The Student Windsurfing Association

Jo Wright has a chat with the SWA's Will Jones


Will Jones catches up with Nicola Terenzi

Interviewing Ollie Acton (K448), Freestyle series winner from Southampton Solent University. Sponsored by Andy Biggs, Starboard, Tushingham.

Q: Which event did you enjoy the most this year?

A: Aussie Kiss last year was amazing, the SWA really pushed it up to another level with so much demo gear, live music, parties and we had wind!

Q: What was your best result, and which result meant the most to you?

A: Best result was at the Bristol Core event because I won and there was some decent wind, however the nationals meant a lot more because it was the decider for winning the brand new board and also Solent won the BUCS team racing gold.

Ollie Acton

Q: What do you look forward to about next year?

A: More of the same really, like probably everyone else I’m already looking forward to Aussie Kiss at the start of next year.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to see next year?

A: I’d like to see more people entering in the freestyle competition. I’m not too sure people realized but if they had just entered at every event, done a heli-tack or something they would have won the freestyle series and the board!  But competing isn’t always about winning, for some inspiration check out Will’s article, pretty much says it all. Next year I’m defiantly coming to every event!

Q: So what are your plans for summer?

A: I’ve just come back from a two week windsurf holiday in Fuerteventura, it’s mentally windy there, pretty much spent the whole holiday on the 4.2. Did some filming for the first time there so should have a windsurf video sorted soon which is cool.  I’m off to teach windsurfing at Minorca Sailing to earn a bit of money and spend a bit more time in the sun.  Come September I’ll be at the National Windsurf Festival and at Windfest, hopefully seeing a lot of SWA members there!

Ollie Acton

Q: Solent windsurf club has a talented crew at the moment, meaning amazing results at some events. Can we expect to see more from you next year?

A: Yeh, we have some awesome windsurfers at Solent, from top level freestylers to international racers.  Our club president Chubsey (Adam Chubbock) is planning big things for next year so you’ll see a lot more of us at all the events.  From a competing point of view you should expect more of same from us, and hopefully some results in the waves and racing series too.

Click here to see the other SWA Champions of 2012

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Interviewing Matthew (MC) Yeates, Wave Series Winner from ULU.

Q: You attended most of the events this year, which event did you enjoy the most?

A: It goes without saying all the events were awesome but Aussie Kiss definitely stands out as having had that X factor this year. It is a great event to catch up with the people that you haven’t seen all summer so the party factor is always guaranteed. This year that combined with a real festival vibe and some wind made it one epic weekend that stands out for me!!

Matt Yeates

Q: You won the wave series off the back of one event, and had some decent freestyle results as well. Which result meant the most to you?

A: I spent some time in the canaries last summer concentrating on my wave sailing so its especially nice to see that transfer into a result. Of course though it is good to still be mixing it up in the freestyle too, despite getting very little time on the water on my freestyle gear in the last year.

The results which meant the most to me though was probably the most unexpected; at Aussie Kiss I got the “Severne Awesomeness Award” for getting involved and helping during the party on the DJ side of things and making the freestyle final at the same time. This for me is exactly what the SWA is all about, windsurfing hard in what is an increasingly competitive field but at the same time absolutely sending it on an evening for the parties!!

Q: What are you looking forward to most about next year?

A: Hopefully getting some windier conditions in the wave series. I think the depth of talent amongst the field now means that if we have a really windy wave event it will highlight for everyone just how good the standard is in the SWA.

Q: What would you like to see added to changed in the series for next year?

A: I would love to see Rhossy back on the wave tour again. The spot seems to serve up the goods more often than most in the UK and the last event we had there in 2010/2011 goes down as probably the best conditions I’ve ever seen at a SWA event in my time.

Q: What do you like most about the SWA?

A: The feeling I get every single Sunday evening after an SWA event when I realize all the driving, organization and expense was worth it.

Matt Yeates

Q: What are your plans for the summer? Any holidays or competitions?

A: I have just started working in London so probably a lot less time on the water for me this summer. However in August I will definitely go to Naxos and potentially El Medano for a bit as well.

Q: You are joining the media team for next year, what prompted the decision and what do you hope to bring to the team?

