Well…. What a weekend!!
Those that attended the first event of the new format and new location got treated to some amazing conditions, comments like ‘best weekend ever’ where being flung around. With WindsurfNsnow/Neilpryde being our season sponsor, HOT sails Junior sponsor and Surf FX event sponsor, throwing out shop vouchers and some great prizes, we had a great turnout which was awesome given the poor wind forecast for the weekend. I am grateful to be able to contribute to this great sport that has been such an influence on my life and I appreciate the support shown so far.
You would assume that we scored 20knots cross off and mast high surf from the vibe of the weekend. But no we didn’t, the wind was light all weekend and only achieved 10knots at best on the second day with some marginal wavesailing conditions. But the waves pumped, the music was cranking and the whole philosophy of the new format shone through. A weekend away to get maximum water time and enjoy the company of fellow windsurfers.
Saturday greeted us with epic surfing conditions. One of the best point waves in Australia, Lennox Head, was pumping at 4-5ft and offshore. A few members of the association ripped the waves to shreds with Tim Knowles out there at first light to take advantage of the world class setup. Flatrock was 5-6ft and peeling down the bank at rippable speed. Perfect for all surf craft, surfboard, bodyboards, surfskis and Stand up paddle boards were all out. From the beach it looked very busy but the vibe in the water was unbelievably mellow and the waves were shared all morning. As the day went on, the waves kept pumping and the crowd thinned to next to nothing, all competitors spent hour upon hour catching wave upon wave. The Walker brothers were the real standouts ripping on there sups like they were short boards, with Tim Knowles and Forrest Ladkin showing that they have the SUP skills to match there wavesailing. 2 big mentions go out to Kate Barker for being out the longest and catching the biggest waves and Logan taking off on a double overhead bomb on my SUP for his first ever wave caught on a SUP. It was ugly but he made the drop and rode the wave to the beach hahaha, a huge show of skill on a new craft.
Saturday night was at the Lennox Head Hotel where the beer tickets were being used thick and fast and the beers where kept cool with the awesome State of Origin beer coolers. Unfortunaley alot of the Queensland competitors drove back to there homes, commuting to the competition each day, they missed a major part of the weekend, where everyone can sit around with drink in hand, discussing who caught the biggest wave, had the best wipeout and general chit chat. I strongly urge all competitors if they can to stay local and get involved in the night time social aspect as well as the daytime activities as it is a great time to talk to new, like minded people, and make new friends.
Sunday morning, we awoke to the wind already blowing around 5knots from the North East and a beautiful warm start to the day. The forecast looked promising with 15knots predicted. We arrived at flat rock to some of the best beach break waves for Windsurfing I have seen. It was just over head high but perfect shape. After a quick setup, it was out on the surfboards and SUPS for some more perfect waves. The wind teased all day and just after lunch Shane Finigan couldn’t resist anymore and rigged up and went out, a handful of competitors followed and scored some excellent light wind wavesailing. The skill was high making the light conditions look exceptional. It was such a great afternoon with some competitors surfing, some SUPing and some wavesailing. Everyone was having fun and smiles all-round. New members Steve Newman and Morgan Evans really persevered in the testing conditions and it was great to see the enthusiasm.
Sunday night was the prize giving night at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre. After watching the rugby league grand final on the big screen (Thanks to Finno 🙂 , a game of basketball, soccer and bin ball???? is was down to business. Surf FX really came to the party with $800 worth of shop vouchers to be drawn. The lucky winner was Jamie Miller winning $300. Dave Stafford, Alex Vandervoort, Logan Haggerston, Tim Williams and Kate Barker where the other lucky recipients getting $100 each. 4 out of the 6 winners had early entries which entitled them to 2 chance in the draw instead of 1 which really payed off. Early entries help the committee plan and can help the organisation of the event so please get in early for the next events. A huge thanks to Ian Greenleaf and Michael Brown from Surf FX for the generous contributuion.
Monday saw a poorer forecast with only a 15knots south east wind later in the afternoon. It was decided early to pull the pin and allow the long distance travellers time to get home. For the lucky few that could hang around, a strong southerly decided to present itself just after lunch time and Flatrock turned on for the afternoon with some awesome wavesailing at a premier location. Those that left early noticed the wind while driving and there was an impromptu wavesail at Flattop (Woolgoolga). A fun sail was had by all in 25knots waist to shoulder high surf. What a great weekend and I am gearing up for a huge turnout at the next event, Windang/Warilla on November 16th/17th, tell your friends, no matter what standard they are at, they WILL have fun. The new format helps us reach our NSW Wavesailing mission (This mission statement was stated over a decade ago). “Increase participation in Wavesailing and Wavesailing competitions in NSW through the development of a dynamic, fun and inspiring environment for people of all ages to enjoy our sport.”
The podium for the weekend was determined after discussions amongst the committee and was judged primarily on Wavesailing, but SUP and surfing was included in our decision.
1st – Shane Finigan
2nd – Forrest Ladkin
3rd – Logan Haggerston
1st – Jason Cater
2nd – Morgan Evans
1st – Kate Barker
1st – Nic Walker
2nd – Harry Walker
3rd – Tom Walker