EVENT 5 REPORT:
The final point scoring event of the 2016/17 NSW Tour had us all sailing both days in hugely varied conditions.
The Saturday was hot and steamy and everyone was very relieved to get into the smooth cool water of Gerroa. A few blistered toes from the run across hot sand were worth it for the balmy ocean, the light winds and fun little play waves that were on offer close to shore. The wind picked up out on the point and the crew dashed out to take advantage of the larger swell and better wind out there. Sadly we haven’t yet worked out how to run a contest out there but maybe one day with drones! Watch that space folks.
With Saturday just missing out on the conditions to run heats we focused on the big southerly that was forecast to hit and so we gathered on Winding beach on Sunday to wait for it from noon. We didn’t have to wait long and we certainly weren’t disappointed. It built slowly at first but then hit with 25 knot plus winds and peeling head high waves on the outer banks around 2pm. We launched into the heats. The best riders picked waves that ran all the way from the outer banks into the beach with one or even two re-forms and this was the strategy that generally won heats.
In the Masters we had 3 tightly contested first round heats with Dean Hendrie, Oli Barta and Robbo winning through with very strong performances for direct spots into the final. The two repechage heats then produced tight results with Wazza just edging out his fleet to grab a finals berth with very long very well selected waves and then Darren squeezing out his rivals with his slashing top turns.
In the Opens we had two first round heats with Duncan and Peter Puhl stealing the show from Jessica, Zac and Janika to grab the first finals berths, then Francois and Simeon edging out Matteo, Bettina and Cheryl to fill the final to 4 places. The repechage heat saw Jess and Janika break through to grab the last two finals positions.
So we were set for the Tour finals. The tension was high. Titles were on the line. During the heats the wind would blast through in squalls and throw the beach set-up into chaos, from time to time judging sheets were scattered everywhere, sodden with rain, at one point we had to quickly dismantle the tent as it was literally turning itself inside out. It was pretty wild.
And then, just as the Masters had gone onto the water for their final, the wind shut down and it was done.
Cries of agony from Robbo! He was ready to CHARGE! He was PUMPED! But it wasn’t to be. The wind had gone and there was nothing left to do but pack up the soggy remains and head back to the car park.
The overall results are still being tabulated but we had a good season with 2 full event results (Balina and Gerroa I), 2 partial event results (Wanda and Gerroa II) and only one event with no results (Port Kembla).
The season has been a lot of fun. Parties have been had!
The final fun teams event of the season is in just a few weeks and the overall results will be announced soon in preparation for the big bash and even bigger presentation. Lots of prizes!
Thank you everyone who came down, chipped in, sailed hard and had fun.