CUW Make Waves at Nationals

JACK TAWNEY reports on the windsurfing team’s progress at the nationals.

jack tawney pete bunch steph willis student windsurfing association windsurfing zephyr penoyre

Last weekend four of Cambridge’s finest windsurfers hit Calshot hard for the BUCS Windsurfing Nationals.

Windsurfers racing for the line

This event happens once a year and, unlike other events organised by the Student Windsurfing Association, it’s a little more serious. After a very wet journey down on the Friday evening, free t-shirts were gathered and tents erected before there was time to have a drink or two and catch up with friends from other universities. The wise opted for a tactical early bed, while others enjoyed themselves until the wee hours of the morning.

The next day was for individual racing and, with a whole host of awesome prizes up for grabs and some shiny medals for the winners, the standard was very high. The racing took place on longboards – heavy and very wobbly but much quicker upwind than conventional ones. Steph Willis and I both sailed in the advanced fleets and did well, battling with tricky tides (and hangovers). However, the racing was dominated by sailors from Exeter and Solent universities and we both placed in the bottom half of the fleet.

Fresh back from the club’s Easter trip to Dahab, Pete Bunch and Zephyr Penoyre were ready to cut swathes through the intermediate fleet. Despite some promising results early on, Zephyr didn’t manage to hold on to his early advantage and ended up middle of the field.

SWA events are renowned for the Saturday night party and nationals were no exception, seeing a few hundred students and industry representatives don their best fancy dress and descend on a ferry to party the night away on the waters of the Solent.

Team racing and freestyle competitions were held on Sunday, and after a strong second place in the first round, Cambridge had to settle for a close fought 5th place in the team racing. Then it was up to Steph Willis and Henry Maxfield (Alumni) to compete in the freestyle. Despite falling in during every trick, Steph still got 3rd place in the Women’s competition and Henry was 4th in the Men’s with a dazzling display of Vulcan and Loop attempts.


Windsurfers – “go wild or go home”

The next event will be Aussie Kiss 11 down in Devon in October, but the Cambridge club remains very active throughout the Easter term (the sea is warmer!) with beginner/intermediate trips to Grafham water and advanced trips to the coast when it’s windy.

Anyone interested should contact Aidan Hopkins (adh41) or Emily Guest (emg49).