Surfsational: Warwick defy the odds to claim 3rd place at BUCS Championships

Shingi Mararike sat down with the BUCS Bronze Medal winning surf heroines to relive their astonishing success at the BUCS Surf Championships held last weekend in Newquay. 


[dropcap]S[/dropcap]at in the SU atrium nearly a week later, it still hasn’t sunk in. Warwick, the most landlocked University in Britain is home to the 3rd best Women’s Surf team in the Country. The image of the the girls clutching their cheque in a state of disbelief has been steadily plastered over Warwick’s sporting social media streams. A result that represents by far the biggest success for Team Warwick in the BUCS calendar this year.


Sat around the table with an air of infectious enthusiasm, the team started to recall their unforgettable weekend spent competing at Fistral Beach in Newquay. Thinking back to the moment of triumph, Helen Jones a Warwick Surf veteran and third year PhD candidate in Marine Microbiology began “we were there because we had to be there, everyone else had gone to the pub!” Stood on the beach in miserable weather conditions waiting for the final result alongside some of the country’s traditional surfing super powers, Warwick didn’t expect much. Up against the likes of Falmouth, Exeter, Sussex and Southampton; who boasted sponsored surfers, better equipment and regular access to the seafront, the team were expected to gracefully bow out as also rans. So, as the weekend’s festivities drew to a close and attention turned to the after party, the announcement they had snatched 3rd place came as a bolt from the blue to the Warwick Surf contingent and just about everyone else at the beach.

We just stared at each other and thought: No that’s not possible it’s a joke.

Their immediate reaction? Disbelief. The word “shock” is repated from all angles of the rounded sofa before 2nd year Sociology student and Club Tour Sec Romy Viviani elaborated “we just stared at each other and thought: No that’s not possible it’s a joke.” Deadly serious, Jones confessed “I had a dream the other day, they called and told us we didn’t win third place, it was actually Southampton”. Thankfully, her nightmare will remain just that. For at least a year, Warwick can lay claim to bragging rights over a number of their more decorated rivals.

Jubilant, the girls returned from Cornwall to a wave of campus wide admiration. Kate Pilling spoke of how her team mates at the Women’s Hockey Club caught wind of their success “loads of my friends were like, oh we heard about the surf club, how the girls came came third” whilst Ellie Strike a third year English Literature student who is also a member of Warwick CMD (Classical and Modern Dance) chipped in: “Yeah everyone in CMD had been saying it as well.” Even Jones’ undergraduate biology students were quick to congratulate her on the weekend’s events. Incredulous, she explained “the group I’m teaching at the moment are third years and they saw on Facebook that we’d come third place on Sunday. I walked into teaching that Monday and the ones that knew me were like congratulations, that’s incredible, we didn’t think Warwick Surf were competitive.”


Most importantly, the teams superb BUCS Championship showing was a chance for them to prove that clubs outside of the traditional performance circle at Warwick can also scale the greatest heights in University sport. Kate Mant, an integral part of the team and the first female President in the club’s history said “it’s really great for us because we’re not always taken particularly seriously as a sports club, and in ways that’s meritable because we have one competition a year and we’re not really a competitive BUCS club. We’re not like football or hockey.” She then added “we’ve really tried to put a lot of time and effort over the last couple of years into improving as a surfing club.”

they reached the crest of a well deserved wave and rode it all the way to our biggest sporting story of the year.

Quite clearly, the extra hours spent honing their balance and skills through sessions of yoga, swimming and tarp surfing as well as a much taking to the water as much as possible on tours both at home and abroad has paid off. Combining their work ethic with a level of camaradery scarcely found at your standard Warwick sports club culminated in an accomplishment absolutely worth celebrating. Whether or not Warwick Surf go onto build on their success, the fact of the matter is: Last weekend they reached the crest of a well deserved wave and rode it all the way to our biggest sporting story of the year. 

Comments (2)

  • Joey Seager, Ellie Murphy, Lydia Plath, Rachel Kestemont were all Warwick surf presidents. Probably more. Get your facts right boar!

  • There have definitely been female presidents of Warwick surf before

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