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  • 12 Dec 2015 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    Eastbourne once again turned it on for the windsurfers, with winds from 25 to 30 knots for most of the day allowing 13 races to be completed.

    Conditions were fast and demanding with plenty of spills and some close finishes for the 22 sailors who turned up to sample the windiest city in the world.

    Laurence Carey

    The Gold fleet started offshore racing 5 legs to give spectators a great view of both the first mark and the finish. 

    Just returned from the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) competition in Noumea, New Caledonia, Auckland windsurfers Laurence Carey and Tim Wood showed their class placing first and second in the Gold fleet, with Tim closely followed by Luke Holliday and Harry Reid. Laurence Carey is the current New Zealand Slalom Champion and placed 25th in Noumea which bodes well for his 2016 season when he will be seriously racing on the PWA circuit. Windsurfing is arguably New Zealand’s most successful sailing sport internationally and Laurence hopes to add his name to the list.

    Peter HaanThe Silver fleet opted for beach starts, not without it’s own challenges, and raced 4 legs.

    In the Silver fleet local Eastbourne sailor Peter Haan was the clear leader, with John Davies (Tauranga), Esteban Funes and William Novak (both Wellington) closely grouped in the next positions. It was good to see sailors from Auckland, Tauranga and Rotorua competing alongside an increased number of local sailors, and bodes well for future events.

    It was great to see  wave sailors turn up, most on wave boards, and I'm sure they will agree that a wave board class would be worth running if there are enough entries.

    Craigs Investment PartnersSocial evening at the local Bre'd tavern, with tons of cheap pizza made for a great evening.

    On the Sunday the competitors met around 10am but the southerly wind was not building sufficiently nor forecast to hang around, so an early call to not sail, followed by the results and prizes allowed everyone to make the most of the rest of their day.

    Industry support came from Team 10, T-10 fins, NZ Sailing, Epic Sports, Wild Winds and Gaastra/Tabou. Lucky sailors went away with spot prizes totalling around $2000 including a wetsuit, rigging jacket, fin bags, accessories and clothing.

    Local support has always been strong for this event, led this year by principal sponsors Craigs Investment Partners, with regulars Petone Pak’n’Save, Brew’d Tavern, Eastbourne Fruit Supplies, Eastbourne Lions and Eastbourne Sports and Services Club. 

    Volunteers are essential for events like these, so a big thanks to Alex Dean who managed the starts from the boat all day supported by boat driver Sam Price. On the beach we had Jim Rogers, local Robert Ashe, and others doing the finishes with Mike Burke who also ran the BBQ and does all the awesome posters etc. for this website. The windsurfers that helped would probably have entered so their contribution is doubly appreciated.

    Jim Rogers (Team 10) also provided t-shirts for all online entries, as well as a $400 plus race carbon fin as a spot prize.

    All this for $25! Thanks to Craigs Investment Partners whose backing made the event possible, and all the other sponsors and volunteers who made it successful yet again ... roll on 2016.

    Tim Bamfordbeach start

    Photo credits: Dave McPhee/WildWinds, Lean van Heerden, Andrew Cathie
  • 16 May 2014 9:29 PM | Anonymous
    Day One

    An initially promising forecast for the Easter weekend had shifted to become somewhat more unpredictable, but nonetheless it was a super-keen crew who rocked up to Carbon Art HQ at 10 am on Good Friday ready to launch into a test of their wavesailing skills. Competitors came from various parts of New Zealand and a range of international locations, including Italy, New Caledonia and Auckland. Big-ups especially to the juniors, Luke Holliday and William Novak, for making the trip and keeping the older guys on their toes, and to Yoan and Tony Despujols (back from New Caledonia again – you are practically locals!) and Nicola Terenzi (Italia) for
    giving the competition a truly international flavour. After having delivered a couple of months of decent port tack south-easterlies Taranaki was naturally kind enough to provide starboard tack conditions for the beginning of competition, so with the styley 2014 design T-shirts on (thanks OP and Spore!) the convoy headed for Kina Rd.

