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Windsurfing GPS racing gets the thumbs up

Just completed the two day GPS event at Manly on the weekend and it was really exciting. It’s everything you love about windsurfing; mates to sail with, multiple sessions with nice breaks to tune and chat and with as much/little competition as you like.

This last bit is the most fun – as your GPS is keeping tabs on your sailing, you are free to go and burn around with anyone you like and there’s always some you can beat and some who dishes out the beatings. I reckon it is awesome for improving your sailing because normally when free-sailing you’re not that fussed about tweaking stuff.. and when you’re are slalom racing it’s a blur of nervous energy and pressure. GPS racing is about focusing on your speed for long periods; we did half hour sessions and a one hour session.

The half hour blasts were great for getting that posture right, experimenting with leg bend, foot pressure and position: all stuff you can’t be bothered to do normally because it doesn’t matter. With the GPS race it does matter and there are benefits of getting it right. In between each race it was cool to see the battle replayed on the computer screen with different colours for each sailor and different intensity of contrail colour for speed. Watching the lead change back and forth depending on warp factor speed, gybe skills and fall-ins was really rewarding.

Dust off that GPS in your draw or get a new one and give it a go next time it’s on. Huge thanks to the organisers at Manly Sailing Club and Alexander Stroh of AND distributors, Mike Pasco of NZsailing.net and Albany Repco for the prizes.

David Law

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