- 11 March 2009 | Windsurfing
The Wild Winds Freestyle Windsurfing Nationals are being held this coming weekend, the 14th and 15th of March at Eastbourne in Wellington. It is going to be one hell of an event and is the first time a freestyle windsurfing event of this size has been run in New Zealand.
Freestyle windsurfing itself is a young discipline. It is essentially skateboarding on water and has been developed and grown over the last ten years bringing with it a fresh new face to windsurfing. Flips, spins and rotations of all height and speed is what freestyle is all about. Needless to say it is an amazing spectacle to behold.
Being the inaugural Freestyle Nationals for New Zealand, it is an anticipated event. With the help of the main sponsor, Wild Winds, as well as the Wellington Windsurfing Association, a national champion will finally be crowned in freestyle.
The event organizer and head judge, Tom Taylor, who has competed internationally on the professional windsurfing tour, is stoked to bring this event to fruition; “freestyle windsurfing is wicked, its fresh and new and now we are finally going to be able to showcase the talent that New Zealand has to offer at Eastbourne this weekend.”
Even the event format is being run in a new way. Rather than the usual heat format, where much of the action is out to sea and marks are given for consistency, the competition area will be a marked off box, just metres off the shore. Instead of consistency, the new format will reward radical moves and crowd appeal.
This new shift in competition format is brand new to New Zealand and will not only be more of a crowd pleaser, but will push competitors to go for the biggest, most extreme moves in order to impress the judges. Moves such as the coveted forward flip will be landed literally within metres of the beach. The ante has also been upped, thanks to Wild Winds, with $500 prize money up for grabs.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the event however, will be the jump ramp. A purpose built jump ramp is being transported to Wellington especially for the event. The jump works like any skateboard or bike ramp, propelling the windsurfers even higher into the air, allowing them to do bigger moves.
This is the first time a jump ramp has been used in competition in Australasia, and with its own prize money of $100, it will be an amazing addition to the Freestyle Nationals.
So come down and check it out, with music and a barbeque this really will be an extreme sports event that can’t be missed.