Freewave, New Zealand: Kiwis are great windsurfers

The Freewave returned to Plimmerton for round two of the 2010 series. Conditions were superb and the action was hot. A strong north westerly from the Tasman kindly whipped up good punchy waves for the sailors to launch off and shred to pieces. The sun bore down on those on the shore and an epic round was in the making.

Same format as last round was run. Two expression sessions saw the top eight sailors advance to two semi-finals. Surprise advancer was Merel Rip advancing through to semi with a few sweet waves rides putting her above the guys. Sailing well in the semi she managed to make a very credible 5th equal placing representing the girls with style.

Outstanding performers in the semi one were James Court and Tom Taylor. Taylor fresh from the freestyle nationals was eager to impress in the strong winds that he is so used too. With a myriad of forwards and solid wave rides he secured a place in the final. Court equipped with some slick looking new Neil Pryde Combat sails came out firing throwing big push and forward loops. Really stepping up his wave riding in the onshore conditions he took top spot in the semi and his place in the final.

Semi two saw round one winner and Wellington Wave Champ Clayton Dougan come out pumped. However it was no easy sailing for the on form Dougan pushed hard by Klaas Stijnen. Stijnen kept Dougan honest with an intense aerial display of forward loops. The words “he ain’t no slug” were heard on the beach as Stijnen nailed one of the biggest end over forwards of the day recording plus-plus status on the judges’ card! Dougan impressed yet again with variety in the air sending him through to the final with Stijnen.

Conditions for the final were the best seen for years with primo waves and wind making it all the way to the inside to the delight of both spectators and the judges alike. The fifteen minute final saw the best action of the season so far.

All sailors kicked off proceedings with forward loops with Court taking the early advantage going huge first up. Dougan hit back with a big back loop to bring things back in to perspective for Court. Taylor and Stijnen were going tit for tat with forwards off the back of the wave right in front of the spectators.

All sailors were making most of the ample waves connecting backside action with crossed up down the line rides. Stijnen again impressed with outstand onshore wave riding skills managing to get backside air launching right out in front of the wave. Court had himself flicked the onshore wave riding switch connecting the longest wave rides of the day getting into the bowl of some of the more punchy sections.

With Dougan charging across the waves into his jumps like a man possessed, Court stepped up his game. First came a nice clean “JC special” push loop. Dougan responded with a “floaty” vulcan off the wave to mix things up and finished with another big back loop. Court still had more to give. Boosting high in a gust he stalled a very stylish tweaked forward. He then followed this up with the cleanest cheese roll ever seen at Plimmerton in recent time.

A hard decision was calculated carefully on the beach and Court was given top honours on the day with Dougan a very close second. Stijnen managed to pip Taylor with superior wave riding to take third. Congratulations James Court!

Overall that leaves Dougan on top of the overall standings on 3 points with Court in second with 5 points. Taylor third on 6 points sits above Stijnen in fourth on 10. With the final round set for 6 November 2010 the freewave champ is in the making. The third and final round is to be of the freestyle format.


SOURCE: Windsurfing New Zealand