Wild Winds Freestyle Windsurfing Nationals

The Wild Winds Freestyle Windsurfing Nationals are being held this coming weekend, the 14th and 15th of March at Eastbourne in Wellington. It is going to be one hell of an event and is the first time a freestyle windsurfing event of this size has been run in New Zealand.

Freestyle windsurfing itself is a young discipline. It is essentially skateboarding on water and has been developed and grown over the last ten years bringing with it a fresh new face to windsurfing. Flips, spins and rotations of all height and speed is what freestyle is all about. Needless to say it is an amazing spectacle to behold.

Being the inaugural Freestyle Nationals for New Zealand, it is an anticipated event. With the help of the main sponsor, Wild Winds, as well as the Wellington Windsurfing Association, a national champion will finally be crowned in freestyle.

The event organizer and head judge, Tom Taylor, who has competed internationally on the professional windsurfing tour, is stoked to bring this event to fruition; “freestyle windsurfing is wicked, its fresh and new and now we are finally going to be able to showcase the talent that New Zealand has to offer at Eastbourne this weekend.”

Even the event format is being run in a new way. Rather than the usual heat format, where much of the action is out to sea and marks are given for consistency, the competition area will be a marked off box, just metres off the shore. Instead of consistency, the new format will reward radical moves and crowd appeal.

This new shift in competition format is brand new to New Zealand and will not only be more of a crowd pleaser, but will push competitors to go for the biggest, most extreme moves in order to impress the judges. Moves such as the coveted forward flip will be landed literally within metres of the beach. The ante has also been upped, thanks to Wild Winds, with $500 prize money up for grabs.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the event however, will be the jump ramp. A purpose built jump ramp is being transported to Wellington especially for the event. The jump works like any skateboard or bike ramp, propelling the windsurfers even higher into the air, allowing them to do bigger moves.

This is the first time a jump ramp has been used in competition in Australasia, and with its own prize money of $100, it will be an amazing addition to the Freestyle Nationals.

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2009 Fuerteventura Wave Classic

Yesterday night was the closing Ceremony, which has been held in Corralejo, in a typical local small restaurant on the sea "La Cantina".

Everyone was there, the top riders, the locals hosts, the organization crew, the photographer, the rescue staff and also the Mayor of La Oliva.

After some tasty tapas and some drinks for all, Orlando Lavandera finally rewarded the winning team of this first Fuerteventura Wave Classic, and every riders also have voted for top rider of the event.

Here are the 2009 FWC official results:

(According to the best points each rider has brought to his team during his heats, after 6 heats completed)
Stephane ETENNE (Exocet/Gun Sails) / Robin GOFFINET (7th Wave/Ezzy) / Boujmaa GUILLOUL (Starboard/Severne)

After a riders'vote (12 positive votes on 15) Thomas TRAVERSA (Tabou/Gaastra) easily takes the trophy!

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Okinawa Cup

Okinawa Cup was held at Okinawa, south part of Japan, from February 20 to 22. This event is the last event of the 2008 series and the opening race for Japan Professional Windsurfing Association (JPWA) 2009 series.

Day 1, it was good condition for the race. MauiSails riders selected 5.9-7.0 sail for the first race. Norio led the complete races from preliminary heat to the final.  No one could get him before he crossed the finish line.

It was actually the first time for Norio to use TR-5 6.6 in the race. After the race, he mentioned he felt very comfortable with it. It was easy to handle and gave him good speed. No doubts on the high quality of the super sail, TR-5!

Toru, was newly joined to the MauiSails Japan team and Okinawa cup is the first event for him. As a member of MauiSails Japan team, Toru got third place at the first race. He gave big surprise to other competitors and audiences.  At the same time, he must show the potential of the sail. His TR-5 sails couldn't be arrived before Okinawa cup unfortunately. Therefore, he challenged with three TR-4 sails only.

Second race of the Day1 : Got more windy.  Norio chose TR-5 5.9, Toru TR-4 6.3 and Daisuke TR-4 5.5.

Norio played out perfect races and won a sweeping victory. Wonder who could stop him and MauiSails? No one... Daisuke got fourth place.  He could do revenge for the first race. At the first race, his sail (7.0) was a little too big since the wind went up during the race.

Day 2 and 3. No wind for the race. The biggest slalom race in Japan was closed with the result of first-day two races. Obviously, MauiSails Japan team could make a good start for 2009 season!

1st Norio Asano (point: 1.1)
4th Toru Sakai (3.6) - newly joined to MauiSails Japan team
5th Daisuke Ikoma (7.4)

1st race: Norio/TR-5 6.6, Toru/TR-4 6.3, Daisuke/TR-4 7.0
2nd race: Norio/TR-4 5.9, Toru/TR-4 6.3, Daisuke/TR-4 5.5