Another event and another new location, this time Karagi Park at North Entrance Beach, about 90 minutes north of Sydney. There was a cranking southerly forecast with a rising swell for the Saturday so competitors were hoping for some challenging waveriding conditions and steep peaks for blasting high jumps.
Early Saturday morning, the judges arrived to scope the beach and find the most suitable spot for the contest zone. Winds started cross to cross-off and were looking to build during the day. However, beach conditions were proving problematic. Competitors would be competing in an unpredictable 2-4’ beach break with some sets closing out onto shallow banks. However other sets peeled cleanly down the beach which offered plenty of promise for some great waveriding scores. A few of the early arrivals ventured out and picked off a few of the better waves making those waiting on the beach keen to hit the water. It was hoped that as the tide fell to a 1:30pm low the waves would even out and perhaps an offshore bank would develop to compete on.
Registration was closed at 11:00am and the Skippers meeting held shortly after. With nearly 30 competitors to be seeded the judges prepared the heats quickly with Amateurs, Pros and Masters to compete in that order. This event saw the entry of former multiple world champ, Jessica Crisp which was inspirational to the rest of us to lift the standard of our sailing. Young Zac Coleman and Jake Juretic have decided to step up and promoted themselves to the Amateurs as their sailing ability has definitely lifted since the last season. Jimmy Houghton too was back from a couple of months in Maui so he was definitely a threat in the Pros. However, because the relatively light wind by Hawaiian standards, the waves that were under mast high and with the wind from the wrong direction, he was not as certain.
The Amateurs were the first to hit the water with two heats. As the wind had turned more cross-on than cross, a considerable current had begun to develop that would suck competitors down the beach. Ben Kirk took out heat one by dropping into some critical bottom turns on some of the bigger sets while Zac took out heat two with a clever clew first wave ride.
For the Pros division Dean Headrie proved he was much more than the 2012 Australian Wavesailing Titles Head Judge and moved directly into the final with a win in heat one. He was to be joined by Jessica Crisp who clearly demonstrated her love of wavesailing by stylishly carving up the biggest sets of the day. It was almost a ‘Kelly Slate-like’ command of the ocean as she gybed on to a perfect 5’ wave and worked it both upwind and downwind for maximum points.
As the wind turned more onshore and became lighter, just getting out was really tough. Of all divisions the Masters demonstrated their skill and persistence to push through and get a result in their heats. Warren Holder still managed some nice DTL rides, despite the fading conditions, to win his heat although he still took a long swim chasing his gear into the rip. Alan Bailey was able to carve a nice backside air and scored multiple turns working the waves upwind to go through to final as well. The shore dump proved to be the nemesis of many sailors and there were a number of broken masts during the day. Perhaps the hardest to watch was when Neil Scott’s gear was picked up and thrown full force into 30cm of water with an audible crack as his 8 year old mast succumbed.
Unfortunately the wind began to die and by 4:30pm the judges ended competition for the day. As there was no wind forecast for the following Sunday a result was achieved with a full first round of competition held. It was then off to the Toowoon Bay Caravan Park for the event social and prize giving; thanks for letting us use your facilities! The camp kitchen is huge and the holiday park is quick luxurious with pool and overlooking the beach. Alan and Johannes cooked up a feast and the beer and wine flowed. Club president Tim Williams handed out the prizes courtesy of Sam and the team from WindSurfnSnow. Dirty Dog sunglasses and floats were given to place getters from Event 1. Hot Sails Maui also provided a new harness and new harness lines for our youth winners, Ned and Zac. Windsurfing Sales who sell Loft Wave/Race and Freeride sails as well as Gun accessories kindly provided a Gun boom, a Gun quiver bag and Gun sail bag that were raffled. Dave Stafford, once again a raffle winner, scored the new boom, Jessica Crisp the sail quiver bag and Adrien Gacon the mast bag.
As with every event the Central Coast event was a success as a result of the hard work of the association members, the generosity of the sponsors and the willingness of everyone to pitch in and help out wherever there is a need; especially Sorrel who spent the day collating results! So thank you to everyone once again including the North Entrance Surf Life Saving Club who kept an eye out for us through the day.
Event 3 at Gerroa is just around the corner and with the NE’s making such an early appearance it’s sure to be a cracker!