NZ Slalom Windsurfing Championships

Defending champion Gareth Woods, of Dunedin, is expected to be one of the frontrunners when the national slalom windsurfing championships start on Otago Harbour today.

Woods won last year's event and is also the joint Australian champion.

His main competition is expected to come from Taranaki's James Dinnis and Auckland's Anton Blijlevens. In the women's competition, Annie Crombie, of Christchurch, has returned to defend her title and Queenstown's Sue Bradley also shapes as a strong contender.

The event has attracted 34 competitors. Racing will start at 10.30am each day providing the wind reaches the minimum 13 knots required.

The tournament will run for four days. Monday, February 9, has been set aside as a reserve day.

The slalom course is six 400m legs, with competitors rounding buoys.

The course takes about 5min and the windsurfers can compete in up to 40 races during the tournament.

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Irish Windsurfing Festival

The 2009 Fleadh Sheoil, Irish Windsurfing Festival, will take place on the May bank holiday Saturday May 2nd to Monday May 4th (from 10:00 to 18:00 daily) at the Malahide Yacht Club facility on the Broadmeadows Estuary in Malahide, Co. Dublin.

The Fleadh Sheoil Windsurfing Festival began in Belmullet in 2004 with the aim of providing a non-competition meeting point for Irish windsurfers of all ages and all levels to come together.

A further aim of the Fleadh Sheoil is to provide an opportunity for newcomers to the sport to try it out and experience the thrill of windsurfing.

Over the past 4 years the Fleadh Sheoil has gone from strength to strength. A mix of coaching for all levels, the latest windsurfing equipment to try out, fun events and a lively social scene have made it a must on every windsurfers calendar.

Wave Jam

Last weekend saw us heading to St Ives Bay in Cornwall for Wavejam 5. The official meeting point was the Bluff, but it looked too offshore. Gwithian was huge but dead cross-shore and a bit messy.

So we headed to Mexico's where we were greeted with solid waves over mast high, breaking fully top to bottom onto a shallow sand bar. Thankfully the wind was blowing strong enough to power us out through the gnarly stuff and get some sick rides back in.

Standouts for the Day were Andy King, Steve Thorp, Kit Brogan, Rich Potter (British wave champion), Jan Sleigh, Nick Moffatt and Dan Linton all picking off some huge set waves, with Andy being voted top rider for the day for his huge airs and Goiters. The sailors judged each other and the scores were extremely close at the top.

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