New Zealand Slalom Nationals 2010: strong sea breeze venue

Held in Dunedin in the south of the South Island this venue is becoming known as one of the best slalom areas in New Zealand. During summer there is a strong sea breeze that funnels down Otago Harbour and provides perfect slalom conditions for up to five days a week.

Day one dawned with a typical 25-30 knot NE with many sailors on 6.0 or smaller sails.The open men were split into random heats with heats for silver fleet and the women’s division. Ten rounds were sailed on the first day.

Day two was a little lighter with 7.0 sails being most sailors call. Later in the day the wind was up and 6.0 was again the preferred option. Another ten rounds.

Day three was close to the wind minimum for the event with many on 7.5-8m sails. Six rounds only on day three and with the weather forecast looking somewhat unpleasant the organisers called it an event.

The open men’s division was even more competitive than last year with Gareth Wood, James Dinnis (US open men’s champ 2009) and Clayton Dougan all pushing hard but ultimately Gareth winning.

The women’s fleet saw last years winner Sue Bradley end up second with Annie Crombie winning. These two women seem to take turns at winning the event each year.