A: I like writing and wanted to help more people find out about the SWA and encourage them to get involved. I think it really has the potential to continue getting bigger and better in the way it has since I started, to help contribute to that is an opportunity I didn’t want to miss out on.

Click here to see the other SWA Champions of 2012

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Interviewing Jo Wright, Women's series winner from Exeter University.

Q: What was your highlight of this year’s SWA season?

A: For me Aussie Kiss was awesome, it was my first time attending an SWA event with Exeter University. It was great to catch up with everyone I hadn’t seen for a while and not that I need to mention it- but the partying was SICK! On the windsurfing side of things, the team racing didn’t go too great, as during a change over between myself and Kirsten O’Callaghan, I managed to unfortunately drop the sail at the exact wrong time and clonk her on the head, with the mast. I was hoping for more in the freestyle competition, and after a tactical pre-heat nap and some tips from Plymouth’s Scott Perry on how to sail a freestyle heat, I managed to pull off a vulcan as well as some old school freestyle moves to give me the overall win for the women, which I was very happy about! Aussie Kiss certainly filled me with enough enthusiasm to want to attend all other SWA events, and the tour definitely didn’t disappoint!

Jo Wright

Q: What are you looking forward to most for next season?

A: Aussie Kiss in October, after a summer abroad, it will be great to see everyone. Also I will be helping to run the marketing side of things for the SWA next year, so I’m looking forward to having an input on that and hopefully getting lots of awesome prizes lined up.

Q: What would you like to see added to changed in the series for next year?

A: Maybe making events slightly cheaper, although I understand they are run at very low costs anyway and hopefully some decent wind for next years wave series. Getting more girls to compete would be awesome too, there are so many more out there who are good enough – if you can turn around then you can enter a freestyle heat and if you can plane in the foot-straps and waterstart there is no reason why you cant enter a wave heat!

Q: Exeter Uni. Windsurf Club has a good bunch of talented girls coming through. Do you think it helps sailing with lost of girls of a similar standard?

A: Yeah, before joining Exeter University, as a female, I had always been out numbered by guys on the water – whether that be racing, seasons abroad or just sailing at my local spots. When I turned up at Exeter it was awesome to find so many other girls super keen for windsurfing. I think sailing with other girls is great, but just getting out on the water with anyone, regardless of gender, is great and makes you push your level so much more. Sailing with guys I find to be very useful in breaking the fear factor on moves – with the tendency for guys to have a more ‘Man-up and just go for it attitude’, it often pushed me to go for new moves. (Seeing a 70 year old man Vulcan perfectly in Dahab, was my motivation to finally learn the move, I just had no valid excuses after seeing that!)

Q: What do you like most about the SWA?

A: The SWA is awesome because it opens up windsurfing to a huge market of very enthusiastic students wanting to have a LOT of fun. It makes windsurfing affordable to everyone (with free lessons and demo kit at all events). Everyone attending the events has a huge grin on there faces – aside from maybe the early morning hangovers! It also pushes the level of student windsurfing, and helps university windsurf clubs to develop.

Jo Wright. Image credit PWA/JC.

Q: What are your plans for the summer? Training hard for next season? Any competitions?

A: I’m heading to Dahab for the duration of June, to hopefully get a few more freestyle moved dialed and finally get a forward loop! After that I’m back in the UK working for 2 weeks and then off to El Medano, Tenerife for 8 weeks, which should hopefully push my wave-sailing. Events wise, I unfortunately couldn’t make the first 2 BWA events this year, due to exams (it is tough being a student sometimes!), so when I get back I hope to attend both Tiree and Gwithian as well as all the SWA events.

Q: You’ve decided to get involved with the SWA committee this year, what prompted that decision?

A: I heard that there was possibly going to be a marketing position available within the SWA next year, and i thought 2nd year would be a great time to join. As well as this, marketing is hopefully the career path I want to take on graduation, so combing marketing and windsurfing seemed like the ideal opportunity. I feel I already have quite a few ties within the windsurfing world, so hoping I can make a positive impact next year.

Click here to see the other SWA Champions of 2012

boards cirlce logo   This article is also in Boards online, read it here   boards cirlce logo

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