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This years slalom national were held in Dunedin and once again blessed with perfect conditions, we had 3 days of racing – raced 28 heats and covered 300k’s in winds ranging from the bare minimum to 30kts. I competed with the Carbon Art SL55, SL58, SL66, Maui Sails 5.9, 6.6, 7.6 and C3 Fins ranging from 32 to 42 cm.

Heading into the event, I was felling pretty confident as I had been doing quite a lot of Slalom sailing in Taranaki, with another competitor Paul Barron. We had the gear going really well, but as soon as I stepped on the water in Dunedin – the day before competition – I was reminded how different the conditions are sailing on an inner harbour open to the ocean.

Photocredit: Dave Mcphee

As soon as racing started it was apparent that Gareth Wood, who placed 2nd last year and the previous winner of the event 2 years prior to that, had also being doing quite a lot of training and was sailing really well! It looked like we would have some good battles, and in three out of four races it started out that way.

I led from the start and cleared the first buoy ahead, but from then on it went down hill, in one I sailed to the wrong mark after rounding buoy 1 and in the other 2, I lead to buoy 2 only to blow my gybe. Gareth and I, only met 4 times and in the 4th race, he lead from start to finish, I won the rest of my races except 2 races where I had an over early and dropped a gybe.

Photo Credit: Dave Mcphee

To summarise I felt I had my gear going really well, but let myself down making too many mistakes and all credit to Gareth, as he sailed a faultless event.

My end result goes down on last years event, yet still a fun event and great for CA – with 6 out of the top 10 in the Mens Open, Annie Crombie won the Womens on CA and Jim Rodgers won the silver on CA. Well done!!

Photocredit: Dave Mcphee

A big THANK YOU to the organisers, sponsors and all the competitors, who all did a great job at making this truly one of NZ’s greatest windsurfing events.

For a full list of the results go to http://windsurfingnz.org/content/2010-slalom-results

Cheers ‘til next year.

James