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.
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.
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!!
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.