Student makes waves as first female Scottish windsurf champion

Student makes waves as first female Scottish windsurf champion

A University of Aberdeen student has made windsurfing history by becoming the first female to claim the title of Scottish Windsurf Champion.

Natalie McWilliams (21), a final year Geography student, won the Championship at St Mary’s Loch in the Scottish Borders at the start of September.  As well as claiming the overall title, Natalie also won the 1st Lady title and took first place in the RS:X category.

Her success marks a remarkable comeback from a serious knee injury sustained during a sailing competition in Majorca last year, following which doctors told her she may never windsurf again.

After making a full recovery Natalie returned to competition this year, taking part in events across Europe and at the Windsurfing World Cup in Weymouth, where she came in 7th place. 

As a sports bursary student, Natalie balances training at the Aberdeen Sports Village with her studies, which presents its own challenges.

“I’ve always had to divide my time carefully between training, studying and competition, and this will be all the more important now that I’m in my final year at Aberdeen,” she explained.

“There are two Olympic trials coming up in Weymouth and then it will be onto winter training until the spring when competition will recommence. 

“Combining all of this with my studies is going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it and I’m glad to be back in Aberdeen for the new term – my course is excellent and I’ve made a lot of great friends here.”