Barfoot-and-Thompson-Whangaparoa-RS:X-and-Techno-Nationals - Images by Marin Matulovic and Richard Hart
Manly Sailing Club created a festival of windsurfing, in the form of the ‘Barfoot and Thompson Whangaparoa’ RS:X and Techno Nationals with Manly Formula Regatta and North Island Slaloms.
Tricky conditions again greeted the windsurf sailors for the last two days of their regattas. Ten international sailors brought variety to all the fleets. A shifty settling south westerly had the sailors searching for any puffs they could get planning in. Those with keen eyes managed to get into them and plane upwind and make even bigger gain in the downwinds.
Korean Lee Byunggun won the senior RS:X mens event. Kiwi Antonio Cozzolino was a bit out of touch having not sailed for a year while finishing his law studies. Jeong Eui Cheoi, Korea, was third. The RS:X fleet was smaller with Olympian, JP Tobin and Natalia Kozinska away in Buzios, Brazil.
Youth RS:X sailor Nicholas Goyard proved again that the New Caledonians are very talented and fast sailors. He won the youth RS:X. He has been a great role mode and mentor to the six younger New Caledonian Techno sailors also competing. Tauranga sailor Alex Hart improved throughout the regatta. He had close finishes and even got ahead of Goyard in some races including the last two of the regatta. Xanthe Bowater from Naval Point showed consistency to finish third and first women's youth.
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Twenty two sailors made up the Bic Techno Fleet. There was a thrilling international battle between Brazil, NZ and New Caledonia at the front of the Junior Bic Techno fleet. Brenno Francioli from Brazil showed true speed and tactical awareness to compete and win in unfamiliar waters. He is the current Brazilian and South American Techno champ and recently won the Australian Nationals too. Murrays Bay sailor Patrick Haybittle gave all to keep up with the lighter sailors. Often turn about with Francioli trading firsts and seconds. They kept it close to the end with only two points separating them. Haybittle enjoyed the added challenge of racing talented visiting sailors. Damien Cervera from New Caledonia is the fastest New Caledonian since Nicolas Goyard moved to RS:X Youth. He was often amongst the lead and showed natural speed to finish third. Finn Croft from Manly and Josh McConnel from Tauranga were the next top Kiwi under 17 boys.
Coral Headey from Tauranga showed form this regatta. She moved up from the smaller 6.8m to the 7.8m rig for this regatta. The highlight for the race officers was seeing her jump for joy on her board when she won the last race! Headey was also the first under 17 girl and finished a respectable sixth overall. She has had close battles all year against Carmen Haybittle, MBSC and Fenella Bowater, NPCL They all traveled to New Caledonia earlier in the season. They were the top under 17 girls.
William Clough was top under 15 boy with the 6.8m. He was racing against Thomas Debien, New Caledonia, and Zac Stock, MBSC. These little battlers are the future of windsurfing. They came ashore with blisters across their hands most days.
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Abbie Clough and Aaron Gibb-Pearson enjoyed competing as Open Class Techno’s. This class is open to all over 17 year olds who enjoy the Techno and may not want to move the more demanding RS:X.
The Junior Bic Techno fleet was the most concertinaed in recent years according to Olympic Coach Grant Beck. It is encouraging to see Kiwi Juniors competing well against the New Caledonians. This has been due to great support from Yachting NZ through Ian Neeley and Olympic Sailor and Coach Bruce Kendall. The parents and local clubs organising top coaching and support. Most importantly the sailors who have taken advantage of all on offer.
Held at the same time was the Manly Formula Regatta. These boards provided colour and fitted in well. Mainly big men (although Miaya Holton is only a 14 girl) with big rigs blasting upwind and downwind. These box rule boards motor in winds above 8-12kts. Tim Wood held off Like Watson and Tony Mackenzie. Unfortunately the wind did not stay strong enough for the slalom sailors. They couldn’t race their North Island Slalom races. They needed a steady 15kts or more to race.
Thanks to major sponsor Barfoot and Thompson Whangaparoa for their generous support
Thanks to all the International sailors from Korea, Brazil and New Caledonia. We love hosting you in NZ. I know there are a keen bunch of Techno sailors keen to get Koumac, New Caledonia to race in October. A few Kiwis will also attend the Bic Techno Worlds in Sopot, Poland.
Any sailors wanting to sail Techno or RS:X contact us on Facebook. Main venues include, Manly, Murrays Bay, Wakatere, Kohimarama, Tauranga, Rotorua, Nelson and Christchurch.
Results and photos here:
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