2008 Australian Wavesailing Titles

The NeilPryde completed late on Sunday afternoon, the final day of competition, with side-offshore wind gusting over 40 knots and head to logo-high waves. The level of sailing throughout the entire week was incredible with sailors demonstrating their versatility in a variety of conditions.  As usual though, Marrawah turned it on in the end and everyone enjoyed the challenge.

With the early rounds of the single elimination completed on the second day of the event at Bluff Beach, tensions were rising on the third, fourth and fifth days as conditions didn’t suit resuming the competition. 

Instead, sailors had the opportunity to check out other nearby breaks including Furries and Sundowner Point where conditions were either too onshore or too small for official competition but fun riding nonetheless.  Some great free-sailing was also had on the fourth day with good waves and strong but nearly directly offshore conditions giving sailors a taste of starboard tack wavesailing in a week dominated by the more predominant port tack conditions.

Towards the end of the week, the forecast for the final day got better and better and it was soon clear the conditions would be firing most of day with a peak in the swell and wind increasing throughout the day. It was a long day for many competitors starting with the single elimination finals and then followed through to complete double eliminations for the Open and Masters divisions.

In both cases, the single elimination winner was undefeated in the double elimination and Mike Westra and Matt Cudmore claimed the titles.  However, both were closely fought with Dan Berry, defending champion, beaten narrowly in the first final but unable to mount a successful comeback in the nuclear wind. In the Masters division, Warren Holder put up an incredible challenge but didn’t have the same aggressiveness and consistency that the judges saw from Matt Cudmore.

In the Womens, it was local Tasmanian sailor Marieke van Dijke who claimed the title from the other interstate competitors.  Other locals John Pott and Kaleb Smith achieved great results with third and fourth places in the Open division.

Finally, in the Youth division, Newcastle duo Ben Fawkes and Travis Winter took first and second places respectively from a small field.  If the event missed anything that could have made it better, more youth competitors would likely top a short list.  Nonetheless, the standard of riding set by these two young sailors was great to see and obvious from their excellent results in the Open division as well.

NeilPryde international team rider, Levi Siver made a special visit to Australia for the event and enjoyed plenty of free-sailing as well as participating in a few heats.  For everyone at the event, it was great to see such a high level of sailing and the full potential of the conditions exploited with such style and aggressiveness.  Levi’s relaxed attitude and friendly and approachable nature was a clear hit with the competitors, many of who got a few tips and a rare insight into the sport from one of its current and future icons.

Final results are below.

Open

1st Mike Westra
2nd Dan Berry
3rd John Pott
4th Kaleb Smith
5th Andy Ackland
=6th Hudson Godfrey-Smith
=6th Warren Holder
=8th Ben Fawkes
=8th Paul Nederhoed
=8th Peter Stevenson
=8th Paul Watson
=12th Evan Hawkey
=12th Rhys Herbert
=12th Nick Taylor
=12th Travis Winter
=16th Philip Chalko
=16th Alex Knott
=16th Joel Ryan
=16th James Toth
=16th Simon Hansen
=21th Saroo Brierly
=21th Lisa Edlund-Tjernberg
=21th Stefan Frolich
=21th Fletcher Husband
=21th Betul Madakbas
=21th Marieke van Dijke

Womens

1st Marieke van Dijke
2nd Lisa Edlund-Tjernberg
3rd Betul Madakbas
=4th Dorothee Buhmann
=4th Kate Watson

Masters

1st Matt Cudmore
2nd Warren Holder (Grand Master champion)
3rd Lloyd Ellis
=4th Alan Cook
=4th Paul Nederhoed
=6th Richard Ellis
=6th Duncan MacGregor
=6th David Stafford
=6th Paul Watson

Youth

1st Ben Fawkes
2nd Travis Winter
3rd Alessandro Lueck

Source: NeilPryde 2008 Australian Wavesailing Titles