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Cambridge wins BUSA Student Nationals 2003!

10 years after their last win at the BUSA Student Nationals, Cambridge Uni Windsurf club have finally won again! Not only that, but they have also won the Student Windsurfing Association Series prize for 2003. But the nationals isn't only just about those winning the prizes...

Yet again, the BUSA Student Nationals hosted by Southampton University were a tremendous success. The event was held down at the Calshot Activities centre, with people camping right on the beach, or getting some slightly better zeds in the accomodation there.

Cavalcades of vans and cars quickly filled the site on the Friday night, and the bar filled just as quickly. Perhaps on no other event is the tight-knit group of student windsurfing so obvious as at the Student Nationals - everyone know everyone, and if they don't, they soon will!

  • Beginners at the Nationals

If you haven't been to the BUSA Student Nationals before, then you'll probably think it's all about racing with serious teams, and that everyone's there for the racing. Well, it's true - everyone takes part in the racing, but there's several different levels, and in fact, total beginners come along and race. Calshot has an extremely sheltered lagoon, and Spleena and Mr. Ben encouraged all the beginners in their learning and racing during the weekend. Most notable was the determination from one of the beginners, who decided that her most efficient way of getting round the course was to paddle! Of course, we should of course quote SWA rule 231b here:

Race rule 231b
Racers are said to have completed their race when both themselves and their kit have completed the course. The means of propulsion is up to the competitor. Bonus points will be given for unusual interpretations.
  • Competetive Racing

That being said, the racing in the top divisions was taken extremely seriously. The BUSA Nationals are well worth winning, as there's not only prestige for the uni, but better recognition and therefore funding for the club.

As in previous years, Dave Thomson very kindly helped out as the race officer. By lunchtime on Saturday, he'd already pushed through 3 sets of races for 2 divisions - no mean feat when it's around 100 of hungover windsurfers your trying to get moving. Massive line starts were the order of the day, and the sights across the water were impressive indeed.

  • The Caravan of love (aka the Race Office)

Jerry Springer made the bold move to tow his caravan down to the nationals, and use it as the race office. As such, it may have been the first race office ever to have been towed to Tarifa and back. (I'd like to see the car that did that - it must be knackered. ed.)

As well as being the centre of some fairly loud partying on Friday night, and the home of some hungover results helpers on Saturday, it was also the music centre for the weekend. There's nothing so satisfying as watching people fall in at the gybe mark while listening to Benny Hill...

  • Tortoises, Scousers, Pirates and OAPs...

No windsurfing event would be complete without the obligatory fancy dress party, and this was no exception. Only this time the party came to us - Southampton had arranged a booze cruise around the Solent with each uni coming as a different theme.

But it's no good arriving at a party like that without a bit of a rocket boost. And Bacardi Breezer supplied just that (with the help of a quick boat race and a massive barrel of punch).

  • What happened?

Good question. Slowly but surely, the tents and rooms woke up to find a bright sunny day, and the nagging feeling that everything might not be as it seemed. Which was true - there were students waking up from eveyr corner of Calshot wearing either what they had the night before, or in some more worrying cases, nothing at all.

  • It's like La Tranche in England!

If we were lucky with the weather on Saturday, we were even luckier on Sunday - a beautiful sunny day, and wind at the top of force 4. The racing format changed from the individual racing in to the dynamic relay racing becoming popular on the student circuit.

Teams of 4 had to run into the water, grab their board and complete a lap before swapping to the next memeber of their team. Cambridge dominated the racing, often winning a lap ahead, but behind them, the competition was fierce.

The new format was a real success, and allowed the spectators much better opportunity to get involved and chear their sailors along. Fast change-overs and tidy gybing won races here. It looks like this format (first discovered in La Trance at the ISITEM Atlantic Funcup) is set to become a mainstay for next year's SWA series.

  • I can't get it all in!

Everyone packed in to hear the news of who'd won the event - and it quickly became apparent how well supported the event was. But not only was it well attended, some big name sponsors had come forward and given prizes and offers for the event.

Greg Jones, the CE of BUSA came to give the prizes and medals away, and gave a quick speech to everyone there. He was particularly pleased with the community spirit amongst the windsurfers, and the way the people from all abilities came to the BUSA windsurfing nationals, not just the team racers. In fact, after discussions with Greg, it looks like the SWA may develop stronger links with BUSA, and therefore raise the profile of Student Windsurfing.

See all the photos from the event

Special Thanks

The Nationals is the last official race event on the student circuit, and as always, there's so many people to thank - not only for work at the nationals, but also from the whole year. But special thanks goes to:

Phil Cutter (President of Soton), Erica Clarke and all the Southampton Uni committee for organising yet another great BUSA.

Dave Thomson, Laurie Barber, John Rabbetts and their teams helping out as race officers, safety boat driving and first aid, and for generally keeping everyone in line...

Calshot Acitvities centre for having us again.

The following sponsors helped out with prizes

BACARDI BREEZER and the Bat Device

are registered trademarks of
Bacardi & Company Limited

 

Check out the photos or recall your favorite moments

The summer chill helped everyone re-tox after the exam madness. As if by magic everyone left perfectly chilled.

The Bangor boys stood there with their tweed jackets, inebriated but in control and that look of contentment to be introducing the studentwindsurfers to some of the best sailing conditions in the UK.

Once again Rhosneigr did not fail to please, with cross off winds and a running swell, it was riding heaven (for some the riding continued into the night!).

The beginners and intermediates also had fun on the lake, attempting to complete the course whilst slaloming the reeds and local fishermen!!

  • Location - Rhosneigr
  • Weather - Marginal winds both Sat and Sun with a 4-6foot swell
  • Party - Prehistoric/Caveman
  • Attendance - 100 students

Sponsors:

This year's fun was supported by the kind guys and girls at:

&


 

Please go to their website - we are very grateful for their support

Check out the photos or recall your favorite moments

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