|BUCS Nationals 2012|
|BUCS Nationals 2012|
The BUCS Championships and the final round of the SWA series............It was epic!
The jewel in the SWA crown, the BUCS Championships, which is the final event in the SWA series, took place at Calshot Activity Centre on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of April 2012.
The biggest brands in the Windsurf Industry, the top student windsurfers from across the UK and a lot of enthusiastic partygoers - a recipe for success!
Sam Sills flying along in the advanced racing
Having spent the week checking the forecast and preparing their fancy dress outfits, Friday couldn’t come quick enough for most. The vans stuffed with kit, packed cars and fully loaded mini buses invaded Calshot. Turning a blind eye to the weather, the students pitched their tents and got straight down to partying. The music pumped and the drinks flowed the way the SWA does best. The dance floor kept moving until the early hours.
Eager to get underway the students were roused early on Saturday morning, helped by some music and drinks from Red Bull. The day played host to the main event of the weekend, the individual racing. Students were divided into three categories; beginner, intermediate and advanced and briefed on the day’s events. The beginner racing took place in the safety and shelter of the lagoon and followed a straight forward across the wind format with competitors racing in heats to keep the carnage to a minimum. Phil and Danielle from GetWindsurfing.com provided some pre-race pointers and tips throughout the event. The atmosphere on the beginners’ beach was relaxed and the emphasis much more on getting people windsurfing than competition. The intermediates similarly raced using the across the wind format starting from the beach, with a restriction on sail size to a maximum of 6.5m. The high number of competitors made for a very competitive and close fought race and an entertaining gybe mark. The advanced sailors raced round a triangular course using a maximum sail size of 7.5m. The light winds in the morning and strong tide made this quite challenging for even the most experienced sailors, however the students showed their skill and navigated the course excellently, pumping hard to maximise their speed across the water. Krafty/Exocet and Ian from Boardwise were on hand for the weekend providing demo kit for competitors to use. Also demonstrating on the day were: Sam Ross from Tushingham/Starboard; Rich Marsh from Gaastra/Tabou/Powerex and Doug from RRD.
The Red Bull Tent
Beginner tuition by Danielle from GetWindsurfing.com
Doug from RRD setting up
Tabou brought along some colourful toys...and dinosurs haha
Rich from Mast High Ltd said: “I was downloading my pictures and ... came across this gem which I personally feels sums up all the positive elements of what the SWA is about, and the hard work you and all the Presidents do to encourage support and attendance at each event”
Credit to Rich from Mast High Ltd. - Some credit must also go to the Hoff for his epic costume...
The intermediate beach, lining up for the start
As the day progressed, the wind picked up. The beginners were able to show what they had learnt throughout their first year with the SWA coping admirably with the conditions. The intermediates applied all their harness and footstrap tuition and blasted out and back around their course. The advanced group raced shoulder to shoulder, at full speed, coping well as they flew flat out around the course, gliding over the increased chop and strong tide.
The days racing would decide who would become BUCS champion 2012 and also formed the round of the 2012 SWA Starboard/Tushingham/Spartan Race Series, so there was a lot to play for. So far, Louis Morris had been the dominant force on the race series, but on the day, several competitors looked very strong. For the girls, familiar faces at SWA events showed their strength; the Exeter girls Jo Wright, Kirsty O’Callaghan, Alex Powell and Rachael Ince set the pace.
First class Intermediate coaching with Phil from Getwindsurfing.com
The Tushingham Van
The Boardwise demo van
The early(ish) start and good race-officering meant the racing was over by three, leaving time for those who still had some energy left to drop the racing gear and switch to freestyle. Generously, the fantastic rescue crews provided by Calshot, who had been fantastic in helping facilitate the racing, stayed out to provide cover for this as well. The rest of the attendees began preparing for the evening ahead with a BBQ on the beach and a few beers in the evening sun.
As the final few students dragged themselves out of the water and quickly showered, an array of fancy dress costumes began to appear across the campsite. The theme of the evening was ‘Party like it’s ... ’ Each university picked an era in time to set the dress code, examples included the 60’s, Romans and The Future but, perhaps most impressive was UWE’s interpretation: the Age of Dinosaurs – some serious costume building had been done! The venue for the evening was the legendary party boat, as organised by Southampton uni. windsurf club. The boat docked at Calshot to pick up the students taking them out into the Solent with a bar, dance floor and DJ on board. The floating party was met with an equal amount of enthusiasm as the days racing and the dance floor was just as competitive. The dinosaurs, robots and hippies danced until the boat docked back at Calshot from where they immediately moved onto the after party until the early hours.
