The Student Windsurfing Association

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

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Interviewing Louis Morris, race series winner from Bristol University.

Louis Morris

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

A: I’d definitely say Liverpool, we had an awesome crew from Bristol and UWE up that weekend, the dedication on the fancy dress side was epic. The wind even showed up briefly. The Liverpool committee had put a lot of hard work into organizing the event and it went off without a hitch. They definitely deserved the award for best club this year.

AK was awesome because it was windy and it’s such a huge event, but I didn’t know many people having just arrived at Uni, so it was a bit intimidating. The events got better through the year as I got to know more people.

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

A: Bristol easily, we were sailing in planning conditions. It was almost marginal which meant getting on the plane quickly was important. I won the advanced race, which was awesome.

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

A: Where do I start, the wave events. It would be awesome if we got some good conditions for the series this year as the level is really high and the conditions we had this year really didn’t show that at all. I’m also representing on the Bristol committee this year as the Intermediate/Advanced rep. I’m hoping to hook up with the advanced group from UWE for lifts and stuff.

Q: As you mentioned you are a part of the Bristol/UWE clubs. What is it like coming from such a big club?

A: The two clubs from Bristol Uni. and University of West England are joined at the hip. We share everything from kit to socials. Being such a big club is awesome; we have a big pool of kit, which is awesome for beginners. The social scene is really good too as it means that we have a huge core group at socials. No other sports in Bristol have this kind of friendly vibe between clubs. We’re in the same city and we love doing the same thing so you’d have to be stupid to not take advantage of the benefits that can be had from cooperating. The only trouble with Bristol is that it is a bit of a trek to get to somewhere we can sail, but that just makes us more excited when we do get to go for a session.


Q: You are often seen giving clinics and words of advice at events, even when it is windy and all the other instructors are on the water, why?

A: I love seeing people on the water and improving.  I think it comes down to the fact that I really enjoy windsurfing and want to share that with other people. I remember finding it really frustrating trying to get past those early hurdles. People really appreciate the advice and will remember you if you helped them climb the next step on the ladder. 

Q: You attended the majority of the events this year, is there anything you’d like to see next year?

A: It was great to see Phil and Danielle from at nationals and the feedback from that was amazing. It would be cool to see a greater continuity in the coaching that goes on at events. Especially when it is windy.

Q: So what are your plans for summer?

A: No big trips, more of the usual. I work at Siblyback lake in Cornwall, teaching windsufing. I love the job, especially coaching the T15 squad. I used to be a part and now I coach them, they helped me so much in those early years and it’s a great feeling to be able to give back. Our squad won the regionals last year, so I’m really excited to build on that success this season.

Also, I’m going to try and get down to Bigbury, Daymer, and St Johns Lake to get some practice in freestyling and wavesaling. Then there are the UKWA events. I went to the BSA slalom event at the OTC in Weymouth. It was windy and I could get demo kit, it was a truly amazing event. I’d love to get into slalom more, but sadly being a poor student can’t I afford new kit.

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

XSport online magazine ran an article in this months issue by SWA-Team rider Adam Simms. Check it out at


SWA committee 13-14

         Meet the SWA Committee 2014-2015

The SWA-Team is made up of eight students who have been chosen to carry the SWA flag on the UK competition scheme. They have been chosen for their talent and passion for windsurfing as well as commitment to the SWA.

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