London took centre stage on the weekend of the 17th to 19th February as over 130 windsurfers from universities across the UK descended on the capital to share in the thrill of Imperial College London’s brand new student windsurfing event: London Calling! Despite light winds the weekend was a rip roaring success and a huge celebration of sport with the horizon scattered with windsurf sails taking in the February sun. The Student Windsurfing Association (SWA) certainly made the most of the many activities held both on and off the water. This weekend will not be forgotten easily and will be the first of many to come.
London Calling, aka. Soggy Cockney, was the last of the three SWA core events held this academic year in association with Sport Imperial and Queen Mary Reservoir. This huge inter-university collaboration attracted windsurfing clubs from every corner of the UK. Some clubs even braved a seven hour haul through rush hour traffic to join the fray.
The windsurfing was spread over both days, with Saturday’s main focus on personal development. Despite the calm water, eight windsurfing clinics hosted by student instructors and Queen Mary Sailing Club instructors were held. Different levels of clinics were put on for beginners, intermediate and advanced windsurfers. The wind remained calm so on Saturday afternoon we held the Soggy Cockney Low Wind Olympics. Students competed on the backs of beginner boards with tug of war, sprints and tag featuring among the rounds. On Sunday the wind picked up a bit. Windsurfing competitions of different levels including beginner, intermediate, advanced and freestyle were held. Team racing however was where Imperial windsurfing excelled, ranking 4th out of 14 other university teams. The freestyle is always a spectacle, incorporating impressive tricks and jumps as windsurfers show off to earn points for their universities.
Besides windsurfing, we hosted two after parties. Friday night was a private party in Reynolds, decorated with old windsurfing kit and DJ-ed by our very own MC-Ooper. Saturday night led us to Walkabout, Temple. The theme of the night was Cockney Rhyming Slang. This led to funny looks on the tube with outlandish costumes such as Birmingham’s Bees and Honey, and Imperial’s Cows and Kisses! After partying away, all visiting students were hosted by the Imperial Windsurfing committee in their cosy houses. The hordes were fed with pasta bake on Saturday night and bacon butties on both mornings.
We would like to thank Sport Imperial and the SWA for supporting us throughout our event preparation and making this incredible weekend possible.