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As all things must have a beginning and an end, COVID has seemingly come full circle with the triumphant return of Northern Monkey. Many a seasoned SWA attendee will recall that the last core event to take place before lockdown was Liverpool and fittingly they hosted our first core event back. I’m sure closure was felt by many as we returned to West Kirby.

The weekend started with the long drive to Liverpool with windsurfers coming from up and down the country. Tinnies were chinned to prepare for the night ahead. Soon we were settled in our gracious hosts’ houses before moving over the Sphinx to sample their infamously cheap pints. Wristbands collected and drinks in hand the weekend could begin properly. After a short while, it was time to migrate over to Einstein’s to continue the night of seeing friends and having a jolly.

Waking up the next morning was a struggle for many but it was nothing the classic SWA breakfast couldn’t alleviate. Then it was time to get off to West Kirby where despite unusually calm winds a lot of people still had a crack at getting out on the water. There truly is nothing like a cold windsurf to get rid of a hangover.

Advanced and team racing got underway even with the less than impressive conditions. To the excitement of a good deal of us, West Kirby also appeared to be popular with the publics’ dogs meaning those who didn’t go out were able to have a good time playing with the pooches.

As the darkness descended overhead clubs began heading back to Liverpool to get ready for the night ahead. Pizzas were cooked and naps were had in preparation for Saturday night. The naps, however, could only be short before we donned costumes and hit the drinks. The short naps were of upmost importance in order to make the most of the drinks deals at Heebie Jeebies. A massive thank you must be given to the club and their bar staff for looking after us so well and making sure it was an incredible night!

By 11pm most clubs had got to the bar and drinks were flowing. The arrival of Southampton resulted in an impromptu Salsa class from Charlie Alcock. I can only speak for myself, but it might just be that I’m worse at Salsa when there’s £1.50 tequilas in my system, truly shocking. Then we were graced with a surprise performance from Sax-A-Dan. It really does feel like an event would be incomplete without these two staples of the SWA. Just after midnight the general public were allowed into the club and bless them, they must have been so confused to see a sea of tinfoil costumes.

A very rough morning followed that night, but we powered through cleaning and packing up, making sure to leave the hosts houses in good nick. Slowly we all returned to the West Kirby for the final day of windsurf. Free sailing got underway followed by the first beginner racing of the year. After this the intermediates had their turn and then freestyle with some rather creative commentary.

At this point the light was leaving us and the weekend was drawing to a close. Thus, it was time for prize giving. For the beginners race first went to Claire (Southampton), second to Charlie (Liverpool) and third to Paula (Birmingham). In the intermediate category Vid (Imperial) took first, Elise (Birmingham) took second and Angus (Liverpool) took third. Then in advanced first went to Matilda (Edinburgh), second to Alex (Liverpool) and third to Max (Bristol). In freestyle Vid (Imperial) took first, Alex (Liverpool) took second and Jan (Edinburgh) took third. Finally, in team racing Liverpool took prime spot, second spot went to Edinburgh and the third position also went to Edinburgh! Congratulations to everyone who took part in the competitions! With debrief over it was time for final goodbyes to old friends and new.

A massive thank you to the Liverpool Committee for organising yet another stellar event and to Boardwise for your continued support.  See you all at Swansea!

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