2008 Australian Wavesailing Titles

The NeilPryde completed late on Sunday afternoon, the final day of competition, with side-offshore wind gusting over 40 knots and head to logo-high waves.

The level of sailing throughout the entire week was incredible with sailors demonstrating their versatility in a variety of conditions.  As usual though, Marrawah turned it on in the end and everyone enjoyed the challenge.

With the early rounds of the single elimination completed on the second day of the event at Bluff Beach, tensions were rising on the third, fourth and fifth days as conditions didn’t suit resuming the competition. 

Instead, sailors had the opportunity to check out other nearby breaks including Furries and Sundowner Point where conditions were either too onshore or too small for official competition but fun riding nonetheless.

Some great free-sailing was also had on the fourth day with good waves and strong but nearly directly offshore conditions giving sailors a taste of starboard tack wavesailing in a week dominated by the more predominant port tack conditions.

Towards the end of the week, the forecast for the final day got better and better and it was soon clear the conditions would be firing most of day with a peak in the swell and wind increasing throughout the day. It was a long day for many competitors starting with the single elimination finals and then followed through to complete double eliminations for the Open and Masters divisions.

In both cases, the single elimination winner was undefeated in the double elimination and Mike Westra and Matt Cudmore claimed the titles.  However, both were closely fought with Dan Berry, defending champion, beaten narrowly in the first final but unable to mount a successful comeback in the nuclear wind.

In the Masters division, Warren Holder put up an incredible challenge but didn’t have the same aggressiveness and consistency that the judges saw from Matt Cudmore.

In the Womens, it was local Tasmanian sailor Marieke van Dijke who claimed the title from the other interstate competitors.  Other locals John Pott and Kaleb Smith achieved great results with third and fourth places in the Open division.

Finally, in the Youth division, Newcastle duo Ben Fawkes and Travis Winter took first and second places respectively from a small field.  If the event missed anything that could have made it better, more youth competitors would likely top a short list.  Nonetheless, the standard of riding set by these two young sailors was great to see and obvious from their excellent results in the Open division as well.

NeilPryde international team rider, Levi Siver made a special visit to Australia for the event and enjoyed plenty of free-sailing as well as participating in a few heats.  For everyone at the event, it was great to see such a high level of sailing and the full potential of the conditions exploited with such style and aggressiveness.

Levi’s relaxed attitude and friendly and approachable nature was a clear hit with the competitors, many of who got a few tips and a rare insight into the sport from one of its current and future icons.

Final results are below.

Open

1st Mike Westra
2nd Dan Berry
3rd John Pott
4th Kaleb Smith
5th Andy Ackland
=6th Hudson Godfrey-Smith
=6th Warren Holder
=8th Ben Fawkes
=8th Paul Nederhoed
=8th Peter Stevenson
=8th Paul Watson
=12th Evan Hawkey
=12th Rhys Herbert
=12th Nick Taylor
=12th Travis Winter
=16th Philip Chalko
=16th Alex Knott
=16th Joel Ryan
=16th James Toth
=16th Simon Hansen
=21th Saroo Brierly
=21th Lisa Edlund-Tjernberg
=21th Stefan Frolich
=21th Fletcher Husband
=21th Betul Madakbas
=21th Marieke van Dijke

Womens

1st Marieke van Dijke
2nd Lisa Edlund-Tjernberg
3rd Betul Madakbas
=4th Dorothee Buhmann
=4th Kate Watson

Masters

1st Matt Cudmore
2nd Warren Holder (Grand Master champion)
3rd Lloyd Ellis
=4th Alan Cook
=4th Paul Nederhoed
=6th Richard Ellis
=6th Duncan MacGregor
=6th David Stafford
=6th Paul Watson

Youth

1st Ben Fawkes
2nd Travis Winter
3rd Alessandro Lueck

Source: NeilPryde 2008 Australian Wavesailing Titles

FW Australia

Conditions lightened today for the final day of racing at the 2008 Oceanic and Australian Formula Windsurfing Championships.

The race committee again got the maximum of four races underway over the day in 12-14 knot winds which later moderated to 8-11 knots for the final two races. The lighter winds allowed some sailors the opportunity to climb the rankings after three days of high winds and big seas.

As two-time Formula Windsurfing World Champion Steve Allen (AUS-0, Gaastra/Gaastra) entered the event as favourite, he confirmed his status as one of the best formula racers in the world by winning seven of the twelve races, ending the event with a total of 9.25 points, rightfully achieving first place overall in the regatta.

Jesper Vesterstrom (DEN-111, Starboard/NeilPryde) put in a last minute effort to take the title from Steve, winning two of the last four races today, however it was not enough to take the lead from Steve and in the end he achieved a clear second place with 13.00 points.

The fight for the final spot on the podium became a close battle today as two-time defending champion Sean O’Brien (AUS-120, Starboard/Gaastra) closed the points gap between his rival Jesper Orth (AUS-10, Starboard/Severne) beating him in three out of today’s four races.

It wasn’t enough to take third spot from Jesper overall and the Western Australian took third place by a mere 1.25 points finishing on 29.75 points with Sean on 31 points.

Sam Parker (AUS-3, Starboard/NeilPryde) consolidated his 5th place lead over Brett Morris (AUS-8, Starboard/NeilPryde) and became the Masters division champion at the end of today’s racing despite retiring from the first race of the day with gear failure.

New Zealand RS:X sailor Antonio Cozzolino (NZL-131, Starboard/NeilPryde) put in a strong performance considering he used a smaller sail than the rest of the fleet (9.5m RS:X sail) and managed to hold onto his 7th position overall and took out the Lightweight division.

In the Grand Masters division, Rick Murray (AUS-4, Starboard/NeilPryde) took a convincing lead over his next rival to take the division win. Mitch Stephenson (AUS-195, Starboard/Severne) took out the Youth division and Greek sailor Jason Roditis (GRE-200, Starboard/North) took out the newly introduced Formula Experience Plus division.

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Levi Siver

A long lasting friendship between Levi and team Quatro will now be amplified by a professional relationship between one of the most style inspiring windsurfers of our time, and one of the most avant-garde board brands in the industry.

The sail number USA-0 has become synonymous with long and powerful wave riding, connected by smooth transitions from one maneuver to the next - which is pretty much the Quatro design ethic.

Levi has a magical way of finding and doing the right thing at the critical section of the wave. Plus, he shares an equal perspective on spending as much quality time on the water as his new sponsor.

With both Levi and Quatro calling Maui their home base and testing ground, the partnership simply came naturally. Things take time though. And the time for Levi making the ocean his playground is now, just as it is for our customers.

Apart from winning silverware, Quatro are hoping Levi will simply shine and inspire others with his infectious enthusiasm and love of the Ocean. You should keep your eyes open for some fresh twists and turns from Levi, and some amazing Quatro boards to squeeze maximum zest into your life.

Source: PWA World Tour