Sports editor Oscar Frost reports on the hugely successful ‘Up the Brum’ event held by the UoB windsurf club
After not hosting a weekend trip for the Student Windsurf Association last year, the windsurf club was back with a bang. They hosted ‘Up the Brum’ this past weekend, and it was a roaring success. The event came after Aussie Kiss and Northern Monkey, two well-established events on the SWA calendar, but the Birmingham club were able to make the event one of the highlights of the year.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the racing that took place on Sunday. With beginner, intermediate and advanced categories, it was an inclusive event where every level of ability could have a chance of succeeding. There was also a freestyle category sponsored by HeyBrew, who supplied a Christmas hamper for the winner.
As expected, the advanced race was full of skilled surfers, battling it out for top spot. Ultimately, it was Nat from UWE windsurfing who took gold, with Kyle from Loughborough and Angus from Liverpool University following behind with silver and bronze respectively.
In the intermediate races, Charlie from Bristol University came away with the gold, as Loughborough came away with another silver medal through Hugh. Deniz from Cardiff University capped off the podium.
The beginner races are always a highlight of SWA trips, as the outcome is always exciting and uncertain. This race was no different, and offered a fantastic finale to a great weekend. Yet another gold went to Bristol University, with Gaby coming home in first position. Behind her, however, there was a three-person tie for the silver medal. Eleanor from Liverpool, Cyd from UWE and James from Cardiff were all awarded as runners-up, showing the closeness of this final affair.
The freestyle competition was also a success. While windsurf is known primarily for racing, the freestyle category allows surfers to strut their stuff and show the control they have over their sails. Nat from UWE took home his second gold medal of the weekend, while Birmingham’s own Welfare Rep Duncan Loader finished in second place. Kyle from Loughborough finished in third place, securing his second medal of the weekend.
Overall, the standard of competition was fantastic, with all the competitors performing well, despite a lack of wind at various points. Birmingham windsurf club should also be commended for managing to bring so many other students down in what is both exam season and the start of winter.
Last year was tumultuous for the club, as the Edgbaston reservoir was shut for the majority of last year. This was due to an outbreak of bird flu, rendering the space unusable. This led to the club being unable to host a Student Windsurf Association event. This makes it all the more impressive that the committee was able to pull off such a great event.
From classy tee shirts to less classy sleeping arrangements throughout Selly Oak and the Vale, ‘Up the Brum’ is well and truly back as a stalwart of the SWA calendar. Keep an eye on @uobwindsurf on instagram to stay updated with their progress, or to message them about joining the club.
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