Tom Ashley

Tom ASHLEY (NZL) secured the men’s World title in the Medal Race sailed in blustery conditions off Takapuna beach. Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) took out the women’s title with a win in the women’s Medal Race.

Southeasterly winds gusting to 25 knots were seen for the first time during this event and the Medal Races took place close to shore with a crowd of spectators on the beach and nearby ramp.

Sitting on equal points going into the Medal Race it was all on between SENSINI and local legend Barbara KENDALL (NZL). SENSINI describes what she was thinking at the start of the race… “I lost Barbara. I was looking for her at the start and when I couldn’t see her I just thought, oh well, I’ll sail the way I want to,” said SENSINI. “I got the first mark and I was there first with good space behind me.”

At mark one KENDALL rounded in fourth place but made up remarkable ground to pass Blanca MANCHON (ESP) on the final leg and cross just 12 seconds behind SENSINI.

“I blew the start, dammit,” said KENDALL with a wide grin. “From there it was catch up and it’s pretty difficult to catch Alessandra because we’re such similar sailors.”

Just two points separated the old rivals at the conclusion of the regatta and SENSINI rounded out the championship with five wins from ten races. She never finished outside the top ten in conditions which ranged from extremely light and shifty to a Medal Race which saw gusts of 25 knots.

It is SENSINI’s fourth world windsurfing title, adding today’s win to World Championships wins in 2000, 2004 and 2006. She now equals KENDALL’s World Championship history, who also has four world titles to her name.

Marina ALABAU of Spain was fourth across the line in the Medal Race and took out the bronze medal for 2008. Accepting flowers on the podium immediately after racing ALABAU expressed how delighted she was to be on the podium with legends like SENSINI and KENDALL.

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Finian Maynard

Finian Maynard has jumped the channel to take on a speed challenge in the UK and leads the way in the Driven by Wind speed challenge with a speed of 44.32 knots.

The first days competition and we’re already getting close. Finian Maynard came within a hair’s breath of breaking the world production record. His run of 44.32 knots was not only close but proved that Southend really does have a world class location on its shore’s.

This week was always billed as a test week; Southend’s Ray is a new event and as such has to be approved by the WSSRC before we can run on standby. Monday was more to test the equipment and get everyone familiar with the set-up, but no one really expected day two would bring such great results with ten riders posting their personal best 500m times.

Looking at the results you’d think we’d had a fantastic day, good would describe it better as the south winds ensured the course was square and only broadened the course as the wind dropped.

This was just a test and more can be expected from this course, but just consider there is another course which is even flatter and faster at the east end of the Ray. When the real west-southwest wind kick in who knows what can be achieved.

All the riders we carrying gps devices, which transmitted the data to a live site where you could, chose which riders you wanted to follow.

Standings:

Finian Maynard: 44.32knots
Dave White: 42.81knots
Dirk Doppenebrg: 42.62knots
Martin Van Meurs: 41.78knots
Simom Hinkley: 41.60knots
John Smalley: 41.15knots
Bob Cunningham: 41.04knits
Steve Thorp: 40.91knots
Bart Goemans: 40.13knots
Farrel Oshea: 39.94knots
Andrew Brown: 38.92knots
Jamie Dodds: 38.68knots
Pete Davis: 38.09knots
Minos Efstathiadis: 37.15knots
Timo Mullen: 35.95knots
Denis Royet: 35.63knots

GPS Windsurfing

We are thrilled to announce a live GPS connection to the video timed "Driven by Wind" attempt in Southend which is organised and set up by Dave White.

Drivenbywind.com and Gps-speedsurfing.com team up to present you the start of this new era. Video and GPS timing will be combined to promote this official WSSRC video timed record hunt, which with the help of GPS can be followed by all interested parties world wide.

Coming Tuesday January 15 2008, this combined record attempt takes off with a test race at this super fast English spot on the inlet of the river Thames. The spot is located east of London.

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