Windsurf Champions

Exeter’s (L-R)Rachel Ince, Jo Wright and Kirsten O’Callaghan taking a clean sweep of the medals in the Overall Combined category.

Windsurfing Success for Exeter

Over the weekend of 21 and 22 April 2012, the University of Exeter’s Windsurf Club travelled to Calshot Activity Centre, near Southampton, for the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Windsurfing Championships. This event is the pinnacle of the student windsurfing calendar and sees universities from all over the UK descend on Southampton for two days of intense competition across 14 windsurfing disciplines.

Exeter took a 24-strong contingent to the competition and returned with a fantastic 15 top-three finishes. The hard work and determination of the team over previous months paid off in perfect conditions in Southampton, with Exeter’s medal haul exceeding even their own high expectations. The team dominated in the Women’s side of the competition, including a clean sweep in the Women’s Advanced Racing category, taking gold silver and bronze medals. Jo Wright, finishing in second place, was recently named Fresher of the Year in the annual University of Exeter Sports Awards.

First place in the advanced category went to Kirsten O’Callaghan, a second year Business and Accounting student and current Sports Scholar excelled in finishing in first place in all six of her races. On her success, Kirsten commented, “I am extremely happy with my result and thrilled that my training has paid off. I also helped with the Beginner and Intermediate categories, sharing my racing experience, techniques and tactics with fellow club members and Exeter did very well in these events too.

In summing up her year, Kirsten continued, “It has been a really great year with the Windsurf Club and I have really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experience. Retaining the title of the BUCS Women Windsurfing Champion has been fantastic and I am looking forward to warmer windsurfing in the Summer, maintaining to continue teaching the Windsurf Club at Exeter and then to get back into training for BUCS next year.”

Exeter’s successful weekend in Southampton was capped by the squad taking the bronze medal in the Team Racing Championships. In strong winds, Exeter’s representatives performed consistently and were rewarded with yet another medal.

The University of Exeter’s Windsurfing Club attracts a huge number of student members each year, with both experienced surfers and complete beginners joining the club. Exeter’s location makes it ideal for windsurfing, with a number of beaches in close proximity to both the Exeter and Cornwall campuses. For more details about the University of Exeter Windsurfing Club, see their Facebook page.

Date: 21 May 2012