Kirsty O'Callaghan claimed her third successive gold in the advanced category at the BUCS National Championships.

Women Windsurfers storm to BUCS and SWA victories

A strong season for the University of Exeter’s Windsurfers has been concluded with an exceptional medal haul at the UK Student Windsurfing Association (SWA) British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championships.

The championship which took place in Calshot on the 27 and 28 April is one of the biggest student windsurfing events of the year, with racing split into three divisions; beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Windsurfing at the University of Exeter has long been synonymous with success, in 2010 Sports Scholar Izzy Hamilton became a double gold medallist in the Rs:X World Youth Windsurfing Championships, and there were high hopes for a good medal return.

Pheobe Jordon did not disappoint, taking Exeter’s first medal with a brilliant victory in the intermediate category while Rory Cole and Megan Middleton also held their own in a competitive fleet.

The advanced category saw more results for the University. Kirsty O’Callaghan, who went into the event as a strong favourite, rose to the challenge, retaining her title as BUCS Champion for the third year. Team mates Jo Wright and Rachel Ince also stayed on course ensuring an all Exeter podium.

Despite her strong finish, sports bursar Kirsty admitted that difficult conditions and balancing her third year workload had made it a challenge to retain her title. She said: “After my last two years of becoming BUCS Ladies Gold medallist I was on a mission to make it the triple win! It's been more difficult in my third year juggling training and work but I've stayed focused, prepared myself well and was extremely excited to represent Exeter at BUCS.

“The strong winds and tides made it very difficult to stay on course. It was a cold and windy weekend but there was a really competitive group of windsurfers making it a great atmosphere.

“I want to say a massive thank you to the University of Exeter for supporting me throughout my degree with a scholarship and facilities for my fitness training. Another thank you to the University of Exeter Windsurf Club for great support and making all the events I've been to even more enjoyable.”

As well as acting as the BUCS National Championships the event also doubled as the final round in the SWA series. Strong performances throughout the year ensured that Exeter’s Jo Wright won the series for the second year running, with Racheal Ince also retaining her second place from the season before.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions) Nick Beasant was thrilled with the performance of the club. He said: “There is a strong heritage of windsurfing at the University of Exeter and it is fantastic to see this continue. We have become the University to beat on a national level and will continue to provide a strong platform for student windsurfers to develop.”

Date: 8 May 2013

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