Feb 04

Southampton Varsity

Canoe Polo isn’t a real sport. Just don’t tell Southampton!
As we set off for Southampton, picking up vagrants in the form of Mad Dog and Ben C-A, and later Phil Beans, we were in high spirits. With Josh ‘not been in a boat since the Freshers’ trips’ Cleall driving us around Dorchester with the aim of NOT stopping to work out where we were, how could we not be having a good time? Unloading our stuff from the bus, we were given a warm welcome into Paulo’s house, before being regaled by stories of SUCP’s last AGM, where it appears more Exeter students than Southampton people were voted onto the committee. Takes gate-crashing to a new level!
Leaving for the swimming pool, we were treated to moans and complaints courtesy of Beans, who seems to think a 10 minute walk is much too far. He didn’t seem too worried when we got there, as he and Matt Robinson saw the 5 minute wait between arriving outside the sports centre and going to get changed as an opportunity for a quick pint in the SU bar.
Having never played or watched Kayak netball before, I was thrown in at the deep end, against an SUCP team who played well, scoring a few goals against team MY FACE. I counted it as a victory however, as their goals could be counted on one hand. The next team to play was between another SUCP team against team MY WRINKLY BITS – the Exeter Oldies. Hugh Woods and Jess Ellisdon played well alongside Phil, who seemed to struggle with a boat that wasn’t watertight. The games went on, and SUCP seemed to take everything so seriously. Later in the tournament the 5-way goalie mosh made an appearance as a 4-way goalie mosh, which worked a number of times. During the game between the two SUCP teams (the result of which is irrelevant), EUCC showed JJ – the captain of the SUCP first team, apparently – how refereeing SHOULD be done: en masse. With the whole contingent walking up and down the side of the pool, pointing in various different directions, I think we were only reason that match was the standard it turned out to be. I’m still not sure what the offense was that called for the Mexican wave though…
Back at Paulo’s we ordered pizza, and got down to the real business of the evening – drinking. Many games followed, and certain people got steadily inebriated to the point of emotional breakdowns and several hasty ejections of people from the bathroom. When the pizza arrived it was well anticipated, however unfortunately it was too late for our host, who was unable to join us at Southampton’s main attraction: The Edge. What a wonderful place, full of fun and laughter and the occasional unusual moments. To cut many long stories short, Marie had a (one-sided) dance with a girl, George’s sister did not want to sleep with Phat ‘George, make your sister more easy’ Matt, and my ear feels slightly odd. Some of the SUCP group came out with us too, making it really good fun.
The following morning, after waking up slowly to Kate’s conversations, and a showing of Back to the Future, we went for some food at the West Quay shopping centre, and eventually made our way back to Devon.
Particular thanks to Jen ‘Hook’ Heath, who managed to crush her hand another time between a vehicle (boat) and an immovable object (the pool wall). Also to those SUCP members who played for us.
Peter Stonham

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