Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

New Olympic cycle for Windsurfing begins on Tauranga harbour

by Stuart Pedersen on 17 Dec 2012
Natalia Kosinska from New Zealand racing in the RSX Women class on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com

New Zealand’s top Olympic medal winning event of recent years has been windsurfing, and at the weekend the 2016 hopefuls were back on the water in their first regatta since the London Olympics.

Windsurfing was controversially dumped from the sailing event schedule for Rio back in May this year in favour of kiteboarding, only to be reinstated six months later. The flip-flop was not only gut-wrenching for all those who had put their heart and soul into the sport in recent years, it was also costly financially to the sailors and their supporters.

Some such as 19 year old Tauranga sailor Sven Pedersen switched immediately to kiteboarding in May to keep his Olympic dream alive, and then following the reversal in November put his recently acquired kite gear on the market and pulled out his old RS:X class windsurfer again.

Others such as women’s campaigner Natalia Kosinska of Auckland, who qualified but was not selected for London 2012, took a break to see what would happen, and restarted training this month. Meanwhile her rival Justina Sellars made the switch to kiting in winter and has decided not to switch back, instead moving quickly up the field in her new sport and making top ten at the kiteboard world champs in October this year.

All three were racing last weekend in the fourth North Island Champs, held off the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club base at Sulphur Point. The regatta included kiteboards for the first time, and heading the men’s kite fleet were Auckland’s Dave Robertson, who was ninth at the October worlds event, and Tauranga’s Torrin Bright who was just back from Sailing World Cup regatta Sail Melbourne, where he came away with an impressive silver medal.

In the senior fleets the only missing names were London 2012 seventh place getter JP Tobin, who had a clash with a mountain bike event, and kiter Matt Taggart of Raglan. The biggest fleet however in the 36-strong field was the Techno class, which is the under-17 racing class windsurfer which features in the Youth Olympic sailing programme. As well as a number of Rotorua, Auckland and Christchurch sailors who made the trip, locals Josh McConnell, Coral Headey and Dean Strydom were racing, as was Alex Hart in the RS:X youth class.

The bay turned on excellent conditions for the weekend’s sailing, with a fresh sea breeze building from 8 knots up to gusts of 25 knots on Saturday, making for some spectacular racing, and a light and tricky 4-8 knots on Sunday which tested the sailors tactics and physical endurance. Both days the organisers were able to get three races in for the windsurfers, but on Sunday the wind never built sufficiently for the kiters, who instead enjoyed an extended siesta in the shade.

A standout performance came from Alex Hart, who at just 16 and after little more than a month on the RS:X board, was top under-19 and even beat Kosinska in one race. Another good performance was from the Haybittle family, with Alex’s former rival taking out the Technos but facing stiff challenges on Sunday from younger sister Carmen.

Torrin Bright took out the kites from Robertson by just two points, and as a further sign of how close the racing was, there were two points ties for third and fifth places. 'This was the first proper kite racing regatta to be held in New Zealand' said Robertson. 'We’re all now looking forward to the next event which is Sail Auckland in February, where we are planning to beat up the Aussies!'

Kosinska and Pedersen are in training on the harbour for the two days post regatta. Meanwhile the grass roots of the sport are being catered for by the club this week, with a beginners’ course running at Kulim Park all week, and a three day Techno training camp under Olympic legend Bruce Kendall under way as well.

RESULTS
Class: Winner: Runner-up
RS:X 9.5 Sven Pedersen Laurence Carey
RS:X 8.5 Natalia Kosinska Alex Hart
Techno 7.8 Patrick Haybittle Finn Croft
Techno 6.8 Coral Headey Fenella Bowater
Techno Green Dean Strydom Ethan Butler
Formula Marcus Hansen Ian Young
Kiteboard Torrin Bright Dave Robertson

