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Anton’s report of the final day of DefiWind 2010!

This was the last day of the 4 day competition. The wind early on in the day was as strong as at the end of yesterday. But since this was the last day I decided that I needed to go out. The race director announced that it would be only one lap around a 25 km course rather than two laps. Everyone cheered.

People had rigged 4.0’s and 4.5’s. Yesterday only one guy in the top 25 had something bigger than a 5.2 up. He was on a 5.6 and was a big guy.

My smallest was a 6.2. I was in for a spanking. Sailed along the beach to line up for the start. Sail sheeted out in order to avoid being slammed. Jumped off and waited for 10 minutes. Could hardly hold onto the sail standing in the shallows. About 5 minutes before the start I decided to pull out of the race because there was no way that I could finish the course. The wind at the first mark, 12 km away was 10 knots stronger than at the start. That mean having to deal with 45 knots on a 6.2. The winds was so strong that it blew the ocean away. The wind shear on the ocean resulted in the water level dropping by about 40cm. Insane.

As I got to the beach with my tail between my leg, I heard the PA announcement that the race was cancelled. Phew. James was already in as well because his smallest sail was a 5.9. High five, no more racing in nuclear conditions. But then the race director came across on the PA to say that the top 50 would be going out for a race. Looked at the rankings and was in 58th place. Sweet. Off came the wetsuit. James was in 17th position so he had a tough call to make about whether to go out. With one discard to use, he decided to preserve the body and stay on the beach.

We watched the race with about 1000 other spectators from a rocky breakwater. The crowd here are really into this sport. Many families had come from around the region to watch the event. As the race leader came past for the first lap there was a huge cheer from the beach. The guy leading kept his lead and eventually won the race by about 40 seconds. Anders Bringdal was second. As the winner came back to the beach, the crowd cheered and people started crowding around him. He was a rockstar for the day.

Pretty cool to have been part of this event. And lucky to have picked the year where they had 4 days of wind. The previous two years there was no wind but by the sounds of it still good fun.

Managed to sell my CA 66 to an italian guy who had tried the 66 on lake Garda recently. He was so stocked with the board he had demo’d that then proceeded to buy a 58 from James. In fact all but one of the boards that James has made for the trip has sold. Good work getting a brand all the way from Taranaki to become popular in Europe. We also tried our best getting the Molly Woppy biscuits brand known to the french. The biscuits went down a treat with the locals. And some for us too of course. Thanks Al-p.

Speaking of brands, the biggest brand at the event was NP. Absent were Fanatic and Starboard as well as Tabou. Excocet, and The Loft were there, as well as the reincarnated Mistral, now owned by Anders Bringdal.