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New Zealand Slalom Nationals 09

1st March 2009

James Dinnis the New Zealand Windsurfing Slalom Nationals 2008-2009Thirty-four competitors in total gathered in Otago Harbour for the New Zealand Slalom Nationals, which ran for four days from 5th to 8th of February 2009. Gareth Wood was defending the men's title and still excited having recently been joint-winner of the Australian Slalom Champs in November 2008.  

An excellent event all-around was expected and many people had travelled from various parts of the county including 6 competitors from Auckland and Gareth's main competition, James Dinnis, from Taranaki.

James reported, "Going into the event, I was missing a SL62 which was a worry as it's the bread and butter for lighter winds. I was praying for above 20kts, the day before the racing I decided to keep the 7.0 as my biggest and not rig the 7.6 as the 7.0 was faster. With this knowledge I was confident, as long as I got a good start and clean air I would be ok."

James Dinnis the New Zealand Windsurfing Slalom Nationals 2008-2009"Day 1 went well, with good starts and straight wins - but I was not happy with my gybes, and as I had not yet met up again with Gareth Woods, who I battled with last year throughout the entire event, I started off practising before heats. I worked out that I just needed to commit a little harder and the board was going around like a knife through butter, and by the end of Day 1, I had 10 straight wins!"

"From there on it was 3 days of straight wins, I was struggling to believe it and laughing at the fact, I had said two months prior that my goal was to win every heat at the Nationals."

"After Day 3, we had a bit of a party, sort of like the prize giving without final results as there was still a slim chance of racing on Day 4, so with the forecast looking grim a few of us got into the spirit of things!!"

James Dinnis the New Zealand Windsurfing Slalom Nationals 2008-2009"Waking up on Day 4 and seeing the wind at less than a knot decided to have a bit more sleep, but had a call a few hours later saying racing was on. That caused a rushed trip the beach, I quickly scrambled to get my gear together for two races before the wind died and racing would be abandoned for the day. In the two races I managed to sail straight into a hole and watch most of the heat sail past!! I eventually got a gust and clawed my way back to 2nd."

"With the event over, I had 21/22 wins so with discards had straight A's and was very happy, it was one of those times when my gear felt like it was flying and everything else came together."

More information about the event and results at:

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