The Student Windsurfing Association

Pondlife VI

With Aussie Kiss still fresh in the minds; and on the Facebook pages, of windsurfers nationwide, Nottingham University decided to reinforce the windy(ish) message with Pondlife VI, and this year, it was all grown up!

Although not quite the wind-fest of Pondlife IV & V, it gave a long overdue opportunity for the beginners to steal the limelight, but more on that later…

It all kicked off in traditional fashion with a Friday night bash at the modestly sized (to give it some credit) Bag’o’Nails. After seeing just how much fun Nottingham had after their minibus broke down at AK, Southampton decided they’d trump it by not only having their minibus fail on them, but having one of their trailer wheels make a bid for freedom. Nevertheless, 4a.m Saturday is never too late to join a party, especially when Andy Burke’s your host.

Kudos to Leah (Cardiff President) for getting “ghetto” with the Nottingham locals, and to UEA for being the first to buy me a drink, good work.

Saturday came along with a truly beginner (and mincer) friendly 13 knots of wind and some absolutely stunning weather at Rutland reservoir. Despite this, team races, freestyle classics & individual races all went off with the majority of the spoils being shared between Southampton & Cardiff, also some big love for Taffy for sorting all the races out.

Party night got under way in true Pondlife fashion with… pizza, then the more obvious choice of fancy dress. With a “when I grow up” theme, there were some ingenious, disturbing, arousing & down right wrong costumes kicking around the Nottingham SU. Facebook should probably be checked for an accurate account of the evening’s festivities, as all concerned with writing this article (just me in fact) are hazy on the finer details.

Finally, the main event, the one that everyone had been waiting for, after hangovers had been nursed, and bacon had been cooked the beginners took to the stage; or in this case, the lagoon, technicality really. 25 beginners in 5 heats fought it out with the backing track of everything from Pendulum to Queen. Though the wind was less than epic, and hardcore sailors would have been disappointed, nothing’s better than getting behind the next wave of windsurfers in some modest November sunshine.

Once again, Cardiff & Southampton shared the spoils, but Nottingham were moral winners, laying claim to the only beginner who actually windsurfed the entire way around the whole course. Well done Imogen, you’ve made me a proud president.

Huge and utterly heartfelt thanks to everyone who rocked up to the event, and everyone who helped out in some way or another. Boardwise, Noble’s & Goya all need to get a special thanks for supplying ample kit, Rutland water for sorting us out with safety cover and a place to windsurf , and of course the SWA & all of my committee for everything they’ve done for the event.

Thanks to al the SWA sponsors for their continuing support: AHD, Boardseeker, Boardwise, Club Vass, Ezzy, Fanatic, Gaastra, Goya, Naish, Plasma, RRD, Severne, Spartan, Starboard, Tabou, Turfdog and Tushingham.

Text: Albi Birchmore

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