Laurence Carey: fast and furious | Photo: Isaac Spedding

Laurence Carey has sailed to victory at the Wellington Slalom Plus 2013, held in the capital of New Zealand.


With 26 experienced windsurfers and 55 knots of wind, there were two intense days of slalom racing off Eastbourne, Wellington.

In the first day, winds blew in excess of the predicted 50 knots - gusts of nearly 60 knots were recorded. Most sailors went out on their smallest wave sailing boards and sails to take advantage of the conditions, which were too extreme for the specialised racing gear they normally used.

Spectacular sailing including loops were only eclipsed by the attempts of the rescue boat to come across the harbour, it managed to become completely airborne at times and race organisers eventually ordered it back to base until the conditions eased.

Several hours later, the winds had eased to a more moderate 25-35 knots, the start/rescue boat was able to return, and a number of races were got underway before the day finished.

Races were started from the beach because the conditions still made it difficult to operate from the boat, so windsurfers had to negotiate the surf break to get underway in a Le Mans style start.

Laurence Carey, from Team 10 in Auckland, showed why he is currently the top youth and overall number 2 slalom racer in New Zealand.

His team mates Harry Reid and Luke Watson, fellow Aucklander Tim Wood, Paul Vliestra from Dunedin, and Wellingtonians Woo Norris, James Court, Dave Steele and William Novak vied for the next few places in challenging conditions.

On the second day, a total of 10 races completed before the wind decided to drop below race minimum. Laurence Carey continued to dominate, with the other Team 10 sailors taking control of second and third, and the remaining sailors sharing the next places equally.

Wellington windsurfers continued to improve, with Dave Steele nailing his starts, and William showing impressive speed on borrowed slalom gear which had never used before.

Wellington Slalom Plus 2013 Results:

1. Laurence Carey
2. Harry Reid
3. Luke Watson
4. Tim Wood
5. Dave Steele
6. William Novak
7. Darren Nicolas
8. Chris Bolt
9. Paul Vliestra
10. Bernard Carey