Russell Jones

After three days of racing on Lake Illawarra in conditions ranging from calm to a 45knot “Southerly Buster” local windsurfer Russell Jones triumphed to win the coveted Australian & Oceanic Championship for International Class Raceboards.

Jones started the championship in fine fashion with a 2nd place in the only race sailed on a light wind Friday, however Saturday brought entirely different conditions with strong westerly winds favouring nearest rivals Mike Nelson from Wollongong and last year’s champion James Grunfelder from Sydney.

The last race on Saturday started with similar westerly winds but quickly moved to the south west. Jones picked all the wind shifts to sail to a superb win with Nelson in 2nd place. Only 5 windsurfers managed to finish before a dramatic southerly change blew through, turning the lake into a churning mass of breaking waves totally flattening the rest of the fleet.
The crew on the rescue boats braved the 45 knot gusts to ensure all windsurfers were safe. As windsurfing club president and competitor Neil McKinlay commented he had never seen chop as big as that on the lake and that it was like being in the surf at the beach. At the end of Saturday Jones was leading Nelson by a solitary point.

The final days racing on Sunday saw a much subdued wind, blowing gently from the south east. Two races were run with Jones doing just enough with a 3rd and a 5th to win the overall championship. The final tally, allowing for a drop of the worst race, saw Jones winning on 14 points from Grunfelder (15), and Nelson (16).

In the ladies division local windsurfer Alisha Kawalla retained her title from last year ahead of fellow local Judi Nealy. Alisha handled the conditions across the 3 days with her customary skill to beat many of the male competitors with a 5th overall. 

Newcastle sailor Byron McIllveen totally dominated the Open class (bigger sails allowed) to record his 9th Australian Open title. Wagga Wagga based windsurfer Damian Candusso easily won the Silver fleet, and local Flying Ant dinghy champion Kaitlyn Middleton switched to windsurfing to win the junior title.

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World Festival on the Beach 

Once again the internationally renowned "World Festival on the Beach" from Mondello, Sicily, will be hosting a Techno Class event.

The 24th Edition of the Festival, hosted by the Albaria Club, includes the Techno 293 Sicily Cup from May 22nd to May 24th.

The club will assist competitors, and teams, with travel and accommodation requirements. Some charter boards will also be provided by the club.

Additionally the club are offering a FREE flight for 3 European competitors - the top 3 from 2009 Europeans in Lacanau!  For more information visit the club website:  http://www.albaria.com/ or http://www.wwfestival.com/ or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Jules Denel

Jules Denel is the latest addition to the Exocet international windsurf team. Exocet have signed several new riders over the winter period, though Denel is far and away the youngest signing at just 18 years old.

It seems fitting that the French board manufacturer have turned to their own shores to snap up their new young gun, who already has a solid reputation on the French national circuit.

Having already dominated the youth scene, winning both the French youth wave and slalom titles, Denel is looking to turn his focus to the international stage, and more specifically the PWA World Tour. He gained his first taste of the highly competitive PWA circuit in 2008, notably placing 29th in the Cabo Verde World Cup.

Pledging his next 10 years to windsurf competition, this future talent looks to have all the ingredients to make a major impact on the PWA World Tour. We wish him the best of luck in 2009.

Jules Denel is sponsored by Exocet Boards.

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