48 Walpole Avenue, Manurewa
Auckland, New Zealand
Mobile NZ 025-734839
16 Feb 1998
RESULTS - 1998 NZ INTERNATIONAL WINDSURFING TEAMS EVENT
14/15 FEB 1998 - LAKE WAAHI, HUNTLY
What a fantastic event! Once again Teams Racing proved itself to be the most exciting, and appealing as a spectator sport, out of all types of windsurfing racing.
A quality field of 28 windsurfers converged on Lake Waahi near Huntly for the 3rd NZ International Teams Event. This year saw competitors from Germany, Great Britain, Australia and Tahiti, in addition to a very high class NZ contingent. The locals included World Champion Aaron McIntosh, Olympic Gold Medallists Bruce Kendall, World Champs top-5 sailors Shayne Bright and Jon-Paul Tobin, and several rising stars amongst the youth sailors competing.
Numbers were down slightly on the last event, because of the 2-years to go before the 2000 Olympics and many overseas sailors being in non-training mode; however the competition was every bit as exciting as last time, with extremely close racing in all pools. In addition to the main event using IMCO equipment, a teams competition was held for those sailors with Formula 42 equipment and the IMCO sailors who did not qualify for the 10-team IMCO teams event. As a result, everyone who entered was able to compete in a teams competition - which meant everyone went away with a smile on their faces from this incredibly enjoyable type of racing. Ian Young and Arthur Gatland won the "F" pool using Formula 42 gear; but it is fair to say the main competition was in the IMCO event, where the semi-finals and finals in particular resulted in some extremely exciting and closely fought battles.
The format consists of 2-man teams racing around a short 7-minute course, with tactics and securing right-of-way being paramount. The last sailor to finish makes his team lose, so it is up to a leading sailor to protect and help his lagging team-mate. Forcing an opponent to infringe the rules and earn a penalty turn can create a chance for your team-mate to catch up. The race is closely watched by on-water umpires, whose unenviable task is to adjudicate on the numerous infringements and protest calls. A world-class teams of umpires included Tom Schnackenberg, Russell Green, Murray Jones and Barbara Kendall (who was unable to compete because of a knee injury.)
Racing was held over two days, with an ideal 7 to 10 knot wind on Saturday, but considerably lighter winds on Sunday made for a late start and a few delays during the day. Lake Waahi is a perfect venue, with the ability to set courses close to the shore which allowed for great spectator viewing. The windsurfers were welcomed on to the Horahora Marae for the inevitable Saturday night party - they enjoyed superb hospitality as well as an enjoyable dinner and breakfast on Sunday morning. The party was a high spot of the event, with the resulting hangovers probably being the contrasting low point of the event. It was probably a good thing that light winds meant a slow start to racing on Sunday.
After the elimination pools of 5 teams, Sunday racing continued with the semi-finals and a best of 3 final. The title-holders of Bruce Kendall and Aaron McIntosh showed excellent tactics as well as board speed to win the finals by 2-0 from the German team of Lutger Gawlitta and Christian Kloster. The German team impressed many people with their enthusiasm and sheer enjoyment of the event, and Christian Kloster earned the Sport Waikato Fair Play award for his sportsmanlike conduct throughout the whole event. It was also great to watch the performance of the younger and less experienced sailors. Far from being overawed and overshadowed by the internationals, they competed extremely well and made some very good sailors work hard for their victories.
Organisers Arthur Gatland and Terry Blewett are determined that this great event will continue, and already have promises of attendance from other internationals who were unable to make this years event. With the approaching 2000 Olympics, the 1999 Teams Event promises to a great one!
FINAL RESULTS - IMCO TEAMS EVENT:
1. Aaron McIntosh, Bruce Kendall (New Zealand)
2. Christian Kloster, Lutger Gawlitta (Germany)
3. Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL), Alex Baronjan (Germany)
4. Shayne Bright, Scott Radley (NZL)
5. Andrew Blewett, Bruce Trotter (NZL)
6. Stewart Tamulevicius (Australia), Matthew McCormick (NZL)
7. Julie Worth (NZL), Christine Johnstone (Great Britain)
8. Manu Rousseau, Laurent Grinaud (Tahiti)
9. Royce Clark, James Wells (NZL)
10. Robert OLoan, Vaughn Clark (NZL)
11. Sheena McKinnon, Isabel Wells (NZL)
12. Jon Blewett, Briar Macky (NZL)