Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails NZL -  Performance

55 knots of wind, 26 windsurfers, 2 days of racing - priceless!

by Bruce Spedding on 3 Dec 2013
Downwind racing in Eastbourne, Wellington Isaac Spedding

With several of New Zealand's top racing windsurfers coming to Wellington to test themselves and their new equipment the capital had to deliver, and it didn’t disappoint.

26 sailors from Dunedin to Auckland arrived for 2 days of full-on slalom racing off Eastbourne, Wellington.

Saturday

Winds forecast to reach 50 knots were the drawcard for sailors who can reach speeds matching the Americas Cup yachts, but in a sport where sailors are not sailing a craft, they are the craft, their equipment is an extension of their bodies.

Saturday dawned with winds in excess of the predicted 50 knots - gusts of nearly 60 knots (over 100 kph) were recorded. Most sailors went out on their smallest wave sailing boards and sails to take advantage of the conditions, which were too extreme for the specialised racing gear they normally used. Spectacular sailing including loops were only eclipsed by the attempts of the rescue boat to come across the harbour, it managed to become completely airborne at times and race organisers eventually ordered it back to base until the conditions eased.

Several hours later the winds had eased to a more moderate 25-35 knots, the start/rescue boat was able to return, and a number of races were got underway before the day finished. Races were started from the beach because the conditions still made it difficult to operate from the boat, so windsurfers had to negotiate the surf break to get underway in a Le Mans style start.

Laurence Carey from Team 10 in Auckland showed why he is currently the top youth and overall number 2 slalom racer in New Zealand. His team mates Harry Reid and Luke Watson, fellow Aucklander Tim Wood, Paul Vliestra from Dunedin, and Wellingtonians Woo Norris, James Court, Dave Steele and William Novak vied for the next few places in challenging conditions.

An excellent evening in the local Eastbourne establishment on the Saturday night was followed by an announcement that racing would resume early the next day to take advantage of the remaining wind, which was due to change direction later in the day.


Sunday

A 10:30am start saw racing excellent conditions and boat starts made for some close racing, with a total of 10 races completed before the wind decided to drop below race minimum.

Laurence Carey continued to dominate, with the other Team 10 sailors taking control of second and third, and the remaining sailors sharing the next places equally. Wellington windsurfers continued to improve, with Dave Steele nailing his starts, and William showing impressive speed on borrowed slalom gear which had never used before.

Results were announced, prizes awarded and sponsors and event helpers, thanked before the sailors departed for home - some facing a long drive to Auckland.

Final results were:
First - Laurence Carey AWA) - Starboard/North, followed by Harry Reid (AWA), Luke Watson (AWA), Tim Wood (AWA), Dave Steele (WWA), William Novak (WWA), Darren Nicolas (TAU), Chris Bolt (AWA), Paul Vliestra (DWA) and Bernard Carey (AWA). are listed below.

The event proved a major success, creating a colourful spectacle on the Eastbourne waterfront over the two days of winds, from extreme to moderate. It bodes well for future events being staged, not the least as a result of the great support from the locals.

Special thanks to:

Brew’d Eastbourne who not only sponsored the event but also provided a great social venue - sure to be used again in future.
The Eastbourne Sports and Services Club who opened up their facilities for the event, Petone Pak’n’Save who provided the BBQ supplies,
Eastbourne Fruit Supply who arrived with a life saving stock of fruit
Oceans Sports who provided the boat and driver

The helpers were invaluable, no event without them! Marilyn Auton Wood, Catarina Gutierrez, Lyn Jowett, Will from Ocean Sports, and Alex Dean (AWA) who gave up a sailing weekend. Thanks also to Phil Benge for photos, and Isaac Spedding for photos and video.

There was also good support from industry with spot prizes from Watercooled Sports (Dunedin), A’nd - Gaastra (Auckland), Wild Winds (Wellington), Epic Surf and NZSailing.net.

Big thanks also to the guys from out of town who came to event and showed the locals what is possible, the National Slalom Competition in Dunedin in February should see some very tight competitive sailing again this year.

AWA - Auckland Windsurfing Association - awa.org.nz
WWA - Wellington Windsurfing Association - wwa.org.nz
DWA - Dunedin Windsports Association - dwa.windsurfingnz.org
TAU - Tauranga Windsurfers

Windsurfing NZ - windsurfingnz.org

Contact: Bruce Spedding - president @windsurfingnz.org, 02102974741

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted today at 12:16 pm
Kosinska to hit out against the Hyeres heavy metal in 2016 Olympic bid
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at Hyeres later this week. 2016 Olympic aspirant, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at the third round of the Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Posted on 26 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Rio2016 - Winther hits ball firmly into Olympic selectors' court
2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team finishing 11th in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico. Running a self-funded campaign which took in the Princesca Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain followed by the World Championship on Banderas Bay, Mexico, Winther placed 11th overall and 10th country.
Posted on 21 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Kosinska flies out in RS-X Olympic bid
Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in her final attempt to gain NZ Olympic selection. Kosinska has been training in her own program in New Zealand with the 2015 Women's World Champion, Chen Peina (CHN) in the RS:X Windsurfer, and Zhichao Zhang the Men's #4 at the 2015 Worlds in Oman
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther makes top three in final Qualifying race
2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds and has moved up the leaderboard to be in 12th place at the end of the shortened Qualifying Round. She placed third in the only race sailed today and continues to improve as the regatta progresses, and her confidence builds.
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther scores three single digit places - Day 3
New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table at the 2016 Laser radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico. She now lies in 15th place overall after three days of racing. She achieved single digit scores in the three races sailed today, despite hitting marks in two races and having to perform penalty turns.
Posted on 17 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Kiwis locked in Olympic selection fight - Day 2
The points gap has narrowed between the two elading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection The points gap has narrowed between the two lading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection in the Womens Singlehanded Laser Radial class.
Posted on 16 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther off to a handy start in light airs
Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. She is best placed of the three New Zealand competitors in the regatta, lying in 22nd overall after two races were sailing the Qualifying Round.
Posted on 15 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Zhik NZ - IsotakHarken and Fosters -  Harken WinchesBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear