June 1995 - In this issue:
Lake Horowhenua FROST BUSTER Sunday 25 June 1995 From Wellington, go to Levin, turn left at first set of lights and it's about 10 minutes from there. Entry fee $20 (hot food, hot showers...) Briefing 10am, race starts 11am sharp. All classes race together, the overall winner will receive a trip for two to the South island. Long, slalom and flutter boards welcome.
Dale Warning in place for Wellington A two-day Dale Muller Coaching clinic is planned for Wellington, November 1995. Dale is a world cup competitor, the current National slalom and wave champion, a windsurf sailmaker (Taranaki Sail Company) and a good communicator who has a wealth of windsurfing experience. He has agreed to come to Wellington to give a two day windsurfing coaching clinic, probably in November. The plan is to cover both slalom and wave sailing on consecutive days, and give an evening talk on how windsurf sails work and trends in sail design. The clinic will be aimed at allowing participants to get the most out of their gear, and will include on-the-water sessions that will be videotaped. We will also make use of the WWA windsurf simulator and buoys, for gybing/tacking practice and maybe a few fun races. The material covered can be tailored to suit participants, so on the entry form if you state what you want to learn, he'll cover it... Newer sailors should not be intimidated about going on this course, if you can get on and sail a short board (without gybing, and having trouble water-starting) you stand to gain the most from this clinic. This is an excellent opportunity for sailors of all abilities to accelerate their learning. Make sure you don't miss out, numbers will be limited. The predicted cost at this stage will be $35 for one day and $60 for the whole weekend. More information, including firm dates and a registration form, will be in the next newsletter...
President - Peter Durham 233-8802 Treasurer - Ken Gillies 380-8768 Secretary - Helen Harrison 473-8123 Editor - Bruce Spedding 384-1213 Interested members are invited to participate in meetings and raise/sponsor issues of personal interest
Brian (Kombi) Scrimshaw
The 1995 WWA winter series is well underway for those who have nothing better to do on a freezing, raining southerly. That's what we've had for the May and June events, the first weekend of each month happened to coincide with the coldest weather of the month... At least it was windy. We couldn't postpone it either, HelenDragonHarrison MADE us race on those days. Even worse, she won't release the results until the very end of the series, so we'll only then find out who the overall winner is... These events are set for the first weekend of each month over winter, with the venue being Evans Bay (Southerly/ Northerly), Plimmerton (NW). We meet about 10.30-11 for a briefing. It is excellent fun and well worth the effort.
The May event was kick-started with a gusty southerly combined with rain. Evans bay was the venue, and the Kio Bay buoy carefully placed by the organisers (Dean swam out with it) in a position where there was no wind. Made gybing on the inside mark a trial. The aim of this HelenInspiredEvent was fun, and fun it was. The starts were no world cup affair, it was sort of self-seeding, then go for it. We managed two five-lap figure of eight races and two long upwind legs to a mark near the airport. The races were long and it was cold. We all got very very tired, but were able to superbly keep up our energy eating Hellies sausage stew and, even better, the marinated chicken wings, with plenty to drink to battle dehydration. Big thanks to Jenny and Amanda. It was bliss, hard sailing, hard eating. Memorable moments: John Mildon carrying a metre more sail than anyone else (let the reader interpret), Rory ending up underpowered on his carbon course-racing machine, the back of Deans harness, a bogey poking out of Ken's left nostril all day, a dog named Beau who ate more checken wings than the rest of us combined and a blister on Brian's hand the size of Australia (only less flies) (Jeez, must have been cold!-Ed). Truly it was a superb day, and proved that a windsurf race doesn't have to be a headache, just getting a bunch of sailors together for some fun when there's wind always pays dividends. Ranks as one of the most fun events I've ever been in. Thanks Helen.