Safety at Sea - Baltic - 3X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 3Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Radio Controlled sailing - Ian Vickers wins Australian IOM Nationals
The Australian IOM (International One Metre) class nationals, were held at Kogarah Bay, Botany Bay, NSW Australia The Australian IOM (International One Metre) class nationals, were held at Kogarah Bay, Botany Bay, NSW Australia on February 9-12 and attracting a fleet of 52 sailors and boats. Former 470 sailor, Ian Vickers won with a net 50 points after 19 races, with three discard races. He was a whopping 38 points clear of second place Rob Bennett (AUS).
Posted on 7 Mar
Nespresso Youth International - Australia make the running on Day 1
Day 1 of the Nespresso Youth International Match Race Cup saw lead changes, wind shifts and the unwelcome rain! Day 1 of the Nespresso Youth International Match Race Cup saw lead changes, wind shifts and the unwelcome rain! The early regatta leaders are the Australia teams Thomas Grimes (CYCA) 4 wins & 0 loses with Will Boulden (RFBYC/Alpha Racing) with 3 wins & 0 losses.
Posted on 16 Feb
Gold Medalists Burling and Tuke named NZ Team of the Year
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won the Team of the Year Award at the 54th Halberg Awards Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won the Team of the Year Award at the 54th Halberg Awards, held at Vector Arena in Auckland last night. Named after Olympic champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) the Halberg Awards is the country's pre-eminent event to honour and celebrate New Zealand sporting excellence.
Posted on 10 Feb
Yamaha leads 18ft NZ Skiffs after hat-trick of wins on Day 1 + video
Day 1 of the 2017 18’ Skiff New Zealand Championship provided the sailors perfect racing conditions Day 1 of the 2017 18’ Skiff New Zealand Championship, hosted by Royal Akarana Yacht Club provided the sailors perfect racing conditions on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. Being Waitangi weekend, there were plenty of recreational boats enjoying the day, which also gave the fleet the perfect training environment for the final regatta before heading to Sydney to compete in the JJ Giltinan Championship
Posted on 4 Feb
470 class - Double Olympic medalist announces retirement
Polly Powrie, half of one of the most successful teams in New Zealand sailing history, has retired from Olympic yachting Polly Powrie, half of one of the most successful teams in New Zealand sailing history, has retired from Olympic yachting. Powrie and Jo Aleh, colloquially known as Team Jolly, first teamed up in the women’s 470 in 2009 and established an impressive record in their time together, winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics and backing that up with silver at last year's Rio Games.
Posted on 6 Jan
New sail gives Knight Frank the upper hand
A brand new North Sails main was hoisted on the 18' Skiff, Knight Frank, for the final two races of RAYC racing for 2016 A brand new North Sails main was hoisted on the 18' Skiff, Knight Frank, for the final two races of Royal Akarana Yacht Club racing for 2016. Riley Dean and his Knight Frank crew, Tim Snedden and Luke Stevenson, have been absent for most of the season to date, but pulled out a brand new secret weapon which gave them two bullets for both harbour course races.
Posted on 19 Dec 2016
Sydney supermaxi sets monohull record in White Island Race
The Sydney based supermaxi CQS has set a new record for monohulls in the 320nm White Island Race. The Sydney based supermaxi CQS has set a new record for monohulls, but missed the allcomers record by less than an hour, in the 320nm White Island Race. After the race start just after 10.00am on Friday, CQS reported she was about to round White Island around 6.30pm having taken 8hrs 30 minutes for the 160nm leg or an average speed of around 19kts.
Posted on 26 Nov 2016
Images of radical supermaxi CQS sailing on the Waitemata
Ludde Ingvall’s revamped supermaxi, CQS, was trialling on the Waitemata Harbour today Ludde Ingvall’s revamped supermaxi, CQS, was trialling on the Waitemata Harbour today in a moderate south westerly breeze and sunshine - a welcome break from the strong winds that have plagued Auckland for the past few days. The supermaxi which started life as the 90ft Nicorette has been stretched to 98ft in a design project led by Bakewell-White Yacht Design
Posted on 18 Nov 2016
YDL NZ Match Racing - Chris Steele defends title
Chris Steele and his crew of Harry Hull, Josh Salthouse and Harry Thurston retain their title for the second year Chris Steele and his crew of Harry Hull, Josh Salthouse and Harry Thurston retain their title for the second year after defeating Graeme Sutherland and crew in three straight matches. The action all kicked off at 10am with the start of the Semi Finals. The top ranked Graeme Sutherland chose to sail Sam Meech whom he beat 3 – nil.
Posted on 16 Oct 2016
YDL NZ Match Racing - Semi-Finalists selected at the end of Day 3
Graeme Sutherland, Sam Meech, David Chapman and Chris Steele all advance into the semi-finals which begin Sunday Graeme Sutherland, Sam Meech, David Chapman and Chris Steele advance to the semi-finals on Sunday. Graeme Sutherland and his crew of David Hazard, Tim Snedden and Mike Bullot were the last to qualify for the semi-finals with a scoreline of 2 – 1 after losing his first quarter final race to David Wood. Sutherland then came back to take the next two races and his spot in the semi-finals.
Posted on 15 Oct 2016