National Student Rodeo 2006

Taken from Mouthfuls Summer 06

National Student Rodeo 2006

Steve had driven all day from Scotland and he wanted to paddle – paddle he was going to!

The van screeched to a halt in the car park at HPP and a quick run into the office told us we had half an hour left before the course closed. Cue the most faff-free unloading of the van ever known. The secret to this involves opening the back doors of the van and allowing everything to flow out. This was followed by high-speed faff-free changing and we were onto the water in five minutes.

Our brief assessment of the course, each of us planning our tactics for the following day, left us feeling refreshed and ready. Being highly sensible students we opted to set up the tents early in the evening. This sensibility also led us to phone the other half of SUCC’s rodeo squad, on their way from Southampton, and inform them that the rodeo was again cancelled due to more flooding, but that they should really come for the party anyway. I don’t know the rest of the story, but I hear there was some serious consideration given to turning back early…

Now feeling quite hungry, we decided the six of us needed to go find some food. Problem: a Ford Transit van only has 3 seats. Solution: there’s plenty of space in the back, plenty of boats to sit on, and a bottle of vodka and coke to pass the time.

Friday night’s antics can best be summed up as follows:

Steve + Alcohol + Minibus = …(Get someone who was there to describe it if you really want to know, it wasn’t pretty).

Saturday morning was taken up by the Extreme Slalom, in which everyone paddled down the course, attempted to stay upright on top wave, hit a ball hanging over the water, pulled some old skool tricks and tried to splat a ‘rock’. As far as I can remember, everyone paddled well, the only note being that there is video with sound clip evidence that Dickie’s Mum can surf better than Mr Leyland. No comment.

Saturday afternoon was the heats for each category. A lot of effort and some enthusiastic paddling went on. Cat and Beth both made it to the Women’s Expert Finals, and well done to Helen R for making it to the Women’s Expert! Tony, Eric and Chris all made it to the Men’s Intermediate Final, despite both Tony and Eric not actually being students (and being under strict instructions NOT to get in to any finals as they had no student ID!). Steveo powered through to the Men’s Novice Finals.

Finally there was the King and Queen of the Wave events, where they all piled onto the Top Wave together and the last remaining paddler won! Eric and Beth were representing Southampton. Eric made the mistake of being first on (and hence first pushed off) the wave, while Beth bullied her way to the top and won herself a sparkly tiara as Queen of the Wave 2006!

We might have appeared to do alright on the water, but it was at the bar that SUCC members really showed what they were made of. We are now officially the best university drinking club in the country, and we think probably in the world seeing as teams would have been welcome from worldwide just they chose not to compete! Mr O’Connell kept up his high standards of entertainment as a turtle, and I believe still has possession of the legendary ‘buff’.

Sunday morning started much the same way as Saturday morning – dragging Steve out of bed. It was duo-day! We entered at least four teams, with quite a few comedy events including “Team Tiny’s” attempt at a duo-loop and the Steve & Dickie’s non-roll! Rich and I got into the heats where we proved we could roll…and that’s about it.

Steve seemed to excel under the aufluence of incohol and pulled all his tricks out of the bag to gain second in the Men’s Novice event! In the Women’s, Beth came 8 and Cat managed an excellent 4 overall. As a club, Southampton just missed a mention in the speeches at the end with a totally acceptable 4 . Go us! Thanks to everyone who came along, we all had an awesome event and I’m looking forward to next year already!

(Oh, we finished off the trip with a stop at a classy Nottingham kebab joint, highly recommended by Mr Harvey himself. Call him for directions if you’re ever in the area.)

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