Last weekend saw the Student National Championships hosted at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, which combines as the final event of the SWA calendar as well as the BUCS Championships where universities compete to gain points for their university’s overall sporting ranking.
Dan Lytton, who was there to help run the event, as well as competing for Exeter University, provides the scoop.
The move to Weymouth last year was really successful, and this year we saw students arrive in their masses for a weekend of racing and freestyle to see out the SWA season in style.
Saturday morning the advanced fleet head to the far shore for 4 heats of course racing, with the starts proving manic as a huge fleet vied for position on a tight start line. Experience proved key as Kieran Martin of Exeter Uni and Saskia Sills of Bournemouth Uni– both former ISAF Youth World Championship winners – led the fleet as ladies and men raced together but scored separately. Choice of kit was vital with the marginal winds, and former BUCS winner Louis Morris made the fatal mistake of using a slalom board instead of a longboard leaving unusually out of the running.
The intermediate and beginner racing followed, with over 100 people racing across the 3 fleets. All fleets were run at separate times, and with BUCS points up for grabs from all levels, competition and spectator excitement was high!
Sunday afternoon saw the Team Racing – where the 3 best riders of each University competing in a slalom relay race for the title – followed by the freestyle. A lightwind expression session had to be settled for, with Charlie Wilson’s spectacular Bonaire-style finishing move and Louis Morris’ technical perfection in the final leaving myself and Jo Wright as Judges a difficult decision.
Charlie took the event title, but was narrowly edged out for the Series win by Louis who added to his Series win in the SWA Puravida Wave series earlier in the year.
Saturday night saw a local hall transformed as Nick Hughff and Concert Solutions came together to throw us the party of the year, and fancy dress varied from hilarious to downright shocking as each university took its own take on the ‘Olympics’ theme.
Prize giving on Sunday saw prizes go for BUCS and the SWA series, with medals going to all BUCS winners and a huge array of prizes going to winners from every SWA series as the industry came up trumps again to offer incredible support for the biggest windsurf series in the country!
The SWA winners included:
Boardwise Team Racing Series – Bristol Uni won £250 of Boardwise Vouchers
Boardwise Freestyle Series – Louis Morris won a new sail
Tushingham Ladies Series – Jane Paddison won a new Tushingham Bolt
Patrik Racing Series – Vasilis Lyras won a sponsorship with Patrik Sailloft
Puravida Ion Wave Series – Louis Morris won £250 of Puravida Ion Vouchers
In addition to the series winners, a host of prizes went out including a Sam Ross course to the winning beginner, a host of apparel and windsurf goodies from Supersaturated, Boardwise and Bigsalty, and loads of Spartan jackets, gloves and hats to keep sailors of all levels toasty next season!
A huge thanks must go out to WPNSA for hosting, all our sponsors for making the SWA so action-packed and affordable for all students, and of course everyone who came and got involved!
Full results can be found at www.studentwindsurfing.co.uk