The 2014 Season has kicked off very well this year with over 40 windsurfers meeting in Dunedin for the 2014 Slalom Nationals. It was a great event with lots of laughs and racing. The winds ranged form 15-35knots on the two days of racing, allowing for sails from 7.0-4.2 to be used in one day. The season has a lot planned so contact your local clubs or myself for more information.
The Slalom Nationals had a huge change in dynamic this year with 8 youth competing which was great to see. Two of these were females representing the Bowater residence. They both raced very well and Xanthe won the Youth females and came second in the open women’s. Lucy Waters was very dominate and won the women’s. The youth men’s had 5 top gun racers which put a lot of pressure on. Taylor Boyd is a clear stand out of which he almost made the top 10 coming 11th (better luck next time grom). He had some great training in Christchurch the week before the event and also up at Clearwater two days before the Nationals started. The regular Clearwater dwellers were there living the dream with daily windsurfs. Even Raymond Lund was there telling us all about his ‘Love’ly trips over the last year where he has been to Perth ripping the waves in Foreign territories.
Then came the Silver fleet which was loaded with lots of fun. There was 10 racing or should I say laughing at each other around the course. The silver fleet only did half as many races which they were all very happy about. Joe McGregor was a huge standout in the fleet where he beat his dad (Mark) in multiple races and also beat the whole fleet in one race. Joe is an up and coming All Black representing Canterbury regularly so it’s great to see he is getting some alternative training. Bruce Spedding (WNZ President) won the Silver fleet. He was a true machine around the race course. Darren Nicholas came down from the sunny side of the North Island (tauranga) and was also very dominant. In true Silver fleet style however he did choose to sail his own course in one race which lead to a minor disqualification… This reminds me of last years nationals when Simon Hall raced the women and won the race.
|Nice job NZL500. Darren's report @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bay-of-Plenty-Windsurfers|
The Gold fleet was very competitive with all the top sailors from each region competing. The battle for the top 10 was very close which made any mistake lead to a huge difference. Gareth Wood and I would have some great battles which made watching from the beach very exciting. In one race we were both nearly over early as we both fought for the pin end of the start line. Dan Meehan was yet again very consistent, however I don’t think anyone can be more consistent then Terry B. He frequently would overtake people at the last mark and gain that extra position. However the sailor which caught everyone by surprise was Gavin Jackson who won multiple races throughout the Nationals. Although he is now a kiter, he managed to maintain his dignity on the race course. Nice work Gav. Team10 was back in force again with Harry Reed coming 10th and myself in 1st. Jimbo however didn't make it down and was sorely missed. Nothing beats hearing that irish giggle in the shadows.
Laurence Carey (NZL252)