Beau the dog
The June series coincided with the coldest weekend of the year (Queens Birthday). It was blowing 60 knots and icy cold in Evans Bay, so Helen called for a change of venue: Lake Horowhenua. You can't miss it, drive to Levin, turn left at the first set of lights and follow your nose for about 10 minutes. Lake Horowhenua is about the size of Pauatahanui inlet, and has fantastic rigging areas. For most of us it was our first time there and we were impressed. It gets wind from all directions, is big and has flat water, an ideal slalom venue. This time of year, however, it was very very very cold. There was snow on the Tararuas and the lake was icy cold. Made me wish I'd got that hole in my wetsuit repaired...(that hole is for your head on warm days-Ed) The wind was significantly lighter than in Wellington, with 6.0s and 6.5's the order of the day. We started our course race and the wind died on the way up, causing all but five competitors to turn back (Helen, these results DO count for the grand final score...), and a few spent a bit of time in the water waiting for the right gust to allow a waterstart. It was cold with a capital C, a capital O, a capital L and a capital D. Our hands, feet and other appendages were numb, and we froze. Again Helen provided hot soup, (described, unkindly, by Rory as tasting like 'the juice of hot freshly squeezed XLO cloths') but after the first race the event was called off. Things to remember: Rory slipping over in a particularly wet and muddy puddle (pushed by Helen?), a bogey poking out of Ken's right nostril all day (same one?), Sonia's superb effort of making the top mark and finishing the race after only 5 months sailing when most of the old guard gave up. Excellent effort Sonia.
Sirocco EXTREME 270 slalom board. $650.00 10'6" Windtoys Hawaii fully rigged, excellent all round board $900 9'6" Wave/Slalom board $400 Phone Mathew on (025) 496-330 or 233-1327. Wave sails, 3.0 and 3.5 with boom and mast, $200. Predator 9'10" slalom board $400. Phone Bruce 384-1213
Bodyglove booties. HELP. I bought a pair of bodyglove titanium TTS, split toe windsurf booties that are a size too small for me. I've worn them only three times, they're in brand new condition, size 9. They cost $85 new, I'll sell them for $50. Phone Brian 560 5547 (wk), 568 5891 (hm, leave a message if no answer)
There are good things and bad things you can do when you tie your valuable board to your not so valuable trusty rusty surf vehicle. Buy a quality set of roof racks. Looks are not everything . The strongest may not be the best looking or the most expensive. Use a foam pad under the board and mast. Load the board tail first right way up. If the board in upsidedown the straps could damage the edges. Take the fin out on fast highway trips. Use a board and mast bag . This keeps the sun and bug splatter off your gear. Use quality webbing traps*, not rope or elastic bungy . Use two straps on the front rack for some insurance . Do not strap the sails down on top of the board . This will crush the sails . Load two or more boards one on top of one another, not side by side.
* Commercial tie downs aren't that cheap and are usually too short to easily or safely tie on two or three boards. I've made my own extra-long ones, get the webbing and clips from marine or climbing/ tramping shops. (ed)
IDEA: I made some mast holders out of some old, crappy, velcro footstraps. Ya know, the kind with a cover? It kinda looks like this: Take the old footstrap, roll it so the holes line up on the bottom, then use those little plastic zip-straps to hold it to your rack(the things cops use as handcuffs now). Once you get them set to the right size for your masts, you can just slide the mast in until it's tight. I used these for about a year before they rotted from salt and Florida sun. But it was cheap, and secure Todd A.Waite
from our P.N. correspondent: Dave Neilson lives in Palmerston North, and in a recent note from him he included this comment. I've included it because it demonstrates the value of local windsurfers taking the time to get to know strangers when they appear, let's make it part of the windsurfing ethic!(Ed)
Thanks for the info, called Windline and it reminded me of my only sail in Wellington at Evans Bay when just begining to windsurf, a local expert looked at my antiquated equipment and gently tried to advise me to stay on shore, but I knew better ! Following him to the other side, through the largest swells ever sailed by my faithfull board and myself, I beach started and headed back to the other shore, (no waterstarts at this point in time) but the wind seemed stronger and the waves bigger, did that friendly local know somthing I didnt ? Balancing precariously on the board, without the aid of either footstraps or harness technique (which was still to be learned) teeth gritted and eys focused on the faaaaaaaaar shore, the inevitable happened.. wipeout ! unable to uphaul in the by now 2 metre swell, mega-board and I were gently driven to shore by wind and wave action, to begin the long long walk back, to the distant car.
