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NZ Freestyle Nationals 2012 - Wellington turns it on for windsurfing

by Eric Torvelainen on 13 Dec 2012
Al Bentley (Competition Winner) - Windsurfing NZ Freestyle Nationals 2012 Eric Torvelainen

The 2012 NZ Freestyle nationals were hotly contested in epic conditions. UK windsurfer Al Bentley took the competition title in a 40 knot final epic over Tom Taylor. Taylor taking top New Zealand windsurfer pushed Bentley to his best, duelling twice in competition.


Wellington definitely did not disappoint, with sunny and windy conditions. Over the afternoon of freestyle action the wind climbed from 20 to 40 knots.


Competitors battled their way through a single into double elimination round at the locally named spot the MCC. At the Ngatitoa Domain, the narrow channel kept the action close for spectators and judges alike.

Reigning champ Tim Haxell, starting top seed, met stiff competition in fellow local windsurfer Rob Harrison. Harrison’s hard work on the latest moves saw him stomp funnels and konos to Haxell’s reportage of spock and funnel variations. Haxell’s hard and fast sailing wasn’t enough with Harrison beating Haxell, to stop his run on the title.


Local icon sailor James Court brought an impressive array of spocks, forwards and crazy 40 knot willi skippers. A top wave sailor, Court showed his class, transitioning well to kept the likes of Taylor and Harrison honest.

A great turn out from the young windsurfers at Worser Bay meant the youth title was there to win. William Novak and Nick Thyne brought their best to try topple favoured Jo Tildesley. The youth final was between Novak and Tildesley. A series of floaty chop hops, duck gybes and good vulcan attempts saw Tildesley take the youth title. No doubt we will see plenty more of these guys in the future.

Seven minutes, 40knots and two egger sailors, Taylor and Bentley, the final was on! Taylor, previously beaten by Bentley in the end of the first single elimination, had to beat Bentley twice to take the win. Bentley came out storming with a super floaty shaka. This was not to put Taylor off, hitting a sweet shovit and flaka to respond. They dwelled in hard and fast conditions with spocks, spock 540s, flakas and switch vulcans. In the end it was Bentley’s shaka that made the difference and the title was decided.

Bentley taking the competition title had been push hard by Taylor. Taylor return to the scene sees him take top NZ sailor and the all mighty trophy.



A barbeque and drinks ensued to celebrate. Everyone was stoking about the competition. Great to have the young guys there and Al Bentley from the UK. Those that came down and supported, thank you. Two years of great conditions has seen the freestyle standard in NZ grow. Let’s keep it going and see you there next year!

• 1. Al Bentley (Competition Winner)
• 2. Tom Taylor (Top NZ Sailor)
• 3. Rob Harrision
• 4. Tim Haxell
• 5. James Court
• 6. Eric Torvelainen
• 7. Jo Tildesley (Youth Champ)
• 8. William Novak
• 9. Nick Thyne

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