The Student Windsurfing Association

The third and final GOYA/SWA wave series event was held on a cold February weekend, Portsmouth's 'Pompay' wave at West Wittering.


For a lot of us it's our first salty taste of the year, so despite ugly mid week wind forecasts we all soldier down to the south coast, images of clean breaks and cross/off shore winds on our minds.

All of us, that is, accept Cardiff. Their elite decided to pass upon a shot at the title, choosing instead to stay home with their electric blankets. They may grace us with their presence once the sun shines 'Over the Valley', and the sea is once again luke warm. (Cardiff Core in March, perhaps)

As always, I have a naive faith in the wind reporting website which provides the best outcome! In this case, (day before) its wind guru and Adam Sims (the walking wind report), 22knts on Sunday, that's something we can work with!

There is, however, a contingency plan should the wind gods be washing their godly hair. A fleet of Turfdogs will be provided by Mike Archer of Turfdog. If it doesn't blow, the Turfdogs show, an on land freestyle event can step in and provide some entertainment in the form of a competition. This favours the Southampton crew as they regularly go dogging, Al Bently even manages to squeeze some dogging into his lunch hour!


With such a dire Saturday forecast, it's no surprise that come 7.30am even Portsmouth organiser Ed Chapman was pressing snooze. Still, we hadn't come all this way for nothing. The majority rocked up to West Wittering at around 10.30 to be met by Mike, eyeball report looked bad, (he's not the prettiest) it was a brisk morning and eventually the Southampton crew arrived to start the show.

After a lot of mincing Mike and Adam took the lead and proposed a Turfdog showdown, giving everyone an opportunity to show off their sponsorship deals/2010 sails. The SWA rose to the challenge and within half an hour transformed West Wittering beach from a lifeless zone filled with depressing SUP riders attempting to catch one foot ripples, to spectacular, colourful, flamboyant arrays and displays of on land one handed flakkas, Spocks, Chakkas and even forward loop attempts!! Portsmouth groupies surrounded the showdown zone to gasp in awe and decide which semi pro student windsurfer to seduce at the up and coming SWA party.
Unfortunately the groupie's wet T-shirt competition had to be cancelled, much to everyone's disappointment, due to especially nippy conditions, and complete lack of T-shirts. Fresher Naomi, or 'bignips', as she is affectionately known, heroically wanted to continue regardless, but the SWA committee had to step in and draw the line due to obvious health and safety issues. She will be happy to know that measures are being taken to provide the audience with protective eyewear for the next event.

Turfdog Freestyle Results:

1st - Al Bentley (Boardwise)
2nd - Adam Sims (Ezzy, RRD,Turfdog, Andy Biggs Windsurfing)
3rd - Nick Bentley
4th - Steve Jarvis (SJ) (4Boards/Vandal/Mormaii/SWA)

Other competitors;

Mike Archer (Turfdog)
Sarah Bibby (Puravidaboardriders, SWA)
Maeli Cherel (4boards/Tabou/Vandal)
Stef Hilder (Rat Rigs/GOYA/Mormaii/SWA)

Post competition brought Turfdog freestyle lessons, laughing at Adams bodge job van stickers, a flying visit/guest appearance from Jem Hall and trying to think of a creative way to hide Jem's SUP board.

Saturday night

A sketchy promise of Sunday's conditions was definitely not enough to subdue the GOYA/SWA wave series' competitors from a typical SWA night out. After all, in the words of Sarah Bibby, "I only have the minerals to front loop when I'm hung over!" (Lord only knows what she's game for when drunk!) After some typical prelash, SJ was publically declaring his lust for something that sounds like 'getting trucked up', and eagerly wanting to head to Route, Portsmouth's classiest nightclub!

Sunday Morning

This time arriving at 9.30, it looked like we had missed the early morning wind. Sims was already rigged, not surprising after his eager party escape to tuck into bed early with his £700 boom. Conditions were onshore with literally no swell. Great. The decision was made to move further round the bay to the low tide lagoon at the far end. It looked perfect for flat water freestyle so a spot of fin changing took place. Nick Bentley was quick to crack out his little fella, the smallest on show at little over 4 inches (Cold weather is no excuse Nick)!

Everyone hit the water in record speed and Al headed the freestyle display with trick after trick whilst gingerly posing for the camera at every opportunity! Adam and Ed were quick to reply, attracting a crowd to the beach front. Nick, Angus, Mel, Sarah, SJ and everyone else hit the water to catch what was left of the remaining wind. Unfortunately due to cold conditions, Ed didn't last very long. One might call him a 'one pump wonder' as he was in and out before he could even jiggle it about. Without neoprene, his feet and hands went dangerously red at an alarming rate, to the point where I could see him from long distance. The wind died pretty much as spontaneously as it came and once again we were beach bound. Mike, loving it, piped up with, 'Did someone say Turfdog?!' and once again the freestyle display hit the sand.

To further entertain spectators, Maeli bravely fought to escape the advances of a horny Labrador. Hats off to the persistent canine for knocking her down to all fours, I don't think anyone has ever been so happy to be wearing a wetsuit.
As the GOYA/SWA wave event couldn't take place due to the conditions, previous results stand deeming Stef Hilder (Southampton) the winner of the series. He wins a brand new 2010 GOYA ECLIPSE wavesail and Plasma T-shirt stash, kindly donated by Murray Saunders of GOYA and Phil Horrocks of Plasma Boardriders. The prize giving will take place at Calshot Nationals. Second place goes to Steve Jarvis (Southampton), and third place goes to Ed Chapman (Portsmouth).

The women's victor of the GOYA/GOYA wave series is Sarah Bibby (Southampton), followed by Maeli Cherel in second and Amy Carter In third. Prizes are also courtesy of Murray Saunders, GOYA.

The SWA would like to thank Murray from GOYA for his continuing support, jet ski rescue cover and series prizes, Jim from PURA VIDA BOARDRIDERS for supplying the individual event prizes, Simon Bassett from 2XS for allowing us to use the beach at West Wittering and finally the SWA Wave event sponsors, without whom the GOYA SWA wave series events can't happen; so thanks to Boardwise, Club Vass, Plasma, Spartan, Turfdog and of course GOYA sails and boards.

The next event on the SWA calendar is Cardiff Core on the 5-7th March Before, finally, the BUCS nationals at Calshot, Southampton on the 2nd May. These Nationals are the student's opportunity to gain BUCS points for their respected universities from individual and team racing. (Many points are won on the dancefloor of our renouned SWA nationals 'Party Boat'!) Demo kit will be available from our sponsors Tushingham, Tabou, Gaastra, AHD, Starboard and Severne as well as local shop support from Solent Sailboards.

Text & Photography: Sam Burnett

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