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2010 Wave Nationals
Bring on the wind…

Easter weekend began in similar fashion to the last few years with perfect warm summer weather gracing our skies. However for wind addicted windsurfers, this was the last thing wanted. Friday was called a lay day, with competitors being released to make their own fun. Most chose to go surfing, SUP’n or fishing.

Saturday the conditions were little better (i.e perfectly calm hot and sunny) and a sausage sizzle was held at Weld Road for the competitors and friends. A light NW breeze picked up late in the afternoon in time for a free sail at Kina Road north break, but too late for the competition unfortunately.

Sunday the competition was on hold at Pungarehu waiting for the forecast south easterly wind to arrive. Unfortunately the wind did not arrive until 6PM too late to run any competition heats.

The wind blew 30 knots overnight, then by the 10AM briefing at Pungarehu had dropped to below the minimum required for competition to be held at that location.

Luckily the Taranaki coastline offers lots of variation, and the competition was moved to Kina Rd, which was blowing SE offering nice planing conditions on a 5.0 sail. The conditions were excellent all day with the incoming tide improving the wave quality as the competition moved closer to the finals.

The skill level of the riders is increasing every year. The competition is getting tighter every year, and this was exhibited when the winner of the last wave nationals was eliminated in the first round. There are no easy heats anymore (except for one where two competitors did not turn up giving the other two a bye into the second round). No matter how radical your riding is, a bad heat means you are out, see you later, thank you, come again next year.

The 2010 windsurfing wave nationals final was a family affair with team La Franchie reaching the top two positions. Chris dominated the final, as he dominated the rest of the competition. He consistently landed aerials off the outside peak and was laying in the most radical turns. These were vertical bottoms turns flowing at full speed onto the other rail and gauging 270° back into the white water. The thousands of top turns Taranaki has gifted these two brothers, showed through in their smooth style, wave timing and selection. Chris is the leading sailor in Taranaki at the moment and is showing the standard required for all the aspiring champion wave sailors out there. Tom Taylor showed he is not just a free style maestro, and has top skills in waves as well. Lots of critical hits and aerials gave him a deserved 3rd place this year.

The results for 2010 Carbon Art Rodgers Dental New Zealand Wavesailing Nationals are as follows:

Open Men

1st Chris La Franchie
2nd Mike La Franchie
3rd Tom Taylor
4th Simon Smith

Woman
1st Katrin Dauentry

Youth
1st Thomas Davies

“The winner Chris La Franchie was riding a 5 year old SCW54!”

Along with a new national champion wavesailer being found, other changes were afoot with daylight saving finishing. Mt Taranaki signalled that summer was truly over with the fist snow on arriving Tuesday afternoon, while the hardy locals were suiting up for yet another Pungarehu session.

Competition’s depend on the backing of the non competing sailors. So a big thanks goes out to the local Taranaki sailors for letting the comp take over Kina Road for the day.

Thanks to Olivier Perkins for donating his judging time. Not only is he a talented windsurfer but is also a mean artist and graphic designer. Check out his website http://www.spore.co.nz/

Thanks to Beach Street surf shop for supplying competition rash shirts.

Thanks to Craig Olsen from Sportshotz for the event photography, check out his website http://sportshotz.co.nz/#/gallery/nz-wave-nationals-2010/, there might be a photo of your big move there.

Thanks to the major event sponsors Rodgers Dental and Carbon Art. The entry packs were awesome, packed full of energy to keep competitors riding all day, and Colgate product to counteract the negative effect of this high calorie diet on teeth.

Most of all thanks to all the competitors for sticking out the waiting period to score good wind and waves on the last day. Enjoy autumn, brace yourselves for winter, and look forward to the new competition season starting in the coming spring.