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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Brazilian Freestyle Windsurfing Championship 2008 

Edvan Souza (Jericoacoara) was the champion of the World Freestyle Windsurfing championship, held today 23 December, on the beach of Icaraí de Amontada. In the great final, Edvan focused on maneuvers and established her great phase, winning the most important championship for your career. Edvan won all rounds for the 1st stage (single) of the championship, devolting himself with competence and waiting to beat his adversaries at the grand finale.

At recap (Double elimination), the favorite was Ian Mouro (Jericoacoara), professional athlete of the World Circuit, held incredible maneuvers, beating each opponent, up to the challenge with Edvan Souza. According to the president of the International Windsurfing Association - IWA, Bruno Wannamaker, "Edvan could won the title at 1 confrontation with his adversary Ian , but his biggest rival, Ian, had a impeccable and perfect round, worthy of world champion, cheering up the audience and going to a new final with Edvan, "analyzed Bruno.

In the female division, Spanish girl Vicky Sanchez, who had the best results at the first day, was consecrated as the best of the year, winning all rounds. The locals sailors Thereza Silva (Jijoca) and Tainã Fernandes (Jericoacoara) finished the championship at the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

The emotions of the World Freestyle Windsurfing Championship had the support of the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Ceará State, through the Department of Sports and City of Amontada. The event was sponsored by Arrow Marketing.

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