    A crazy storm in the week leading up to Easter meant that there was still plenty of wind. And there appeared to be waves too… however the northerly swell with a three-second wave period, combined with strong super-gusty cross-offshores made for an interesting time on the water. While it looked like it should have been great fun, it proved to be quite a challenge; to find a decent size wave that would actually make its way into the break without disappearing underfoot and reappearing behind, in-front, out-back, down the line, or seemingly anywhere else but where you might be. It was, as one competitor described it “a lottery”. Therefore, competition was put on hold in the hope conditions would improve to be slightly less random. Unfortunately the randomness kept on coming, so we were left to retire to Carbon Art HQ; where the sausages and beers abounded and we learned that Ferran is tri-
    lingual – also speaking Italian!

    Day Two

    Kina Road was once again the destination for Day Two; with lighter winds and a more westerly swell. While enthusiasm and the tide were high, unfortunately the wind was not. Luke Holliday and Nicola grabbed surfboards and had the most fun out of everyone during the late morning. An increase of a couple of knots in the afternoon sparked some excitement and a fun thirty minutes on the water, however it was simply fools-gold in front of some showers, culminating in the wind dying completely and some sailors having to swim their gear back to shore. Strike two for any hopes of competition action!

    Day Three

    An underwhelming forecast came through on just the right day for a couple of competitors who were the worse-for-wear after some hard partying on the previous Saturday night. We all headed out to Waitara in the hope of some ‘mystery side-off’ craziness. Once again, there was enough wind (side-on) to get most everyone out there, but not enough to run a decent competition. Strike three. Was Taranaki about to be out for the count these nationals?

    Day Four… Redemption… for Taranaki and Auckland

    All hail! Not a moment to soon and Taranaki delivered. Solid logo high sets and enough wind to throw jumping into the mix at Ahu Ahu Road, and we had a competition on our hands. The judges set up camp at the top of the new ‘Ahu Cliffs Sands’ viewing area/resort and the first 15 minute heat was ready to hit the water at 11:15 am. Jumps were easy enough to come by on 5.0 metre sails and Paul Barron, Yoan and Mike La Franchie put on a solid display to open proceedings with some great late hits and big backward and forward loops.

    To keep things interesting as the following heats went out the wind boosted up and down, making launching at the Ahu Ahu end of the break a tricky affair. Competitors occasionally found themselves stuck on the inside and faced with a crunchy headhigh plus shore dump as the tide filled in, and eking out an extra turn or aerial off the last section proved to be the end of a few competitors heats as they got stuck inside and on the fast-track down to Dirk’s corner. Carnage was occurring as well, with mast extensions snapping, fins getting taken out on rocks, boom clamps giving out, and Nicola creasing his board in a high forward attempt! To add to the fun the incoming tide created a ‘mini-tsunami’ that raced up the river below the judges and covered a few sails and boards with sand and water.

    In the midst of the Open Mens’ rounds the juniors were sent out. Luke Holliday and Willam Novak put on a show of waveriding and jumping that would have had plenty of the Open Men’s competitors secretly pleased that they weren’t sailing against them. Nice effort guys, it was awesome to see such great skills out there in some challenging conditions!

    As the spray settled after four preliminary and two secondary Open Men’s rounds we had a top four of Chris La Franchie, Nicola Terenzi, Thomas Davies and Ferran Crespo. It was an intense last round showdown to sort out the top two, with booming swell and tricky wind on the inside. Ferran pulled out some of his usual stylish waveriding, combined with a few backloops to blast his way into the first-
    elimination final, closely followed by Thomas Davies who was flying the flag high for Auckland. After initially looking like he had been caught inside with no way out Thomas made his way back with a vengeance to rack up some solid wave scores and jumps to progress ahead of Chris and Nicola.

