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Carbon Art is excited to announce James Dinnis as the New Zealand Windsurfing Slalom Nationals 2008-2009 season men’s title winner.

Thirty-four competitors in total gathered in the Otago Harbour for the New Zealand Slalom Nationals, which ran for four days from 5th to 8th of February 2009. Gareth Wood was defending the men’s title and was a favourite going into the event, having recently been the joint winner of the Australian Slalom Champs in November 2008.

An excellent event all-round was expected and many people had travelled from various parts of the country including six competitors from Auckland, and Gareth’s main competition, James Dinnis, from Taranaki.

James reported, “Going into the event, I was missing an SL62, which was a bit of a worry as it’s the bread and butter for lighter winds, so I was praying for above 20kts. The day before the racing I decided to keep the 7.0 as my biggest sail and not rig the 7.6, as the 7.0 was faster. With this knowledge I was confident that as long as I got a good start and clean air I would be ok.”

“Day 1 began well for me, with good starts and straight wins – but I was not happy with my gybes, and as I had yet to meet up again with Gareth Woods, who I battled with last year throughout the entire event, I started practising my gybes before heats. I worked out that I just needed to commit a little harder and then the board was going around like a knife through butter. So by the end of Day 1, I finished with 10 straight wins!”

“From there on it was 3 days of straight wins, which I was finding hard to believe, as I had jokingly said two months prior to the event that my goal was to win every heat at the Nationals.”

“After Day 3, we had a bit of a party, sort of like the prize giving without final results, as there was still a slim chance of racing on Day 4, so with the forecast looking grim a few of us got into the spirit of things!!”
“Waking up on Day 4 and seeing the wind at less than a knot I decided to have a bit more sleep, but then had a call a few hours later saying the racing was on! So I rushed to the beach and quickly scrambled my gear together for two races. I won the first race, but in the second race I managed to sail straight into a hole and watch most of the heat sail past!! I eventually got a gust and clawed my way back to 2nd. After that the wind died and racing was abandoned for the day.”
“With the event over, I finished with 21/22 wins, so with discards I had straight A’s and was very happy. It had been one of those events where my gear felt like it was flying and everything else came together.”
“Many thanks to the event organisers, sponsors & competitors, it’s always great fun to catch up with the South Island windsurfing scene.”
More information about the event and results at: http://windsurfingnz.org/node/1846