|Aussie Kiss - 999|
The Student Windsurfing Association kicked off their flagship event for the 9th year this October. All together, over 600 student enthusiasts from England, Scotland and Wales congregated to hit the water. Introducing more beginners to the sport than any other event in the UK, it could only be, AUSSIE KISS.
Aussie kiss 9 effortlessly lived up to its outstanding reputation. The event took place at Roadford Reservoir in Devon and slept/partied at Bude Holiday Park, Cornwall.
Saturday saw every beginner out on the water on the beginners beach and on the intermediate beach there were a variety of clinics including a freestyle clinic from PWA star Andy “Bubble” Chambers, Carve gybing with RYA trainer Sam Ross and a highly entertaining rigging race organised by Tushingham’s Chris “Muzza” Murray and Jamie Gibbs. These guys got everyone enthused and involved, despite having to invade the beachbum chillout marquee when the heavens briefly opened. Muzza and Jamie were also on hand to show off plenty of Starboard/Tushingham demo kit, along with other industry representatives Rich from Tabou /Gaastra, Adam Sims from RRD/Ezzy and Al Bentley from K3 Designs masts who kindly brought heaps of shiny demo kit for everyone to play with. Spartan wetsuits, Silte Watches and Boylos clothing were out on display, Lifeboat tea and Daymer Iced Tea were provided for the masses and the Redbull team was pumping out festival atmosphere from their amazing DJ vehicle to appreciative students littered around their events tent and chilling on beachbum beanbags.
Both the Friday and Saturday night were far from quiet, 600 students on a caravan site with a bar is self-explanatory. The theme this year was ‘Emergency’, the Saturday night saw fancy dress commitment from paramedics to Chilean miners, police to Ghostbusters and Thunderbirds, all under the watchful eye of the Anchorman emergency news team (SWA Committee). 'Danny Fontaine and The Horns of Fury' were on hand to introduce us to Orchestral Death Skapunk with their 7-piece genre-defying troupe, they had the holiday park literally resonating. A personal highlight was the Portsmouth Vs Soton dance off, a truly competitive SWA sideline sport closely fought and won by Portsmouth, captained by Nicki Couston.
On Sunday morning there were heavy heads, interesting stories and a big queue for a cuppa. More importantly, in true SWA style the weather cheered up and the sun was out! FLOW (For Ladies of Windsurfing) had a lady windsurfing session and chat, the topics of which are still unknown to the less fair sex and a cause for intrigue. A Turfdog freestyle demonstration took place on the beach and the two main competitions, the Boardwise freestyle and Spartan Team racing were held.
The Boardwise Pro Freestyle Comp kicked off the festivities on Sunday. Competitors from all over the UK were to take part in a fierce battle for supremacy and the Pro Freestyle crown, judged by windsurf bigshots, Adam Sims, John Palmer and Sam Ross. With lacklustre wind the competition turned to Flow-style, giving the fairer sex an advantage over the classic heavyweights of the SWA Freestyle scene. Matt Yeates and Dave Williams for all their efforts, throwing down the lightwind moves; Switch 360’s, Cowboys, and some Caesar Finies style sail throwing were no match for the hot blonde rail riding machine (Kirsty O’callaghan) powering through the fleet and claiming herself the first prize; a K3 designs 100% carbon extension.
The Spartan three man team race went off in unique SWA fashion; first off, a Le mans style start from press up position staggered in downwind intervals. Next, a 50m sprint to a trusty teammate holding one-design kit in beachstart position and finally a 400m reach to the mark and back saw ten teams ruthlessly battle it out. MC Yeates and Dave Williams brought their competitive freestyle grudge onto the race boards and showed everyone how it’s done in the first run, pulling a lead over the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately for them, the all around ability of UWE and Soton’s teams proved too great, UWE cleaned up and crowned themselves SWA Spartan team race leaders into the beginning of the series. Race prizes donated by Boylos Custom Clothing.
The enthusiasm and determination of the best of the beginners and instructors was recognised with prizes of beautiful 80’s chic neoprene Bikini’s courtesy of Spartan Wetsuits.
Thanks to Jay Haysey from Global shots and Javier Choi for capturing the action.
Spartan Team Racing
2. Soton 2
4. Exeter 1
6. Soton 1
8. Exeter 2
Boardwise Pro Freestyle - In association with K3 Designs
1. Kirsty O'Callaghan (Exeter)
2. MC Yeates (ULU)
3. Dave Williams (Cambridge)
4. Will Lama (Exeter)
Aussie Kiss is the first of eight events held throughout the university year. The remaining events are hosted by the universities themselves and are either of a core or wave format. Three of the events are wave competitions and form the wave series. The remainder are core events which focus on all abilities of windsurfing and feature tuition, clinics, the Boardwise freestyle series and the Spartan team race series. The freestyle and race series finals are held at the BUCS Nationals hosted by Southampton at the end of the university year.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming events...