    Thomas and Ferran went toe-to-to for the final 15 minutes, matching each others’ wave scores and proving a real headache for the judges to pick a winner. Just when one looked to have pulled ahead with nice ride on a large set wave, the other would find a wave equally as good to claw themselves back into contention. In the end Thomas emerged as the victor of a tight heat after sailing the competition of his life. Congratulations Thomas, nice work!

    Final Rankings:

    Open Mens

    1st Thomas Davies (Carbon Art, Hot sails Maui)
    2nd Ferran Crespo (Simmer)
    3rd Chris La Franchie (Carbon Art, Maui Sails)
    4th Nicola Terenzi (Fanatic, North Sails)


    1st Luke Holliday
    2nd William Novak

    Event Sponsors:
    Carbon Art, Taranaki Windsurf Club

    (Photos thanks to SurfPhotoNZ – see more on their Facebook)
  • 01 Dec 2013 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    On Saturday morning the sailors awoke to a Northerly blast and were all on the beach wondering if the event was going to get underway as the start/rescue boat was unable to come near the shore to pick up any of the marks. After a small committee meeting it was decided that we should hold and see if the wind dropped. After a few hours of hanging around the wind dropped enough to get some racing underway, but there were still gusts of 55 knots coming through just to let the sailors know who was in charge.

    The first race got underway with several of the sailors not even finishing as the wind decided to shift, but they made up for it in the next few races, but some of the sailors decided it was still safer to stay on the beach and not compete in the racing that day.
    Laurence Carey had a great day showing the older sailors who was boss by winning all 5 races on the Saturday, sometimes by quite a margin, but on the Sunday Laurence Carey and Harry Reed were outdone by their lack of experience when Tim Wood told them it was unwise to remove their wristbands when they broke for lunch, but their youthful exuberance overcame their better judgment and they removed them and forgot to put them back on and were disqualified from Race 11 even though Harry Reed tried to do his Harry Potter impression (without his invisibility cloak) and tried to sneak up to the board and take them back hoping that nobody had noticed. (Wrong….. The lady has eyes in the back of her head…..)

    There were a few collisions with Laurence Carey trying to sneak his way through at the mark and taking out both Darren Nicholas and Chris Bolt. Luke Watson also tried this tactic and took Alexander Stroh out at the mark. There was also a little controversy during Race 8 on Sunday with Paul Vliestra and Luke Watson having a Port/Starboard collision which damaged the board that Paul Vliestra was using. Paul felt that it was no longer safe to sail if Luke was still competing with his bash and barge mentality and withdrew from the event. It was a shame, as this was meant to be a showcase event to promote Slalom Racing, but overall it was still a good event.

    Local sailor Dave Steele was showing his skills by not even using a start watch and getting some great results (that proves he can count to 60) with young William not very far behind both of whom beat old timer James Court as he was feeling too tired to compete on the Sunday. It was a close fought battle between Darren Nicholas and Chris Bolt with Darren coming out ahead, and Bernard Carey showing that persistence pays by beating Alexander Stroh.
    The event was won by Laurence Carey who took 13 race wins from 15 (would have been 14 if he didn’t get himself disqualified) followed closely by Harry Reed. A comment was made that these guys should be giving the older sailors a yard head start for every years age difference.

    We’d like say a big thanks to:

    Bruce Spedding for organizing the event (hopefully it will become an annual event…..), Alex Dean and Marilyn Auton Wood for doing a lot of the hard work, and all the local sailors who came along to support the event
    Brew’d Eastbourne, principle sponsor - for the great pizza’s and drinks vouchers, and the start/rescue boat
    A’ND Distribution
    Wild Winds
    Watercooled Sports
    Epic Surf
    Ocean Sports
    Pak’n’Save Petone
    Eastbourne Fruit Supply
    Eastbourne Sports and Service Club

    Thanks to Marilyn Auton Wood for the event report.

    Full Event Results on Facebook
  • 09 Dec 2012 10:20 PM | Anonymous

    The 2012 NZ Freestyle nationals were hotly contested in epic conditions. UK windsurfer Al Bentley took the competition title in a 40 knot final epic over Tom Taylor. Taylor taking top New Zealand windsurfer pushed Bentley to his best, duelling twice in competition.

