? Any competitions?
A: I’m heading to Dahab for the duration of June, to hopefully get a few more freestyle moved dialed and finally get a forward loop! After that I’m back in the UK working for 2 weeks and then off to El Medano, Tenerife for 8 weeks, which should hopefully push my wave-sailing. Events wise, I unfortunately couldn’t make the first 2 BWA events this year, due to exams (it is tough being a student sometimes!), so when I get back I hope to attend both Tiree and Gwithian as well as all the SWA events.
Q: You’ve decided to get involved with the SWA committee this year, what prompted that decision?
A: I heard that there was possibly going to be a marketing position available within the SWA next year, and i thought 2nd year would be a great time to join. As well as this, marketing is hopefully the career path I want to take on graduation, so combing marketing and windsurfing seemed like the ideal opportunity. I feel I already have quite a few ties within the windsurfing world, so hoping I can make a positive impact next year.
check out the other interviews on the next pages below….