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Carbon Art New Zealand Wave Sailing Nationals 2015 goes off!

The 2015 Wavesailing Nationals were held down at Taranaki over the weekend. The forecast was a little sketchy so everyone was stoked to be greeted at Kina Road by blue skies, a bit of wind and some clean sets rolling down the point. With 5/6 people in each heat, light wind on the inside and long lulls between sets, getting two decent waves in 15 minutes was the challenge.

The highlight of round one was watching Auckland sailor Dave Law tackle Taranaki for the first time. He got to experience a bit of everything; a mid wave collision with another sailor, getting caught inside and worked and then getting a nice ride to move into the next round.

As the heats rolled on everyone was starting to get to back in the groove of sailing on starboard tack, throwing down some impressive turns and smacks. Even after being eliminated there was nothing to complain about as south break was offering up some big, clean mast high walls and the far north break (favored by those of an Auckland persuasion) was offering some smaller but peakier sections.

Chris Lafranchie ended up on top at the end of the day thanks to his usual brand of quality sailing, followed by Clayton Dougan who was ripping, OP showing his skills in front of the camera lenses for a change and Andy Mabin who nailed the final spot in the final despite his foot being nailed!

Day two didn't quite have the champagne weather of Saturday but made up for it with a big increase in wind strength. This meant jumping would now be counted as the organizers decided to run a double elimination. Having a day of experience under their belts and some more wind in their sails meant the competitors kicked it up a notch. Aerials were being thrown down as well as some gutsy push and back-loops in the offshore wind.

Auckland ripper Thomas Davies and Wellingtonian legend James Court had the bit between their teeth, mowing down everyone in their path to reach the finals. I would love to comment on the final but I had bravely decided to start driving home as it was getting very cold and windy. By all accounts it was a close one with four amazing sailors charging the chunkier conditions. Chris held onto top spot with Clayton second followed by Thomas Davies in third and James Court rounding out the top four.

Thanks to Mike La Franchie and James Dinnis for Organising the 2015 Wave Nationals
Olivier Perkins for the cool t-shirt designs and trophies
Carbon Art Boards for the Sponsorship and James for Judging for two days.
Results from Day 1
1st Chris La Franchie
2nd Clayton Dougan
3rd Olivier Perkins
4th Andy Mabin
Overall Results from Day 2
1st Chris la franchie
2nd Clayton Dougan
3rd Thomas Davies
4th James Court
Mike La Franchie
Olivier Perkins
Andy Mabin
Julien Lefeuvre

Huge thanks to James Dinnis for sitting it out to judge us, and then inviting us around for a BBQ, and to Mike LaFranchie and everyone else who helped organize the event. Its always a privilege to come and sail down in Taranaki and the locals are a huge part of that!

Heaps more photos etc. available on Facebook

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