    Wellington definitely did not disappoint, with sunny and windy conditions.  Over the afternoon of freestyle action the wind climbed from 20 to 40 knots.

    Competitors battled their way through a single into double elimination round at the locally named spot the MCC.  At the Ngatitoa Domain, the narrow channel kept the action close for spectators and judges alike.

    Reigning champ Tim Haxell, starting top seed, met stiff competition in fellow local windsurfer Rob Harrison. Harrison’s hard work on the latest moves saw him stomp funnels and konos to Haxell’s reportage of spock and funnel variations. Haxell’s hard and fast sailing wasn’t enough with Harrison beating Haxell, to stop his run on the title.

    Local icon sailor James Court brought an impressive array of spocks, forwards and crazy 40 knot willi skippers. A top wave sailor, Court showed his class, transitioning well to kept the likes of Taylor and Harrison honest.

    A great turn out from the young windsurfers at Worser Bay meant the youth title was there to win. William Novak and Nick Thyne brought their best to try topple favoured Jo Tildesley. The youth final was between Novak and Tildesley. A series of floaty chop hops, duck gybes and good vulcan attempts saw Tildesley take the youth title. No doubt we will see plenty more of these guys in the future.

    7 minutes, 40knots and two egger sailors, Taylor end Bentley, the final was on! Taylor, previously beaten by Bentley in the end of the first single elimination, had to beat Bentley twice to take the win.  Bentley came out storming with a super floaty shaka. This was not to put Taylor off, hitting a sweet shovit and flaka to respond. They dwelled in hard and fast conditions with spocks, spock 540s, flakas and switch vulcans. In the end it was Bentley’s shaka that made the difference and the title was decided.

    Bentley taking the competition title had been push hard by Taylor. Taylor return to the scene sees him take top NZ sailor and the all mighty trophy.

    A barbeque and drinks ensued to celebrate. Everyone was stoking about the competition. Great to have the young guys there and Al Bentley from the UK. Those that came down and supported, thank you.

    Two years of great conditions has seen the freestyle standard in NZ grow. Let’s keep it going and see you there next year!

    • 1.       Al Bentley (Competition Winner)
    • 2.       Tom Taylor (Top NZ Sailor)
    • 3.       Rob Harrision
    • 4.       Tim Haxell
    • 5.       James Court
    • 6.       Eric Torvelainen
    • 7.       Jo Tildesley (Youth Champ)
    • 8.       William Novak
    • 9.       Nick Thyne
  • 29 Nov 2012 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    New Zealand Windsurfing Freestyle Nationals comes to Wellington this weekend (1 and 2 December).

    Last year Auckland turned it on with a stellar day of freestyle action. Wellingtonian Tim Haxell had to produce his best, to fend off the Aucklanders, to take the title down to the Capital.

    Haxell, 24, will have his work cut out again this year. The return of Wellington bread freestyle master Tom Taylor will present stiff competition. Taylor, once winner of the international JP Young Gun Freestyle Camp, will have to work hard having been off the water this year.


    The onslaught on the top doesn’t stop there for Haxell. UK windsurfer Al Bentley is in town. Bentley brings freestyle moves that will amaze his competitors and spectators alike. Check him out online.


    With the wind as promised, get yourself to the Ngatitoa Domain in Mana a.k.a. the MCC to see the action. Back up location is Evans Bay.


    Competition times are from 11am to 6pm Saturday and if required 11am to 4pm Sunday. See you midday Saturday for an afternoon of windsurfing freestyle action!


    On the day, see forum for latest updates on times and locations.

  • 10 Mar 2012 9:03 PM | Anonymous

    Due to light winds again the Harbour Blast reschduled for the 1 of April has been cancelled till next season.