If you've got access to the internet have a look. If you haven't, ask around and find someone who has. This site offers as mch information as I have been able to piece together so far on sailing sites around N.Z., as well as related information such as shops, clubs, wind-info sources, equipment, articles, links to other sites, accomodation, travel etc. Any contributions, comments and feedback are not only welcomed by me (Bruce), they're a must as I wish to complete the data and make it as attractive and useful as possible. Pictures and stories, travel and accomodation tips, anything related to windsurfing in NZ, particularly if it may assist overseas visitors. email email@example.com I'll also be putting some windsurfing related software here, such as demo versions of board design (D.A.T. Designer) and viewing programs, a windsurfing game and an Afterdark screensaver. It may also be possible to organise a winters evening to demonstrate these programs and also (wind)surf the internet for those who have heard all about it but not experienced it, most major windsurfer manufacturers are now connected and have product information and other goodies for display. There are also numerous guides to sites around the world. Please let me know if this would be of interest.
Gear security is always a problem,
The following was the lead article in the latest Harbour Safety Newsletter, produced by the Wellington Regional Council....
By Ian Burns
This summer has seen great weather for water lovers either in-it or on-it. Considering the varied usage of our beautiful harbour, we have had very few reported recreational problems, however we have experienced three noteworthy incidents and these give us cause for concern. The first of these was a windsurfer getting caught up in a troll line from a motor launch in Evans Bay. The rights or wrongs of this incident could keep a couple of lawyers in fine style for a number of years. The second incident involved a windsurfer who attempted to cross in front of the Condor 10 off Seatoun Beach. This could have kept an undertaker busy for a couple of days. The two power vessels involved were easilt identified as they had their names quite clearly written on the vessels. Unfortunately neither of the windsurfers could be identified, and to the untrained eye one windsurfer looks much like another. This raises the issue of should all small craft be conspicuously marked. We have contacted the Windsurfing Association to discuss with them our desire to have each board clearly identified. It is our aim to encourage the co-operation of windsurfers rather than have to introduce a by-law making identification compulsory. The third incident involved a small four metre inflatable boat with four divers on board. They passed very close in front of the outward bound fast ferry Albayzin when it was passing Barrets Reef in the entrance to Wellington Harbour. The Albayzin had to make an emergency stop manouvre with very little sea-room to avoid colliding with the small vessel.. The police spoke to the intrepid sailors at Tarakena Bay launching ramp and they appeared unfazed by their actions. However I am sure they will not be so foolhardy in future after the police pointed out the potential consequences of their actions. We have become used to the conventional ferries travelling at 18 knots. Now we must become aware of those that travel at twice that speed and what the potential effects could be.
