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Windsurfing South Island Cup 2017 / 2018 Final Report

South Island Cup is over for another season with the final round of racing at the Lake Aviemore Classic over New Years.
This years South Island cup has been one of the biggest in years with 33 sailors competing in 36 races over four rounds.
We had a huge variety of different conditions and courses to race in and sailors of all abilities giving it a go.

Congratulations to the South Island Cup Champions Terry Beentjes and Annie Crombie taking the Mens and Womens titles this year.

Racing this year started at Lake Clearwater on Canterbury show weekend for the annual social weekend up at the lake.
The forecast wasn't great but those who made the trip up were treated with 3 perfect days of sunshine, warm water, good breeze and a great social event.
Course for racing was a beach start with a long first leg followed by 4 tight gybes before the finish.
Racing was close and tight with Chris Dimock, Terry and myself each getting wins. Tom O'Neill and Annie were both hot on the tail and ready to pounce if any mistakes were made.
Terry winning the first round taking early lead of the South Island Cup.

Next event was Christchurch Round on Lyttelton Harbour. Again we were treated to a great forecast and perfect racing conditions.
Racing was traditional 4 gybe slalom course with a boat start. Greg B and Annie were having some great battles around the course. Glen Taylor also had a good day showing he still has the speed to win making it first to the first mark in a number of races. Ben Davie and Tom O'Neill showed they are ones to watch with some impressive sailing and good tactics keeping them in the game and keeping the score card low. Ben had impressive speed and managed to score 4th overall.
Again the battle for the win was between myself , Chris and Terry each pushing each other harder and harder for the wins. We only had one drop so there was no room to make mistakes but after 5 races each of us had been over early at least once and couldn't afford to do it again. Super close racing with only a couple of board lengths between winning and 3rd in most races.
I had manged to hold off the challenge and take the win for this event evening up the score heading to round 3.

The following Weekend was Dunedin where for the third weekend in a row we had some amazing windsurfing conditions. A nice 20 knot NorEaster and flat water reminded me of why Dunedin one of the best spots to race in the country. A new challenge was introduced with a rabbit start and up wind leg added to the race track, followed by 4 gybe slalom down to the finish. Ali, Barb and Jimmy were brave enough to take turns being the rabbit, and did an awesome job getting the races started. The rabbit had to sail a straight line on starboard with the fleet sailing underneath on port between them and the start mark to begin the race. The next challenge was to work out the layline to the top mark and pull off a good tack. To late and you would sail further than everybody else, to late and you risked having to pinch to make the mark or worse..... tack again! This new challenge mixed the fleet up and evened the playing field. Graeme Evans and Al Taylor both managed to get wins taking advantage of their local knowledge. But it was Mr Consistent Terry Beentjes who was able to end up in the front in just about every race. Was awesome to see Aki, Lynn and Sue make the trip down representing Southern Lakes and showing great skill on the water.

Heading into the final event it was still uncertain who was going to win the South Island Cup, Myself and Terry were on the same points although Terry had won 2 rounds and I had only won 1. Pressure was on as I needed a win this round to take the title.

Aviemore Classic was the biggest round of the South Island cup this year with 23 sailors showing up to the start line. George Cooper does a fantastic job running this race from the Waitangi Camp site and is a great way to celebrate the New Year and great camping. Anybody not sure what to do next new years I highly recommend this event! Again as all events this year we were spoilt with 3 days of perfect wind for racing. This round is the simplest race in terms of course, but probably the hardest physically and mentally. A beach start from Waitangi then a 3.4km leg to the other side of the lake where there is a gybe mark to turn us to the finish line back at start on Waitangi beach. 6.8km flat out drag race!
It was great to see so many sails whipping across the lake. The women were having great battles with Sue and Annie battling for the women's title in the end Annie managed to take the win by only a couple of wins and secure the South Island Cup trophy.
Greg, Nigel, John and Chris were having great fun fighting it out mid fleet and having great close racing. Was awesome to see them all pushing hard. Aarron White made the trip over from the West Coast and was great to see the legend out on the water. Couldn't tell he hadn't sailed for over a year as we was right up the front mixing it up.
For a straight line race it was amazing how hard we each had to fight and the different tactics we were all trying. Terry had found some extra board speed through the lake chop and was clever getting better starts than the rest of us. But it was Paul Vliestra who had an amazing series and showed incredible strength and speed winning the event. Paul was faster and somehow managed to pass and block anyone who tried to get in front of him. Highlight of the event for me was the last race of the first day where Paul and I pushed each other so hard the whole distance and didn't let off. The lead changed about half a dozen times with each pass trying to get a better position for the finish. Paul showed he is still the king of Aviemore taking that win and the event win for yet another year with an impressive 8 wins out of 13 races.
Aviemore results

Terry's second place was enough to secure him the South Island cup again! Congratulations it has been an honor to race and battle over four rounds for the cup this year. Terry's win is well deserved and shows he still has the skills and talent to win.

The South Island Cup is still alive and well and going strong. This is still one of New Zealand's top windsurfing contests but was not possible with out all the wonderful people who helped out. Aviemore would not happen with out George Coopers passion for the event and Chris and Cherryl's hospitality lakeside (Putting on the beers). Dunedin club has a great bunch of helpers who also put on a great event down there, big thanks to the rabbits who got the races started and back to shore to take results, and Simon Hall who paid everbody's entry fee. I must also thank Greg and Andrea Bowater for help organising the Clearwater and Christchurch Rounds, along with Dave Dally, Pete Davies and Meg Rennie who all helped out. Once again a big thanks to everybody above and anyone I have missed.
Final SI Cup results

Well done to all 33 sailors who gave racing a go this year. Look forward to racing you all again next season and hopefully we can encourage even more people to give it ago.

Overall results are below.

Dan Meehan
NZL 950

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sicup2017.jpg31.39 KB
south_island_cup_windsurfing__-_aviemore_classic_results.pdf48.49 KB
south_island_cup_windsurfing__-_overall_results_final.pdf48.6 KB

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