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Liverpool returned this year as the third core event in the SWA series and the attack of the northern monkey was supplemented by an attack by jack frost as snow set in..

People started arriving fairly early from the pilgrimage north, even Southampton arrived relatively early, and were clearly the most intoxicated. Sign up was brief with a free event easy rig for all, and plenty of drinking.

Saturday morning was a cold start, the mounds of snow from the previous two days still lying in drifts around the lake. None the less the racing for advanced and intermediates started with gusto, with tuition for the beginners. The wind was marginal planning for division 1, on Technos and Express'. Despite the cold the sun stayed out all day keeping the worst of the chill off the cold north-westerly wind. After wrapping up the day with an exciting race off for the Intermediate Crown, we decamped back to host's houses to 'doll' up in Willy Wonka fancy dress.

Now the SWA has a certain legendary status for totally outrageous costumes, constructed from little more than cardboard boxes and duck tape. Liverpool was no exception with costumes ranging from guys in drag, to students packed into giant chocolate wrappers. A brave move when wandering the streets of Merseyside being heckled by the native scousers. Starting at the Flute for feeding time, the array of half naked student windsurfers moved swiftly to Klass for desert (chocolate fountain!) served up by Mrs Wonka herself, Chloe Goodyear. The night ended in spectacular fashion with a short stumble to The Blue Angel Night Club (aka The Raz) a venue of legendary status for all Liverpool students and the regular hang for the LUWC crew. A special word should go to Chloe, our illustrious president, for safeguarding relations with Tushingham and Starboard for the imminent future.

Sunday morning was a rather belated start but gave advent to the disappearance of the snow, and some WIND!!! Rigging began with a rather faulting enthusiasm as people prepared for the freestyleeee and speed competitions. People also had a chance for a spot of free sailing, with loads of awesome, spanking new demo kit kindly looked after by Martin from Tushingham and Starboard, and advice from the resident guru 'Big Mike'. The freestyle began with some 'new skool' gecko tricks, and as the wind began to freshen, plenty of planning flicky spinny manoeuvres. A short pause was allowed prior to the final as a huge front appeared on the horizon. As the wind freshened the sailors hit the water, performing some spine wrenching manouvers, a huge hit with the watching spectators.

The speed sailing wasn't quite as successful with the top speed of the weekend; 14.5 knots, less than half of last year, yet well deserved considering the conditions. With the sailing all done, the wind finally gave up the ghost just as the prizes were presenting. These included two wetsuits from Typhoon; a quiver bag, deck plate and mast foot from Tushy; and hoodys and t-shirts from 604 distributions and SAS.

The whole weekend was a huge success helped raise money for Surfers Against Sewage and was completely carbon neutral. A big thanks to all our helpers, Neil from Surf-Tech and all our sponsors hope I haven't forgotten anyone.

Check out the photos here

Simon Bostock

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