As a windsurfer and a harbour warden I take exception to this article for a number or reasons; The article lists three "notable" incidents, however only two of these involved windsurfers. The first incident involved a windsurfer who passed behind a launch in Evans Bay and caught a fishing lure being towed by that boat. A complaint was made on behalf of the sailor and it appeared that support was forthcoming from the authorities until they received a letter threatening legal action on behalf of the launch owner, citing the speed and closeness with which the sailor passed behind the launch, as a result the blame appears to have been transferred to the sailor. What appears to have been ignored is the fact that the boat was towing a lure well into Evans Bay after several similar incidents of windsurfers being caught had resulted in warnings to Evans Bay users not to do so. The second incident involved a windsurfer sailing in front of Condor 10, forcing an emergency stop, reports indicate that the windsurfer did not even see the fast cat, and concludes that the result could have "kept an undertaker busy for a couple of days"? The third incident did not involve a windsurfer at all, but involved four "intrepid sailors" (divers actually), who went in front of the Albayzin near Barrett Reef, where it was forced to stop "with little searoom". No mention of undertakers here, presumably one windsurfer takes a lot more burying than four divers and any other casualties that might have resulted from the Albayzin hitting Barrett Reef? Not only that, the four divers appeared "unfazed" by their actions (read unrepentant), I'm sure neither of the windsurfers would have responded in that way. And what did the police tell them could have been the consequences of their actions, that they could have lost all their crays perhaps, a real slap with a wet bus ticket? And was the inflatable named? I doubt it! The article concludes with the observation that we now have to contend with ferries travelling at upwards of 40 knots rather than 18 and we must be aware of the potential effects. To me this is the equivalent of allowing buses to start driving around the city at 100 rather than 50 kph, a pretty hairy scenario but a not unreasonable analogy in my mind. A few pedestrians and cyclists get in the way of these buses and nearly get hit, some guys in a car cross in front of one and it nearly crashes (with a couple of hundred passengers), and incidentally a cyclist is snagged by a car towing a rope with a hook in it down the street. The appropriate response to this is to make all pedestrians and cyclists wear numbers so they can be identified (posthumously?) after any incident or accident? Of course not! First of all the whole issue of wether it is safe and reasonable to allow ferries to travel at this speed within the harbour in the first place (I'd be interested to know what the regional council's responsibility and liability under the OH&S Act is in this situation). Given that this is going to continue the next obvious step is prevention; clear marking of shipping lanes, warning notices at strategic locations, education programs for harbour users. As far as by-laws are concerned, surely the first should be to ban all fishing from boats in Evans Bay, reeling in a trolling lure half way down is no excuse! Threatening to specifically require windsurfers to be identifiable is pointless, impractical and unenforcable, it would not have prevented any of the described incidents, and if concern is to be expressed it should be over the actions of the "intrepid" and unrepentant divers, not the windsurfers. The association will be responding via Bob Zuur (in a more measured manner than this) to Captain Mike Price, Harbour Master, in due course, but there is no reason why individual members cannot also write to express their feelings on the issue, particularly if you have experienced close encounters with fishing lines or other safety related incidents. We all respect and value the work of the harbour authorities and the other emergency services which operate in the region, however there seems to be an effort to make us the scape goats for several unrelated incidents and we must respond. We must also be aware that there are two basic counts against us, one is that the rules of navigation were written before windsurfers, and if they are applied rigorously then we will suffer more than most. The second is that, as the fast ferry wash litigation has shown, commerce has a lot of clout, so if it came to a show down we would lose. RULE 1: Watch out for Fast Ferries We've had articles and warnings here before about fishing lures and the problems of yachts and launches not obeying the rules, I wonder how many of the other harbour users are as consious of the safety issues as we are? In the mean time remember when crossing the path of any boat, powered or sailing, if you can't get clear ahead then try to get clear behind and watch out for fishing lines! If you do have an accident or incident, report it, to us, to the Harbour Master, the police or whoever. Our membership currently stands at about 100 sailors, a survey carried out some years ago identified in excess of 2000 Wellingtonians who described themselves as windsurfers, so you probably know one or two. Get them to join so we can preserve the freedoms we have and improve on the facilities and access we currently enjoy. Good sailing! Bruce Spedding Note: After writing this (the self imposed deadline for the newsletter was approaching) I received two related items, Bob's letter to Mike Price which is shown next, and a faxed copy of the guide given to the ferry masters on entering the harbour. The letter as you can see is sensible, restrained, conciliatory and just the sort of thing we should be writing, rather than the spleen venting I have just indulged in, and I contemplated removing my outburst, however I have decided to leave it (for the present anyway - subject to editorial and layout needs). The map is also included, cleaned up as much as possible, and shows the tracks in and out of the harbour. HOWEVER, in a brief converstation with a member of the harbour staff I was informed that the map is just a guide and that the ferry masters are in fact free to roam once they are in the harbour and are not required to follow this course. This means that conflict could occur anywhere and you must be aware!
