Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Elements Spring Racing - Results Round Up

2014 Race Roundup

Following forecasts into a race weekend can be a bit of a nervy exercise, but all weather predictions lined up to give us a great day's racing. Maximum entrant numbers gave the organising committee plenty to plan for in the preceding week, but to have this event appeal so widely is revealing of the resurgent enthusiasm for windsurfing. What was also encouraging to see, was the wide demographic between the youngest and most senior of sailor heading out into wilder conditions on Day 1.
A damp westerly was building steadily as competitors from either end of the North Island rolled into Fergusson Park. Wayne and the youthful Rotorua crew were rigging, tuning and cruising the channel well in advance of sign-up. A reasonable lead up to hitting the water, allowed plenty of catching-up, new equipment browsing and race strategy sharing amongst gathered competitors. Sailors from as far afield as Wellington and Warkworth were represented, all looking to challenge themselves on a fast/fun windsurf race course,(with some competitors chasing precious NI Cup points).
Due to a late afternoon high tide, 3 fleets were decided upon to split numbers on what would be an initially compressed course. After a little buoy maneuvering, racing got underway with some fast, clean starts in all fleets. The lumpy conditions at the marks challenged even the most seasoned campaigner, and some finishing orders certainly indicated what was happening at either end of the flat-out 'blasts' across the channel. Some mid-race tuning of the course was required as significant wind shifts impacted a couple of races, but for the most part we were able to start and complete enough races to get decisive results.
*Sunday dawned as a SUP paddler's dream, so an early wrap was called to give traveling participants a good start for home.

Laurence Carey continued his outstanding Gold Fleet form across the day, with those in behind all sharing placings. There is simply no substitute for blistering speed and error free sailing on a short course. A special mention to Darren Nicholas, who represented Tauranga with some consistent sailing to gain a creditable 4th.

Gold Fleet, 6 races, 1 discard
Laurence Carey
Harry Reed
Tim Wood
Darren Nicholas
Alex Hart
Finn Croft
Anton Blijlevens
Chris Bolt
Nicolas Croft
Dave Law
Mikhail Pozhidaev
Angus Butterfield
Luke Watson

The Silver Fleet starts got a little tighter as the number of races ticked over, and confidence built. Race strategies and commitment to fully powered gybes started to emerge in the gusty conditions. There could be cause to promote some of these 'silver foxes' up a Fleet for the next round. Local sailor, Darryl McConnel came through in the end, to record top spot from Wellington's windsurfing ‘warhorse’, Bruce Spedding.
Silver Fleet, 8 races, 2 discards
Darryl McConnel
Bruce Spedding
Bernard Carey
Alexander Stroh
Dave Stewart
Dean Hill
Rohan Cooke
Ropata Marshall
John Davies
Dave Harnett
Craig Mercer
Roger Gosbee
Tom Anderson
Liam Wallbridge

We threw the Bronze Fleet in to the Silver mix, and they certainly showed some great form against the more experienced slalom racers. This is definitely the fleet for developing further, there are plenty of recreational windsurfers, (with older kit, and/or creaky bones) worthy of lining up for some of this action. Congratulations to Trevor Kimbler on his well deserved #1 result. Coral represented the woman's division well on some unfamiliar equipment, but once dialed in, certainly showed good board speed through the fleet.

Bronze Fleet, 8 races, 2 discards
Trevor Kimbler
Andrew Porter
Luke Wallbridge
Coral Headey
Wayne Bywood

This event is certainly NOT exclusive to the podium-chasing racers, but is tailored to suit all those weekend warriors, and recreational fun-boarders with a weekend to spare.

All of the generously provided spot prizes were gratefully received, but the widest smile of the weekend was from Ropata, who scored a new mast,.......and that happy fella is probably still smiling.
Barry's Cup was awarded to Darren Nicholas for his excellent result in the Gold Fleet. This trophy, (in memory of the late Tauranga windsurfer, Barry Anderson) is presented to the top placed Tauranga sailor. Barry's Cup can be competed for, at any subsequent events contested by 3 or more Tauranga windsurfers.
Once again, we are greatly appreciative of the support from our event sponsors;
Peter @ Elements Watersports
Alexander from A'ND Distribution
Tony and the Team at Watercooled, Dunedin
Brian and the Crew from NZ Boardstore
Mike at NZ Sailing
Be sure to check these equipment suppliers out for your next kit upgrade!
Wayne checking out kit for the next race day.
The Race Committee would also like to acknowledge the additional support and assistance from;
Windsurfing New Zealand
Marilyn, for assisting with the registrations and administering/generating race results.
Christine for her help on the finish line.
Ian and Richard for assisting us in the Start and Mark laying boats.
Glenn from Assault Boardriders, for providing the highly effective race buoys.
Candace from Candy's Coffee Cart, for feeding and caffeinating the crew.
Sunlive, for giving the event a great bit of local exposure.
..and President Bruce, for officiating at prizegivng.

Peter has to explain rules AGAIN, now with simplified diagrams.
Once again I would personally like to thank Peter Head from Elements Watersports for; not only coordinating another great event, but also facilitating the formal affiliation of Bay of Plenty Windsurfers to Windsurfing New Zealand. Local participation in windsurfing has increased over the past few years, and we hope to see the interest grow further.
Leigh Hawes

Friday, September 5, 2014

We are pleased to announce that BOP Windsurfers are now affiliated to Windsurfing NZ.

This has been made possible with the generous support of Peter Head from Elements Watersports. The benefits of affiliation to the national body are many. Representation in this region increases the ability of WNZ to continue proactively promoting the sport nationwide, while protecting the interests of all those involved.

We wish to continue promoting the sport locally, with the aim of generating greater interest in windsurfing across the region. The Bay of Plenty Windsurfers facebook page will be the 'hub' of the community, so please feel free to ‘like’ and follow. Post your sessions and pics, list your equipment for sale, review and rate equipment you use, and let members know when you’re heading out for a sail.

Peter will manage subscriptions, please make contact so he can formally add your details to the BOP Windsurfers membership.
Members will qualify for an inclusive NZL sail #, via Laurence @ WNZ.

While Pete and I are happy to administer the group in the interim, we welcome any feedback and assistance you are able to provide, to further windsurfing in The Bay.
Please spread the word, we look forward to, not only running 1 event per year, but adding additional windsurfing activities into the annual WNZ calendar. 

“Windsurfing New Zealand (WNZ) is dedicated to building strong local windsurfing clubs. The schools and then clubs provide the opportunity for windsurfers to meet, socialise, learn and develop. Without the support of other windsurfers many beginners fall by the wayside, and club networks and events create the opportunity to meet up, find others at your level who share experiences and advice. Club members sail together and keep an eye out for each other.

Windsurfing NZ provides resources for clubs, including Public Liability Insurance and  templates which make it easier for locals to run safe, fun events. WNZ also represents the windsurfing community at a national level, advocating for access and safety, coordinating and sponsoring the national calendar of events and national titles.

WNZ also provides training for windsurfing instructors and guidelines for schools to make sure that newcomers get the best and safest start possible.

Many of our affiliated clubs also include kitesurfers, and SUP is also a strong alternative on those windless days, we are not exclusive - any day on the water is better than a day off it!

WNZ is made up of people who believe that windsurfing is a sport for all and a sport for life and want to give everyone the best possible introduction to the sport.”