Philip Watson in action. Photo courtesy of

Exeter student crowned British surf kayak champion

University of Exeter mathematics student Philip Watson has been crowned British surf kayak short boat champion.

At 19, he has become one of the youngest British Champions ever.

A first-year mathematics student at the University of Exeter, Philip came out on top over the two-day competition held in Llangenith in South Wales. Philip had to see off many of the world’s leading surfers, including the current world champion, to achieve gold.

After clinching the title, a delighted Philip commented: “I'm so pleased to become British Champion, especially with this being my first year making the transition from Juniors to Men's competition. Also the current World Champion was competing, making the win even more significant for me.”

Philip also competed in the long boat event where he overcame some torrid conditions to finish third.

Philip trains at the University’s Sports Park where he is given dedicated strength and conditioning training from the University’s High Performance Unit.

Philip’s personal tutor, Dr Nigel Byott of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, said: “We congratulate Philip on his impressive achievement in becoming the youngest ever British Surf Kayak champion, and look forward to hearing about his future successes in the sport. It is always a matter of pride for the University when our students receive recognition for sporting accomplishments at a high level, and we are glad to have such good facilities to support them in their training.”

Date: 11 November 2009