The Student Windsurfing Association

This April saw the final installment of the 08'-'09 SWA series, with Southampton's "Windstock" BUCS Windsurfing Nationals bringing the year to a powerful finish. Read on for more details.

Friday night saw universities from all over the country rocking up to the sunny South coast ready and eager after the Easter break for the final stage in the years race series and a full power weekend of partying. After registration and picking up sail numbers, food tickets and pimped t-shirts, tents were pitched, BBQ’s were lit and the socializing began for what would be the most insane BUCS nationals to date!

Saturday dawned sunny and warm, with the tunes kicked off under the red bull tent by Southampton’s resident DJ Crowds. After many a hung over sailor had rigged up the racing began. The morning saw the advanced, intermediates and beginners donning neoprene and cutting up Southampton water with some hair-raising racing in divisions one, two and three of the BUCS national championship. Thanks to the strong breeze the results were good and after a tiring couple of sessions everyone returned to the beach to witness some live music. Indigo Sun, a local band fronted by Southampton legend Joe Iddison busted out some sweet music until the early hours of the evening for the entertainment of the crowds.

With the sun setting, the anticipation for the evening’s events rose. With the party theme as ‘Windstock,’ Hippies, glam rock stars, cavemen and ravers were seen emerging from tents and boarding the boat for a 3 hour cruise in Southampton water to some beating tunes… it suffices to say carnage ensued…

With the occasional swells seeing everyone on the dance floor swaying and stumbling the night went off. A break dancing ‘comp’ saw the interuniversity wind fest rising to new levels, a sweet dance was had by all. As the boat docked word was spread of the after party in the near by Schneider hangar, where the hard core contingent enjoyed drum and base through haze and strobe

s until the late hours of the early morning.

The final heats of the advanced racing and the team racing were witnessed on the Sunday, seeing Cambridge succeed in both the team and individual advanced racing. The other results are as follows:

Men’s Division 1 Advanced Racing:
1st Jacob Brubert – Cambridge
2nd David Williams – Cambridge
3rd Tim Staley – Cambridge

Men’s Division 2 Intermediate Racing:
1st Richard Henderson – UEA
2nd James McNaughton – Swansea
3rd Ben Wood - Swansea

Men’s Division 3 Beginner Racing:
1st James Brammer- Cardiff
2nd Dan Hibbert – Loughborough
3rd Tom Johnston - Southampton

Women’s Division 1 Advanced Racing:
1st Gemma Lewis – Cardiff
2nd Joanna Walsh-Cambridge
3rd Sarah Bibby ( – Southampton

Women’s Division 2 Intermediate Racing: (Please see note below)
1st Emma Hand– Southampton
2nd Lara Hanes- Nottingham
3rd Emma Shrimpton- Loughborough

Women’s Division 3 Beginner Racing:
1st Helen Isaccs- Bristol
2nd Ciara Shevlin- UWE
3rd Becca Roberts- Southampton

The winners of the racing series were split between Cambridge, Southampton, Cardiff, UEA and Bristol, seeing Cambridge win overall. Well done!

The past year has seen some fierce competition in both the racing and freestyle but also at the wave events, it’s safe to say that the level of skill being demonstrated at the SWA competitions has gone ballistic! Maeli Cherel (Southampton) won the overall SWA Naish Women’s series and a brand new Naish Sail after an incredibly tight finish for first with Sarah Bibby (Southampton, coming in just a quarter point behind. Adam Sims (Portsmouth, RRD, EZZY,,, Turfdog) well and truly cleaned up after winning both the SWA RRD/Ezzy Wave Series and the SWA Boardwise Freestyle series; he won a 2008 88l flare and an Ezzy Sail. The SWA Tushingham Race Series was fantastically won by Gemma Lewis (Cardiff) after pitting herself against the lads as well as the girls. Thank you to Naish, Boardwise, RRD/Ezzy and Tushingham for their sponsorship of the SWA and these series.

After the presentations had been awarded the tired but satisfied masses said their farewells and departed in cars and buses. An awesome weekend was had by all! A huge thank you to everyone who attended to make the event such a success, the Southampton Committee, the Southampton Event Sponsors solent sailboards, 4boards and Redbull, the SWA and all the SWA sponsors: Club Vass, Boardwise, Naish, RRD/Ezzy, Starboard/Tushingham, Boohai, Turfdog and Severne. Thank you in particular to Mark and Sally from Boardwise, John from Severne, Rich from Naish and Ian from Expix for coming down for the weekend and helping to make the event a success. Massive thanks also go to BUCS and the SWA committee for assisting with the event. 

The overall year’s freestyle and wave results:

SWA Naish Women’s series
1st Maeli Cherel – Southampton
2nd Sarah Bibby ( – Southampton
3rd Gemma Lewis – Cardiff

SWA RRD/ Ezzy Wave Series
1st Adam Sims (RRD, EZZY,,, Turfdog) – Portsmouth
Joint 2nd Seb Willis (Windwise) – Cardiff
Joint 2nd Al Bentley – Southampton (Boardwise, Severne)

SWA Boardwise Freestyle series

1st Adam Sims (RRD, EZZY,,, Turfdog) – Portsmouth
2nd James Goody – Cardiff
3rd Joe O’Callaghan – St Mary’s

SWA Tushingham Race Series
1st Gemma Lewis – Cardif
2nd Seb Willis (Windwise) – Cardiff
3rd Sarah Bibby ( – Southampton


Congratulations to all of you guys who competed at the weekend and at all the other events!

See you guys at The Thames Event or at Aussie Kiss 8!


Apologies must go to all the women in the Diversion 2 Intermediate Racing, incorrect results were announced for the third place at the awards due to technical difficulties. The SWA committee regrets that this error occurred and is taking steps to ensure this does not happen again in the future, evidently the SWA committee is only human despite popular opinion.

Words: Danny Taylor and Beth Sangwine
Photography: Javier Choi

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