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Windsurfing tips from the World Champion Nick Bez in Tasmania

by Jane Austin 14 Oct 2019 22:38 PDT
Nick Bez, 2019 World Windsurfing Champion © Windsurfer Class Association of Australia

Windsurfing is experiencing a resurgence in Tasmania and who better to share a few tips with the locals than World Champion Nick Bez.

Bez, who races out of Parkdale Yacht Club in Victoria, won the title after a sensational regatta on Lake Garda in Italy in July. Bez will be the star attraction for the windsurfers at Opening Day of the Sandy Bay Sailing Club (SBSC) on Saturday and will join the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) on Sunday. Bez will run a morning coaching session on both days and will spend the afternoons on the water testing himself against the local windsurfing fleet.

Bez races the Windsurfer LT board (the new version of the original Windsurfer design from the '80s) which attained World Sailing International status in late 2018. Since then, over 400 LTs have landed in Australia, 30 of these in Tasmania. The modern LT board features a lightweight epoxy hull with enhanced volume and delivers improved performance whilst remaining an inexpensive one design sailing option that emphasises skill and tactics rather than equipment.

Bez attributes the resurgence of the LT board to its versatility, price, broad appeal and a hint of nostalgia. "The LT board is longer than others, has a wider weight range and can sail in 3 to 30 knots. It's an inexpensive one design class, quick to rig and a great choice for young sailors who are looking for a viable sailing option coming when they come out of Optimists and Lasers. And we are seeing lots of people who sailed these boards in the 80s coming back into the class and joining the younger sailors which is giving them some big fleet experience," said Bez.

After a successful winter racing season at Lauderdale, a group of dedicated windsurfers has established a regular sailing calendar with monthly racing held at SBSC, Lauderdale and the Tamar Yacht Club.

Jo Chau, Tasmania's representative on the Windsurfer Class Association of Australia (WCAA) and a passionate windsurfer, is keen to learn more from Bez. "Some of us have been sailing the new Windsurfer LTs for a few months now, however we have many questions on sail and board setup. We are looking forward to Nick's visit to show us how it's done," said Chau.

Bez will brief local sailors at the SBSC at 11am on Saturday and at LYC at 10am on Sunday and will hit the water afterwards for a sail.

For more information about the Windsurfer Class head to windsurferclassaus.com and to get involved in windsurfing this weekend contact .

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