Capt MH Pryce Harbourmaster Wellington Regional Council PO Box 11-646 WELLINGTON
Identification of Windsurfers
Thank you for your letter of 19 April 1995, which I have discussed with Wellington Windsurfing Association committee members. Your letter expresses frustration about your inability to identify windsurfers who you suggest are creating a hazard with other shipping traffic in Wellington Harbour. This raises two issues: the hazards caused by windsurfers; and reduction of this hazard to windsurfers and other craft. We are not convinced on the evidence presented in your letter that windsurfers are creating a hazard. The only incident detailed (with the "Titi") appeared to us to be the fault of the skipper of the boat trolling in Evan's Bay, which is a very busy waterway. No information was provided regarding the two incidents with the "Condor 10" fast ferry. I have been able to substantiate one of the incidents, in which the high speed of the ferry took the windsurfer by surprise. This incident, does not, however, suggest that there is a problem. Nevertheless, we in the Wellington Windsurfing Association would like to encourage safe windsurfing, and would like to cooperate in the promotion of safety in this sport. We doubt whether requiring windsurfers to carry identification numbers would increase the safety of either windsurfers or boaties. The prime objective should be to prevent any incidents before they happen, rather than attribute blame afterwards. While the New Zealand Windsurfing Association encourages windsurfers to obtain registration numbers, and many competitive members do, the Association is unable to force their members to do this. As an affiliated club, we are in a similar position. Furthermore, both the NZ and Wellington Associations represent only a fraction of windsurfers, even among those who sail regularly. There are a number of more effective ways of promoting safe windsurfing: Provide information regarding the location of main shipping channels, as it appears that many windsurfers are not aware of this. Ian Burns of your staff has agreed to provide the Windsurfing Association with a map of the shipping channels for inclusion in our newsletter. Provide information about the "rules of the road". In our experience, many windsurfers are not familiar with the rules regarding right of way. These rules could be promoted in the newsletter and at club days. Signs already established by the WWA at Plimmerton, Pauatahanui, Petone, and Eastbourne summarise the most important rules. Encourage safe sailing practices. This ranges from good sailing behaviour, such as looking behind before gybing, to carrying spares in the event of gear failure. Many useful suggestions regarding safe practices are shared internationally through the Internet, and we would be happy to promote these. We would welcome any suggestions you may have regarding the promotion of safe windsurfing. We do not believe that registration is one of them.
Yours sincerely Bob Zuur for the Wellington Windsurfing Association
The 1995 Mistral National Championships were sailed at the Murray's Bay Boating Club on the 22nd to the 25th of April. For IMCO sailors this concluded a series of pre-olympic team qualifying regattas which also included an International Classes Regatta at Taupo and Olympic Sail at Whangaparoa. The myth of Auckland's lack of wind was well and truly put to rest as we experienced 15 to 20 knots of wind for the four days of the championships. This added to a near tropical water temperature (compared to Evans Bay) made for exciting and enjoyable racing. There were over 40 competitors with 20 of these in the One Design class which was of a very high standard with names such as Bruce and Barbara Kendall, Shane Bright, Aaron McIntosh and National Youth Champion Jon-Paul Tobin competing. After our briefing on Saturday morning the racing began with Barbara Kendall beating all the guys to win the first race. As the regatta continued Aaron McIntosh took control as expected to go on to win, followed by Bruce Kendall and Jon-Paul Tobin. The womens section was won by Barbara Kendall followed by Julie Worth and Tracey Harrop. The race was concluded on Tuesday with a long distance race which put the IMCOs and raceboards all in together for a 1 mile upwind beat followed by a long blast reach down past Takapuna and back to Murrays Bay, twice. Despite all the flash gear the top places were taken by IMCOs (is that a smug comment or what? - Ed). The focus next year will be on the Olympic Trials and as the Mistral Nationals showed the rest of New Zealand will have to do some work to get ahead of Aaron McIntosh.
