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THE RITES OF SPRING - vodka, punting and a bit of windsurfing!

Even by student windsurfing standards the Cambridge event was carnage; extreme drunkenness, nudity and general debauchery lead to several drinking injuries, widespread hangovers and a few severe spankings from college deans.  However, surprisingly, considering the severity of hangovers, the standard of the racing and freestyle was again very high.

 

Friday evening:

            Knowing that a weekend is a small amount of time even for an experienced student windsurfer to make much of a fool out of themselves, the Cambridge committee got the carnage off to an early start by hosting the event registration at Churchill College, where a huge party was going off.  Churchill parties are rarely the ‘coolest’ of parties, and almost invariably play shockingly cheesy music, but when you have just driven for several hours and consumed large quantities of “light distilled spirit drink” (possibly gin?) it is exactly what you need…

           

Saturday:

             Saturday morning saw a lot of hangovers and some shocking weather to boot.  I’ve always been led to believe that if a large enough sacrifice is made to the wind gods (in the form of virgin brain cells sacrificed by large quantities of alcohol), that we would be rewarded with wind.  Unfortunately, in this case we seem to have been let down.  The wind was almost nowhere to be seen and apart from a ten minute squall (complete with hailstones) during the middle of the afternoon, it never ventured much above a force 2.  This meant good conditions for the intermediates and beginners, and a return to IMCO racing for the advanced fleet.  Although despised by a large number of windsurfers, the race boards do allow some exciting racing to be carried out in very marginal winds and gave us all a very good excuse to wear our fake beards.  It was decided that team racing would be the most fun so everyone got into teams of three and prepared to do battle on the high seas (Grafham water).  After many rounds of battle/racing, Cambridge squeezed in first, with Southampton in 2nd (1st loser).  The intermediates were dominated by Southampton though, with the top three teams all hailing from the concrete haven.

 

 Party:

           As expected, Saturday night was a typical student drunken hedonistic night of trouble.  The theme for the party was ‘religion’ and so everyone from nuns to wise men turned up, including the grim reaper and a religious cult.  A great night was had by all, but we paid the price the following morning…

 

Sunday:

            One of the things which makes the Cambridge event stand out from all of the other events is the Sunday morning mincing.  At every event there is almost no chance that anyone will manage to hit the water before lunch time on the Sunday, but at Cambridge this is actually planned.  After a hearty breakfast at one of the posh old colleges, 150 students hit the punts.  The river cam in early march is probably not the most sensible place to put this many students, especially when half of them are still drunk, but who suggested we were sensible.  After a good session of naked bridge jumping and a quick serenade of some of the girls lucky enough to live by the river, we were back to Grafham water to do some freestyle.  By this time hangovers were just starting to kick in properly, so the sensible among us ran on-land freestyle clinics for the intermediates, while the more foolhardy braved the icy waters.  Again the wind failed to produce, but this led to some close quarter lightwind freestyle which proved to be a great spectator sport. 

 

            Overall the event was awesome, made so thanks to all the hard work of the Cambridge committee, especially Chris Addison who organised most of the weekend.

 

 

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