Oliver Schliemann

17 year old windsurfing prodigy, Oliver Tom Schliemann has signed his first professional contract with industry heavy weight, Starboard.

The German slalom specialist has had the support of Starboard thus far, but the brand have decided it’s time to develop their relationship with the young racer, with the signing of a professional contract.

Schliemann joins the huge Starboard dream team, which includes the likes of World Champions Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Kevin Pritchard.

For 2009 he’ll again be focusing on climbing the ranks of the PWA slalom discipline, in addition to competing on the Olympic class RS:X Youth World Championship.

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Neil Pryde Classic

Strong winds for both days of competition were predicted for the Neil Pryde Classic at Wanda Beach, heat 4 of the NSWWA 2008-09 series. Competitors were keen for a reappearance of last years mystery swell, although Sydney’s usual summer thermals were disrupted by an intense low-pressure system looming of NSW southern coastal waters.

Inspired by building north westerly wind and a desire to visit Captain Cook’s landing place, competition was moved to Kurnell about midday on Saturday. This is one of the few sailable locations in Sydney when the wind blows from this direction. The format was to be a freestyle expression session with 5 secret judges to pick the day’s standout sailors.

Kurnell is an excellent flat-water venue with plenty of grass for rigging and an accessible beach launch. Westerly winds blow uninterrupted down Botany Bay creating typical bump and jump conditions out in the middle. Closer to shore groynes create a barrier from chop creating a freestyle paradise.

The Junior Division started their official competition at 1:30pm with a 20 minute expression session. They impressed both onlookers and judges with their ability to sail in a gusty 15-25knots. It was clearly evident that they were having fun making the most of the conditions. Jake Juretic had the nod from the judges with his chops hops, one-handed and one-footed moves. All the juniors showed excellent technique although they were all very keen to sail in some waves if conditions allowed on Sunday. Jessica Juretic showed this on Sunday by taking out the junior’s title in some big and tricky wave conditions.

By 2:00pm all sailors were on the water enjoying the strong wind, which was gusting to 30knots. Sail sizes ranged between 4.2 and 5.8 however, by 3:00pm gusts to 35 knots had forced most competitors to change down a sail size to stay in control. The order of the day was flat water blasting. Flat water 360’s, body drags, catapults, duck gybes, high speed lay-down gybes, forward loops, vulcans and spocks were all popular moves.

There were some genuine freestylers among the wavesailers who did stand out. They opted for to use smaller sails for control and big slidey boards. John Naylor was in his element completing many Spock 540’s early in the day and Dan Berry impressed with a range of clew first spock 540’s. Alan Bailey, John Paget and Mel Bienmann also demonstrated their ability in the popping and sliding stuff.

The Expression session concluded by 4:00 and most competitors had had enough of overpowered flat water blasting. The 34 degree heat had us all looking forward to a cold beer at the presentation BBQ. Thanks to Mike Preswick for allowing us to enjoy his view over Cronulla from his backyard. Prizes were awarded to place getters from heat 3 and Rob Graham took home a brand new Neil Pryde mast in the raffle.

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Peter Volwater 

It’s now been announced officially that Dutch PWA competitor, Peter Volwater has signed with MauiSails. The wave and slalom all rounder moves from his previous home at North Sails to join the likes of designer Barry Spanier and PWA veteran Phil McGain.

Volwater’s always been a consistent performer, finishing 6th overall in Slalom for the 2008 season. MauiSails will no doubt be looking for the flying Ducthman to better himself and focus on the podium in 2009.

Volwater has commented:

““It’s official I am joining Maui Sails and its a special celebration for the company Maui Sails - with 30 years of sail making! Congratulations to the crew and thanks for this great opportunity!

With Barry I got a chance to try the new TR5 racing machines and was impressed with the speed and stability. I look forward to working together with the team and now I’m off to Perth, Western Australia with a brand new quiver of sails.”

Peter Volwater is sponsored by MauiSails and F2.

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