Rob Kent 

The 2009 Summer Course Racing season got underway on Sat 21st March in the Midlands and London Regions, both of whose events were blessed with glorious spring weather, even tempting the occasional shortie out of the wardrobe. The Midlands sailors, at Hollowell SC, were luckier with the wind than the Londoners, starting off with 6 knots or so then building up to 12-14 later in the day, whereas the southerners, at Bough Beech SC near Sevenoaks had to be content with occasional puffs of 8 knots maximum.

29 Midlands competitors were on the water, 15 Technos and 14 Raceboards, including a couple of the new Starboard 380 Phantoms which are beginning to make their presence felt around the country. Two Technos and 17 Raceboards turned out in the south, including two Phantoms and two of the new Tushingham XR Race 9.5 sails, specifically intended for raceboards and developed with assistance from raceboard ace Rob Kent.

Even though the new Phantoms are a very welcome addition to the raceboard scene and are going faster and faster as their new owners learn how to maximise their potential, the old raceboard kit in the right hands can still give them a good run for their money, as proven by Tom Naylor (1st Raceboard), Tim Gibson (1st Unlimited) and Mike Playle (1st 7.5), all of whom won their classes on vintage raceboards at Hollowell. The London region event was won by Rob Kent on a Phantom (1st 9.5), with Nick Kidd (1st Unlimited) in second place overall and Annette Kent (1st Lady - 8.5) in 3rd, both of them on older boards. It will be interesting to witness the impact of the new Mistral Equipe III when it begins to filter through to the UK start lines later this year.

James Grimsley, now 33 years old, who used to sail in the London region as a youth, was tempted back on the water at Bough Beech by the loan of some raceboard kit, had a great day’s racing and would have achieved 2nd place overall but for a slight navigational error which dropped him from a certain 2nd place to 14th in Race Three. He is now looking forward with anticipation to his next raceboard event, exactly the kind of reaction needed to boost the Raceboard Revival in 2009.

The Techno sailors were out enjoying themselves, especially when the wind kicked in at Hollowell, Matt Brown revelling in the stronger winds and taking 4 first places to add to his 2nd, giving him top spot in the 7.8 fleet. The 6.8 fleet was won by Joe Bennett. In the more subdued winds in the London Region event, Stuart Hards, a National Squad sailor from Hythe, held his own to win the 7.8 class convincingly.

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GPS Windsurfing South Australia 

There are final Results for the SA GPS Summer of Speed proudly sponsored by Starboard.

Well done to SAM DOECKE for winning this event. No surprises that he sailed consistently well throughout the summer to take out the event title.

The competition ran from 1 Dec 2008 to 28 Feb 2009. There were 132 sessions posted during that time, with 19 sailors contributing to the competition by submitting their gps tracks. Of these 19 sailors, 9 were current members of Windsurfing SA, so they are eligible to be recorded in the final results.

Locations sailed during this competition were: Goolwa, Milang, Lake Bonney, Boggy Lake, Murray Mouth, Lake George, Kingston Park, Chicken Shop, Semaphore, Seacliff Park, Christies Beach and Sellicks Beach.

Sessions posted were David Mossop 16, Meta Sindos 14, Sam Doecke 13, Hamish Bubner 10, Anthony Hamood 8, Simon Lahiff 7, Richard Upton 6, Chris Dimond 6, Tim Hemer 5.

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Elton Taty Frans 

Bonaire windsurf pro, Elton “Taty” Frans raced from Bonaire to Curacao on March 29. He successfully beat the previous record of 4 hours by arriving in Jan Thiel 2 hours and 15 minutes after departing BOPEC in Bonaire.

Taty was racing to raise money for Erwin Muller, a dive master and the 4 hour record holder for the sail from Bonaire to Curacao almost twenty years ago. Muller suffered a massive stroke in Jan. and has been in Curacao for medical treatment. Erwin needs rehab and home modifications all very costly.

Because Erwin is a former windsurfer it made sense to have a windsurf fundraiser. Spearheaded by many including Elvis Martinus the race occurred March 28. Taty had dreamed of sailing between the two islands.

No stranger to long distance events, Taty circumnavigated Bonaire last year. For this fundraiser challenge he sailed his 7.6 Maui Sail and his 122 liter Starboard Isonic Board.

He left early in the morning from the northern tip of Bonaire under 15-20 knot winds. The waves were 2.5-3.0 meters at times. A small flotilla of support boats assisted Taty. Taty met a hero’s welcome in Curacao including a guest appearance by Prime Minister Mrs. De Jongh- Elhage and his friend, Erwin Muller.

It was a grande finale to support a fellow man of the sea, Muller.

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