Wellington Harbour

About 38 windsurfers and six kitesurfers took full advantage of yesterday's blustery Wellington morning for their annual "Harbour Blast" race around Matiu/Somes Island.

It was the first time in the history of the decades-old race that kitesurfers had taken part - though they had to start later than their water-bound colleagues for safety reasons.

Race officer Bob Zuur, of Wellington Windsurfing Association, said racers took off from Hikoikoi reserve in Petone about 11am and finished at Eastbourne some 25 minutes later.

Contestants James Court and Jimmie Fourie, both of Wellington, took out the board and kite sections respectively - though it was not clear by last night which of the two had completed the course faster, Mr Zuur said.

Conditions had been "close to ideal" and the match-up between the two wind codes would hopefully lead to more joint events, he said. "There's quite a bit of competition between the two . . . They're kind of like Aussies and Kiwis."

Wellington had once been too dangerous for a lot of kitesurfing but rapid advances in technology had made the sport much safer on the gusty harbour, he said.

The city is home to about 200 windsurfers and 40 kitesurfers.

Windsurfing Yearbook 2009

The brand new Windsurfing Yearbook has just been published and is ready and waiting for you.

The German language magazine comes stacked full of windsurfing action, including a sixteen-page gallery devoted to the top eleven finishers in the Cabo Verde PWA World Cup.

Also within the yearbook, you’ll find an in depth interview with Danny Bruch about his new sail number and localism on his home breaks around Tenerife, and the inside story about sail manufacturers Gun Sails.

On the equipment scene there’s a look at the trends of 2009 and up to 100 test reports which put 2009’s gear through its paces. In total the Windsurfing Yearbook has 164 pages!

Source: PWA World Tour

Allison Shreeve

Windsurfer Allison Shreeve failed her record bid to cross the Bass Strait.

The Sidney sportswoman had to pull out due to mild hypothermia and cramps about 80km off the Victorian coast. She had left Tasmania at 7.30am.

Very strong winds met Shreeve near Stanley, on Tasmania's north-west coast. The 27 year-old female windsurfer was expecting a 17 hour course, but very hard leg spasms defeated her attempt.

Support boat boarded her and land in San Remo, 40km east of Inverloch. Windsurfing at 26km/h during the Bass Strait cross journey, Allison Shreeve was surrounded by dolphins and seals, but the world speed record will have to wait.

Allison Shreeve had a 240km trip ahead in order to raise $100,000 for Coastcare. She made it over halfway and will surely do it next time.