    We were forced to cancel a few weeks back because of the poor forecast, but are pleased to announce a rescheduled date for the 2012 Harbour Blast on Sunday 1st April. Although the Slalom event that we planned won't be on the same weekend, we are still hoping to hold that event soon, so stay tuned. Please register (again) on the event page, for the Harbour Blast even if you did previously, we need to know entrant numbers. thanks

  • 01 Mar 2012 9:20 PM | Anonymous
    WWA can now take your annual membership payment by credit card (visa & mastercard) or by PayPal. Simply click join, and follow the instructions there to either Renew (for past WWA members) or Join for new members. WWA also has a new bank account so check this number if you want to continue to pay by Bank Deposit. Cheers
  • 20 Nov 2011 9:23 PM | Anonymous

    Three weeks have now past since Round 1 of the Wellington Freewave 2011 and we are looking down the barrel of Round 2 this Saturday 26 November 2011. Round 1 saw a group of dedicated sailors take to the water in Evans Bay for the freestyle round and for our first attempt to include freeracing. Conditions were light but just enough to run a race and a 30minute expression session. 

    Eight competitors started the freerace from the shallows beside the rocks, racing out to a bouy on the far side of the bay and back to a finishing bouy downwind of the start. Marginal wind saw competitors slugging to the far mark with most requiring a couple of tacks to make the rounding. Leading from the front James Court tacked his way to round first while Tim Haxell pinched his way upwind to follow him in second. A straight blast to the finish saw no change in position with Nick Hunn finishing in third ahead of Rob Harrison. This was a fun new aspect to the freewave and is to continue at the next round conditions permitting. 

    The freestyle expression session was battled out between Court, Haxell, Hunn and Harrison. Marginal planning conditions saw the competitors hunting for the gusts. Harrison decided to change down sails which saw his heat limited to non-planning moves coming in fourth place. Hunn edge ahead of Harrison with an array of old school freestyle moves. Court and Haxell slogged it out for first. Court struggled to nail his spocks, leaving his vulcans to do the talking while Haxell easily trumped him with a couple of solid flakas, gruby and vulcan to take the freestyle section of Round 1.

    Hopefully wind and waves will ensue for Round 2 of the freewave. Watch and here at for details of start time and location.


    • 1.       James Court
    • 2.       Tim Haxell
    • 3.       Nick Hunn
    • 4.       Rob Harrison
    • 5.       Andy UK
    • 6.       Colin Doig
    • 7.       David
    • 8.       Andy Galinkski


    • 1.       Tim Haxell
    • 2.       James Court
    • 3.       Nick Hunn
    • 4.       Rob Harrison

    Overall Standings

    • 1= James Court/Tim Haxell 
    • 3 Nick Hunn
    • 4 Rob Harrison
    • 5 Andy K
    • 6 Colin Doig
    • 7 David
    • 8 Andy Galinski

    Apologies if your full name is not up or it is spelt wrong. I will correct once I catch you at the water or flick me an email at

  • 28 Oct 2011 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    The freewave is to encourage all windsurfers to push their skills on the water and have fun in a competitive environment.

    NEW: Freeracing

    The freewave is to include wave sailing, freestyle  and freeracing. The freeracing aspect is to bring something new to the freewave this year (please bear with us as we see how this goes). The goal is to have at least one wave and one freestyle focused round in the series conditions permitting. We will attempt to run a freerace at the start of each round. The freeraces will likely start from the beach or by bouy rounding aligned with a flag on the shore. Racing will be to an outer mark and back to either a beach finish or bouy rounding also aligned with a flag on the shore. Only wave or freestyle gear is allowed. Placing in the freeraces over all the three rounds will be combined to give an overall freerace ranking over the series. This will be considered in the final placing alongside the placings from the wave and freestyle sections.

    Please see the Freewave events page to find out about how the events will be judged.

  • 26 Oct 2011 10:21 AM | Anonymous
    The second round of the Freewave Series has been moved to 26th November 2011 so that it doesn't conflict with other on the water stuff happening that weekend. 
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