Aaron McIntosh continues as the top ranked New Zealand sailor after winning the Nationals at Murrays Bay in April and finally taking the title from Bruce Kendall, taking 7 out of 10 races. NZ Youth champion Jon-Paul Tobin placed third just ahead of Andrew Blewitt. Barbara Kendall sailed well to take all every womens division and even an overall first in one race. Julie Worth was second with Tracey Harrop third. The top 2 qualifiers in each division are off to the 1995 Pre-Olympic Regatta in Savannah. (see Mathew Woods account).
Formula 42 Nationals
46 competitors attended the event at Pt. Chev. from the 6-8 May, with the who's who of NZ windsurfing all there except for Bruce, Aaron and Andrew (Blewitt) who were overseas. Light winds made the racing a biggest sail/biggest board event, with Terry Vernon (current world champion) in first place and Jon-Paul Tobin (NZ Youth Champ) second. Overseas News Bruce , Aaron and Barbara have just completed two events in Italy.
The Sicily Cup featured extreme conditions, holes and gusts up to 45 knots, Barbara won all but one of her races, Bruce came 7th in the mens division. A spectacular "Dash for Cash" night event (started 10pm) had Bruce in first place ($1000) and Aaron in 4th ($200).
The Merit Cup Windsurf World Festival European Team Sailing Championships was won by Aaron and Bruce, France 2nd, Oz 3rd.
The NZWA AGM is on the 24th June, Auckland unfortunately, so if you've got something you want to raise at a national level contact Brian Scrimshaw. A copy of the latest newsletter with the AGM agenda, class rules and other info can be seen at WildWinds.
The preliminary 1995-1996 NZWA events calendar is out, contact WildWinds or Bruce for details, we'll probably publish it in the next issue when it's finalised (and the WWA has it's events sorted out).
NZ Water Safety Council has agreed to fund a the development of a National Standard for Windsurfing Hire Schools (subject to Lottery grants).
All youth sailors (under 19yrs), get free newsletters from the NZYF, ring (09) 303-2360.
NZ Water Safety Council has issued a warning about the dangers of hypothermia (especially this time of year).
Windsurfers on a British lake have been told to look out for an errant crocodile. Experts believe the crocodile, first spotted by a startled couple visiting the lake, was originally imported as a pet and then freed when it became too big to handle. (Evening Post 6/6/95)
The 45ft trimaran TEVAKE was dismasted 400 miles north of New Zealand in big seas and 15 knot winds. It continued to New Zealand by a combination of motoring and sailing with two windsurfer rigs, reaching 5 knots in 25knot winds (Boating NZ).
The WWA has a set of instruction videos,
These events are set for the first weekend of each month over winter, with the venue being Evans Bay (Southerly/ Northerly), Plimmerton (NW). We meet about 10.30-11 for a briefing.
, which provided such a sterling service over the summer, was converted to an 0900 number for the winter pending a new approach next season. Apparently the guys couldn't get the sustenance to keep it fed and have pulled the plug until further notice. If anyone knows of a corporate sponsor who would like to come to the party let us know!
No, not the one that holds your head up! Anyone who missed out on any issues of the newsletter and would like copies (January and/or April), including those who recently joined, please contact me (Bruce - 384-1213).
I'm sure you'll agree that local contributions such as the Scrimshaw Chronicles make the best reading, so please, if you've got a perspective, and experience or a pet issue (Rambo?) you feel tempted to write about contact me. Electronic copy preferred but not essential.
: I've long been interested in the technology and mechanics of board-building but never had the place or initiative to do anything about it. If there is anyone out there interested in demonstrating board-building, either formally or informally, or other members interested in getting together for the purposes of learning, contact me (Bruce, again).
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