Students going big - SWA at the Bluff - Boards Windsurfing

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Students going big – SWA at the Bluff Students going big – SWA at the Bluff

A forecast for 6m waves and 50knots is something that would have even the most experienced wave sailors quivering with nervous anticipation. This is exactly what the sailors of the Student Windsurfing Association (SWA) had facing them in the run up to the first event of the year on Saturday 5th December.

“As the weekend forecast approached I was faced with a decision I’ve never had to make for a competition before; “should we cancel?!” – both the wind and the waves looked like they might be too much to go out in safely! With good local knowledge and safety cover from K38 based out of Hayle, I decided to call it at the Bluff which proved to be one of the most impressive comps we’ve had yet on the SWA Tour since it began!” Jim Brooks-Dowsett – Event Organiser.

Conditions were not for the faint hearted with full on gale force winds and logo to mast high sets rolling into the outer banks at The Bluff. With sailors on their smallest gear the competition area was called to include the river mouth so sailors had the choice of some more forgiving waves if they wanted. After some thrills and spills in the early rounds, the five sailors still standing were Sara kellett (UWE), Charlie Gilman (Southampton), Tom Bennett Lloyd (Bangor), Tom Pidden (Nottingham) and Matt Cox (Plymouth).

“For me the 2 standout sailors were Sara Kellet and Matt Cox. Both were charging hard on the bigger set waves further out in the bay. Sara was certainly going hard and made some late critical hits including one which was a fraction too late and resulted in a full Bluff style close out smack down which had all of the judges wincing. Matt Cox got for me wave of the day with a big head to logo high set wave which he picked up in the river channel and rode all the way across the competition area with 7 proper turns, really good stuff, hopefully we’ll see Matt and the rest of the student fleet at the BWA event in Cornwall next year. ”
Paul Monnington – Hot Sails Maui Team Rider and guest judge.

Sara was certainly going hard and made some late critical hits including one which was a fraction too late and resulted in a full Bluff style close out smack down which had all of the judges wincing.
Paul Monnington - Hot Sails Maui Team Rider and guest judge.

It was pretty crazy really, fully stacked on a 3.7m and my small board. the waves were pretty big but only the set waves had any decent lines that you could get more than one turn off.
Matt Cox

“I was also really impressed with the guys who weren’t as familiar with wave events and the conditions who were charging hard in the river mouth where the waves may have been smaller but I think the wind was funnelling up the estuary making it stronger there. It was great to see Tom Bennett-Lloyd and Tom Pidden going for aerials on the inside and Charlie Gilman taking waves right into the beach to the point we weren’t sure he even had fins on his board, full commitment right into the sand.”
Paul Monnington – Hot Sails Maui Team Rider and guest judge.

With his spot on wave selection allowing seven turns on the same wave it was Matt Cox who took the win. In second place was Sara Kellett with her no fear charging at the biggest waves she could find.

The final results were:

1st – Matt Cox (Plymouth, Tabou/GA Sails)
2nd – Sara Kellett (UWE, Tushingham/Starboard/Mystic)
3rd – Tom Bennett-Lloyd (Bangor)
4th – Tom Pidden (Nottingham)
5th –  Charlie Gilman (Southampton, Puravida/Severne)

In the last dying seconds of the final I wanted to get one massive aerial, so i went for the closeout section on the biggest wave i could find and managed to trash myself pretty good against the sand bar and my own board in the wash cycle. Overall I would say I’m definitely pleased to better my result from last year in very challenging conditions and I’m looking forward to the other two events.
Matt Cox

The next event in the SWA Wave Series is at Rhosneigr on 5-7th February 2016! Tune in then to see if Matt can capitalise on his series lead!
The SWA would like to thank guest judges Paul Monnington and Justin Dennington, K38 safety, and everyone who helped on the beach. In addition, a massive thanks to Danya Shwertfeger for the photos.

The Puravida SWA Wave Series is organised and run by Puravida Boardriders with support from the SWA and ION

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