Date: 11th – 12th September 2010
The Dirty Dog sponsored NSW Wavesailing Association series opener showed once again that the Illawarra can deliver some amazing down the line conditions – even right at the beginning of spring. Most of the competitors took the leisurely drive to the Illawarra on the Friday before the competition to make the most of a potential early Saturday WSW wind and Southerly ground swell.
Saturday morning as was anticipated had a good a swell and a WSW wind but unfortunately it was just too light for competition sailing. The early call was for a Port Kembla based sign on – a venue that actually worked very well thanks to a large car park and plenty of space. The lack of wind gave the committee time to sign people up, distribute the excellent tee-shirts and stickers then sell the vibrant blue hoodies to anyone within a two kilometre radius! There was a fantastic turnout to the sign on, with approximately 40 competitors and a very healthy number of new people. It is fair to say that every major division now has four or more entries.
Anne was on hand to show off the latest JP twinsers, thrusters, quads and a great FSW with only one fin box! Windsurf’nSnow were also able to get the event site looking pretty special thanks to their large tent and even larger flags, posters, stickers and any other windsurfing paraphernalia they could find in the shop! It was such a good display that most locals driving pass stopped to have a look at what was going on.
After a briefing from the Judges which included the competition format, event information, and a discussion about the Nationals, all of the equipment was put away for a trip back to Gerroa – just in case the NE’r did kick in.
That afternoon Gerroa did produce a NE’r with the NSWWA members hitting the water with their choice of board – sail, surf or SUP. As is often the case, Francois was showing us all how to ride in five knots of wind even managing an impressive off the lip on one wave.
Once the sun had set on a great afternoon of surf, Jason and Jake fired up the BBQ and cooked a feast for the members. Once the food had been eaten Tim and Mike took over to explain what the plan was for Sundays competition. Mike then handed out Dirty Dog sunglasses to all of the new members. The evening was finished off with the Bledisloe and a few beers.
Sunday was shaping up for a good NE’r so all of the NSWWA members hit the Gerroa car park nice and early. A few people managed to get out in some great two to three foot surf with their surfboards and SUPs. The judges then got the Juniors and Ladies out on the water before midday in a steadily building NE’r. The large contingent of Amateurs quickly followed with three individual heats, the winner going straight to the final and the rest able to fight it out for the final spots in a repechage. Masters and Pro’s quickly followed in wind which was just starting to peak at 15 knots.
There were as always a few stand outs on the day, Oliver Cox and Jason Cater (who had unbelievable board speed) managed to pick up the waves of the day, Francois showed the Pro’s that his move from the Amateurs was justified, Nick, one of the new members from Newcastle was getting some great long wave rides in and Dan was able to defy gravity (and the lack of wind) to do a huge off the lip! The award for dedication must go to Duncan, who lost his harness before the heat, pulled out a footstrap screw after five minutes and then proceeded to smash any lip he could find which usually ended up in a big wipe-out – all cheered on from the beach!
The competition was completed by 5:30pm; a few beers were consumed in the carpark whilst people discussed the next competition in Woolgoolga before everyone headed home. Except Jason and Jake who locked themselves out of their van!
All results are now up on http://www.nswwavesailing.org
The NSWWA Committee would like to thank Dirty Dog for sponsoring the event and providing us with their excellent sunglasses, Anne, her partner and WSnS for bringing a lot of demo gear, flags and the tent, all the new members who drove long distances even with an average forecast, everyone who helped out with carrying, judging, cooking and finally Tim Williams who, as always, ran a very efficient, entertaining and competitive event.
The Ask Huey sponsored Woolgoolga competition (2-4th October) is fast approaching so please start to look into accommodation! Further details to follow.
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