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North Island RS:X and Techno champs 2011, Tauranga 12-13 March - Race Report

Light afternoon sea breezes and strange tsunami tidal effects made for two days of challenging racing at the windsurfing regatta at the weekend.

“We almost didn’t have an event with the civil defence warnings to stay away from the water for most of Saturday’ said event organiser Stuart Pedersen. ‘Our scheduled start time was 1pm and we talked to the local Coastguard twice in the morning before deciding to go ahead. Tsunami effects in the harbour were expected to be insignificant – we were certainly safe but the effects were quite noticeable. Twice we saw the tide reverse in quite a dramatic and unpredictable way, which made it very tricky to sail in – especially with light winds meaning board speeds were not high.”

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“The wind was late coming in, especially on Sunday, so we were pleased to get in the five races needed to constitute a series. With most of the senior men overseas in their build ups to the major regattas, numbers were down slightly, and the most excitement was in the RS:X 8.5 fleet of women and youth, and the junior Techno fleet. Light conditions mean it is a battle of pumping fitness and tactics - a chance for the sailors to show off their mental and physical toughness.

“There was some very close competition in both fleets, not just in the top order. In the RS:X, Justina Sellars from Takapuna missed the first race but dominated after that, beaten once by Sven Pedersen from Tauranga, by less than a board length over a thirty minute race! Sven’s starts were not always good, but he sailed consistently well to win the series and take out the North Island Windsurfing Championships Trophy.

In the Techno fleet national champion from Takapuna Hamish Dunning-Beck was challenged by up and coming Tauranga boardsailor Alex Hart – they ended the regatta on equal points and Hamish won on a countback of who had the most firsts. “Alex is a product of the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy’s windsurfing programme, and he has a bright future in the sport” said Stuart.

“The potential is huge for young sportspeople to go far in this sport. The under-17 Techno sailors have the added excitement of the chance to go to the world champs in San Francisco later in the year, and they have been offered two sets of free equipment to use there.”

The North Island champs were the penultimate regatta in the inaugural Techno Kendall Cup series. The series ends at the Supercity regatta at Torbay in April. Currently leading the under 17 boys division is Hamish Dunning-Beck, while Steph Corkery leads the under 17 girls.

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Results so far:

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