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Elements Watersports Spring Racing - The Match Report

Another magic Tauranga morning raised a few concerns early on, but those enthusiastic competitors who had made the effort to roll down to Fergusson Park early were more than happy to register and wait. Along with Alexander from A’ND Distribution, some of Auckland’s finest sailors had also made the trip down for a bit of ‘Bay action’.

Peter and Julie from Elements Watersports ran through the format for prospective racing, and Alexander followed with a overview of some of his latest windsurf equipment. While keeping one expectant eye on the flags, everyone busied themselves with a bit of rigging and tuning in anticipation of a ‘call to race’. As predicted, the Nor’Wester built enough to warrant setting a course, and getting wet!

Everyone hit the water for the first round of racing, a straight forward ‘figure 8’ within the narrow confines of the channel. A couple of tight start sequences challenged the fleet early on, however cunning startline strategies started to evolve as the races progressed. Despite all of the hectic starts, only one passionate protest was directed at the committee boat, (and was quickly rejected after ‘careful’ consideration, sorry Darryl). Tim Wood (GBR7) had the measure of the day’s conditions, (and the congested short course) and was rarely headed over the 6 races.

Following closely were a tight bunch of 6 or 7 sailors battling across the whitecapped harbour. Amongst this group and exhibiting no loss of form,(despite many years swinging from kites) was Glenn Bright, representing the locals with a 'class' effort. We were also impressed with the young RSX/Techno racers who gave the 'short version' of the sport a go, on their funny looking gear.

Those running bigger rigs were clearing out from the rest as the conditions eased, so the fleet was separated for the final few races. Fortunately, the race committee were able to evaluate final results after Day 1, as Sunday’s forecast failed to provide suitable weather to get a start*.

*A few hardy locals did head out to ‘test’ conditions, much to the amusement of those who were content with warm/dry clothing and hot coffee.

OVERALL RESULTS (with discards removed)

Congratulations Tim Wood and a special thanks to you and Marilyn for the all the valued technical assistance offered over the weekend.

While the Auckland crew showed their experience on the racecourse, some enthusiastic sailing from the Bay locals should inspire a few of us to look to competing in more organised events. Many thanks to those guys who came from out of town to sail with us, we look forward to catching up again soon for more racing.

A big thanks to the event sponsors for all of their assistance with Tauranga’s first serious windsurf event, in many years. After talking about running this type of comp for a long time (and finally having the support to put it together) we are now confident in offering more comps in the not too distant future.

A massive thank you to Anton and Bruce @ Windsurfing NZ for the technical, legal and emotional support to enable us to pull this all together. We certainly hope to follow this event up with another to further promote the sport locally, and generate a bit more of a 'community' feel to it.

Please give Brent Devcich a call if you are in need of any of his awesome photos. They are now posted on Flickr to view. Great commitment to sacrifice competing himself, to record the day's action for all to see. Cheers Brent.

Thanks to Barry and The Otumoetai Sports & Recreation Club for the use of facilities over the weekend, much appreciated.

And thanks to Candace for providing the excellent food and coffee, and the great service over both days. Cheers.

Once again I would like to acknowledge all of the time and effort afforded by Pete and Jules to make this such a fantastic event. With their valued input, this event has highlighted the opportunity local sailors have at getting a little more organised, and a lot more competitive. Great work!

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