UWE before the boat party. Theme: Dinosaurs
The boat party
Next morning came all too quickly for many. The students, many still wearing their fancy dress, washed away the effects of last night’s party with some Red Bull and used a campfire-cooked breakfast to prepare themselves for the second day of competition. The Sunday’s events kicked off with the BUCS team racing forming the final round of the RRD Boardwise Team Racing Series.The familiar three-person inter-university relay team format from the rest of the series was used, racing on the RRD Fireraces kindly provided by Boardwise and RRD. The wind was light so the course was set in the lagoon to give the teams some shelter from the merciless tide. Thankfully, as the competition got underway the wind began to fill in. There were to be three races with each counting towards the teams’ overall position. After a slight course issue (Jony Price of Cardiff attaching himself to the gybe mark with his fin and dragging it back to the beach without realising thus violating the ISAF rule 31 ‘windsurfers may touch buoys but not hold on to them’) the first race was restarted. The racing, with the start, changeovers and finish all taking place on the beach right in front of the rambunctious spectators, was closely fought from beginning to end. Bristol uni had been on top for most of the SWA series so far but with BUCS medals up for grabs and plenty of uni. points to play for, this event had a lot riding on it. All competitors pumped furiously, trying to take full advantage of any gusts to push them up onto the plane and ahead of the rest of the fleet. The results of this close racing can be seen below.
SWA Nationals, by Duncan Dumbreck
The wind built and built, and by the afternoon, it was comfortable 5.5m weather, which made perfect conditions for the penultimate round of the North/Fanatic/Boardwise/Freestyle series. As the final round of this year’s extremely hotly contested series and with some awesome prizes up for grabs - first prize was a 2012 Fanatic Skate - there was a huge amount at stake. For the girls Jo Wright led the way, with some slick Downwind 360’s and sliding Vulcans. Matt ‘MC’ Yeates and Ollie Acton both pulled their fair share of sick switch moves and sliding freestyle including Spocks, Punetas and even Flaka Canabravas. Nicola Terenzi showed a true new level of freestyle amongst the SWA pulling a huge Toad, several Culos, high speed Shakas and other big switch moves. The crowd cheered for all the competitors and with a slick soundtrack provided by the Red Bull music van it was an awesome spectacle.
With the freestyle over, that was the end of the weekend’s competition. Many enjoyed the epic wind for another couple of hour’s free sailing, before heading off the water for the results and prize giving presentations.
'MC' Yeates in the Freestyle
Winners (clockwise from top left):
Louis Morris collects the RRD Fire Race Team Racing Prize sponsored by Boardwise and RRD for Bristol university.
BUCS Advanced Ladies (all from Exeter University).
BUCS Intermediate Ladies from Cardiff, Southampton and Exeter.
BUCS Team Racing Champions, Southampton Solent University.
Winners (clockwise from top left):
SWA Puravida Wave Trilogy. 'MC' Yeates wins a Puravida Custom Board and a Flymount.
The podium for the SWA Freestyle Series, Ollie Acton winning a 2012 Fanatic Skate
SWA Starboard/Tushing Club Race series, won by Liverpool, they won a Starboard Rio.
The top three of the SWA Overall Race Series sponsored by Starboard/Tusningham and Spartan, they are from Liverpool, Bristol and Exeter
Exeter girls making a clean sweep of the SWA Overall Combined Race, Freestyle and Womens Series sponsored by Tabou/Gaastra/Powerex, Flymount and Spartan.
The prize-giving done and dusted, an incredible amount having been handed out, the students said goodbye to each other feeling sad that the SWA year was at an end...
The university summer holidays, where many students will be heading off to Vass, El Medano and a huge number of other top windsurf spots, are the break for the SWA. We will be back in Autumn 2012 with the annual SWA Festival - Aussie Kiss 11.
Watch this space.
Special thanks must go to the safety crews captained by James Topping, BUCS, Southampton Windsurf Club and all of the SWA volunteers who helped run the event. Thanks to Calshot Activities Centre for putting up with us. This event and the SWA series has attracted huge support from the industry and the media (see below), so last and by no means least, we extend our thanks to them.
The Exeter crew prepare for the epic boat party.
This year the industry has really risen to the challenge of supporting the next generation of windsurf enthusiasts. We saw four new boards, two sails, loads of masts and booms, flymounts, loads of Spartan wetsuits, event tickets for Beach Break and the National Windsurf Festival, the list goes on.