Surf's Up!
Image: Tom Underwood.

Surf’s Up!

BUCS: unless you hail from Buckinghamshire, it’s synonymous with the university sporting calendar. Of course, BUCS works in varying seasonal formats: Warwick Surf’s competition season comes right at the beginning of the year. This month, a 40-strong contingent headed down to Newquay’s Fistral Beach with dreams of emulating last year’s historic success of the third-placed women’s team.

Landlocked Warwick awash with surfers

The competition is spread over a three-day weekend and this year a total of 88 women and 252 men competed for a top-placed finish. Unsurprisingly, the Cornish weather was neither kind nor reliable. Friday, the first day of the competition, carried an air of uncertainty until the women’s heats were finally announced mid-morning, amidst fairly flat waves. Unfortunately, the Warwick women couldn’t quite manage to progress through to the second round this year; the competition was deservedly won by Bristol’s Flora Lawton.

The men’s heats began on Saturday morning. Despite Warwick’s men’s team giving their best effort, the standard of competition was just too high and the boys didn’t manage to make it through the heats – a first for the team, who in recent years have performed exceptionally well at BUCS.

Tom Moon, President of Warwick Surf, was pleased with their efforts:

“By Saturday the swell had picked up massively to 3-5ft, along with rather strong crossshore winds. Despite that, people braved it out in the cold, big surf and a couple of our boys, Matt Borghi and Mike Eccleston, managed to place third in their heats, despite being up against professionals!”

The men’s competition was eventually won with a stellar performance from Joseph Prow of Falmouth, with Exeter’s Student Union taking home first prize.

Warwick Surf

Image: Harvey Francis

Warwick Surf are not easily disheartened, however, and they used the final day of competition to participate in the Surfers Against Sewage beach clean. Connie Bunch, the Charities exec member, organised the event:

“We have been fundraising for SAS for many years now and have gained a good relationship with them. We worked together to organise a beach clean at Fistral Beach, and they were very helpful in providing the equipment to enable us to do this.”

“We believe as a surf club that it is our duty to contribute to keeping the beaches clean as well as donating to SAS, who campaign on a huge scale to create cleaner and safer beaches.”

Warwick is the most landlocked university in the country, and yet Surf still manage eight tours a year: the club will be returning to Newquay later in the term. It wasn’t Warwick Surf’s most successful year at BUCS, but with a huge influx of new, keen members and high participation – as well as saving the world one beach at a time – it certainly wasn’t a failure!

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