SurfFX Woopi Classic 2023 – words and images by Matteo

It was a great success!!!
Biggest turnover since long long time for NSW Wavesailing Summer Series, in the windiest week of the season on the North Coast!!!


Wavesailors started arriving early in the week in Woolgoolga to take advantage of the great forecast for wind and waves. The first event of the season was highly anticipated and people arrived from all over the East Coast and beyond. I was a bit sick the week before the comp, and I was in doubt until the very last minute if I could made the drive…at the end I was able to recover just on Thursday, so I decided to start driving very early on Friday morning…and after 1500km and more than 16 hours I got to Woolgoolga!

Well Woopi delivered again for the Surf FX Wave Classic the first event of the season with a mixture of conditions to suit all 33 competitors and 4 social sailors including Will Barnett still getting amongst it at 73!!


Saturday September 30th 2023 – Day01

Initial briefing was at 12 noon, with Head Judge Dean Hendrie and the Race Director Jason Juretic explaining the plan for the day and the philosopy of the comp, where they were trying to maximize sailing time for everyone and minimize the dowtime of judging. Basically trying to take advantage of the great forecast at its best! We rigged up big sails, ranging between 4.7mq to 5.5mq for the heavyest riders. The south swell was delivering very nice waves with bigger sets well overhead! We ran with 2 heats of 45 minutes expression sessions. Each heat was deciding 2 best sailors to go straight into the final, 2 for Opens and 2 for Masters. The plan was than to run another heat the next day to decide other 2 finalists. As I said waves were waist to head high waves with bigger sets overhead, wind was a bit gusty and light but all riders had plenty of freesailing before and after their heats.


Exhausted from the long day in the water everyone was happy to have food and drinks in the team house for mexican theme night. A lot of stories were shared, it was a fitting end of a great day!


Sunday October 1st 2023 – Day02

Different scenario for the second day of the Woopi Classic 2023. Meet up at Hearnes Lake rd car park. We had the skippers meeting at 11am. The wind was clearly stronger than the previous day. Sky was clear for a bright sunny day. Waves unfortunately dropped quite a bit. The northerly seebreeze kicked early and we ran with one big 2.5 hours long exprsssion session in 15-25knots and waist high waves. It was fantastic to see so many sailors on the water and the level was very high across all divisions with the Master and Opens finals delivering non stop action.


I rigged my trusted 4,9 KS3 with the 88lt ACME custom quad, with Zulu fins on the asymmetrical config…and I have to say…what a fantastic combo! Insane speed in the turn and the board goes vertical 12 o’clock! And that fins configuration holds the speed and you have always the control feeling over the lip! I sailed for all my 2.5 hours heat with the 4,9…than at the end of the day I had another 2 hours sailing with the 4,6mq. Wind picked up and was steady. Insane day of action for everyone! With stronger winds we were able to jump as well and the riders showed fantastic skills. Personally I was impressed by the high levels of the sailors.


In the Opens the now local ripper Brett Goodwin (Red Jersey -White Severne sail) took the win over Logan Haggerston (Yellow Jersey-black North Sail) , Michael ‘George’ Westra (Pink – Red Severne sail) and Zack Coleman( Blue Jersey – Yellow GA Sails). Brett took almost maximum jumping points with stylish back loop and a dry forward, Logan’s tweaked push loop was the highest jump of the final but couldn’t manage to back it up with solid second jump, George’s forwards where on point and Zac also pushed hard but couldn’t find a good ramp to get a higher scoring second jump. Wave scores were exceptionally close with all sailors throwing buckets and the odd aerial despite the dropping swell.


Final results for the SURFFX Woopi Classic 2023

Opens Men
1st – Brett Goodwin
2nd – Logan Haggerston
3rd – Michael Westra

Open Women
1st – Kate Barker

1st – Peter Puhl
2nd – AdrianLevy
3rd – Martin Batstone

1st – Adam Pitcher

Final thoughts
The SURFFX Woopi Classic was a huge success. Plenty of sailing time. Everyone enjoyed the strong wind, the nice waves, the sunny days and the warm water, but mostly we had great time all togheter sharing waves and passion for this unbeliveble sport whitch is windsurfing! At the end of the day we went at Seaview Tavern in Woolgoolga to enjoy dinner, drinks and prizes for everyone! Windsurfing is alive more than ever! A lot of happy faces!! It’s clear that the bar for the season is quite high and all the riders are tuned with their gear and ready to fight for the Australian Championships coming up in November in Gerroa or Sydney.
I was pretty happy with my sailing, I think I made 5th in the Opens, missing the final for just few points, and considering the overall skill level of all the riders I fell quite happy and improved since last season, and in tune with my gear. Big time in the water really worth the big drive. Producing video/photo content and sailing at the same time was a bit intense, but the quality of the footage that I’m bringing home does have quality!
Big thank you to all the organizers. To all the riders. Great event made possible by great people.
Can’t wait for the next event.
See you soon peeps!


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