Saskia Sills, a first year Geography student and windsurfer, has ventured the globe more than most this academic year – travelling from the exotic coastlines of Miami Beach to the chilly winds of Weymouth to compete in her sport. A former International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Championship winner, Saskia had been back in the UK less than a week before competing in the BUCS National Windsurfing Championships.
The championships took place off the coast of Weymouth and Portland, where Saskia usually trains giving her the home advantage. The competition was a mix of singles and team racing around a set course, alongside freestyle events. Male and female competitors race together in fleets but are scored separately by the judges across several heats.
After a chaotic start in the advanced group Saskia’s knowledge of the conditions at Portland gave her the upper hand to get out in front in race one. Marginal winds meant a lot of hard work was ahead but she quickly left behind the majority of her female competitors and set her targets on competing with the men and fellow British sailing team mate Kieran Martin of Exeter University.
After emphatic wins in all five races Saskia secured the gold medal and finished third overall out of all male and female competitors.