The SWA are ready for the next event in their busy calendar, the Puravida wave event hosted by Plymouth and Exeter!
For almost as long as the SWA has been around, Exeter Uni has been one of the biggest clubs in the country. As a pretty decent Uni with a lot of windsurf spots just a short drive away it has no excuse not to be. We know a lot of SWA members chose their Uni based on distance from windsurf spots first and quality of course second. Since the beginning of the SWA wave series Exeter have always been one of the Uni’s to host a leg of the competition.
Plymouth Uni similarly for many years has had a windsurf club with regular active members. Perhaps always just a little overshadowed by their neighbours in Exeter but non the less they are a club that has produced some rippers over the years. This year the decision has been made mutually amongst both Plymouth and Exeter Uni and the SWA to move the competition, traditionally hosted by Exeter, to Plymouth. The reason for this is simple enough, being that much deeper in to Cornwall staying in Plymouth saves an hour on the journey to widely recognised top wave sailing spots such as Gwithian and Marazion. With the high level of ability amongst the competitors on the SWA series this year, the event organisers from the SWA along with lead sponsor Puravida are looking to hold the events at the most challenging locations, where the top sailors will really be given a chance to shine.
Round one of the series was hosted by Portsmouth Uni. The small swell didn’t make for classic down the line conditions but the high wind produced an impressive aerial display from the students. Adam Chubbock and Ollie Acton from Southampton Solent University so far this year between them have dominated the freestyle series, at Portsmouth they definitely showed that they can defiantly cope when the water is not so flat too finishing second and third respectively. With some super slick forwards, and the occasional sliding move for good luck, they will definitely be ones to watch in the coming wave events. Chubsy commented afterwards, ‘I had to work really hard to get that result. Every time I hit a ramp I did a forward.’
The first round of the series is always exciting. Each year it’s great to see new faces coming through and new talent shining. This year was no exception with Ben Page in his first year at Southampton Uni taking first place in the event. We had already been given a sneak peak of Bens ability when he was narrowly beaten into second place by Ollie Acton in the freestyle competition run by the SWA in Liverpool. At Portsmouth his full power forwards on both tacks along with selection of other big air moves secured him his first (no doubt of many to come) victory at an SWA event.
Perhaps the big wave riders amongst the SWA will feel a little hard done by the conditions at the Portsmouth event. In the past glimpses of wave riding brilliance have been shown from Gorege Bolwell from Portsmouth Uni, the boys from Cardiff Uni who usually have the whole of South Wales as their playground are definitely used to bigger swell and the girls from Exeter who spent all of last summer out in windy and wavy Tenerife will all have their fingers crossed for some waves to prove themselves at the coming event. With Puravida providing a custom board and sponsorship deal to the overall winner there is a lot to play for. Round 2 of the SWA Puravida wave series will hit Plymouth the weekend of the 8th-10th February. It promises to be a hell of a show.