Gareth Wood's explosive start made the difference
and was the key to his sixth national windsurfing slalom
Wood (31), the assistant engineer at the University of Otago,
convincingly won the men's open title on the Otago Harbour on
He won 14 of his 18 races at the championships to finish with
10.50 points and was followed by Laurence Carey (Auckland),
21.25, and Dan Meehan (Dunedin), 22.25.
Carey (19), a member of the Auckland Team 10 club, won seven
races and also won the youth title from Tom McGregor
(Christchurch), 54.75 points, and Taylor Boyd (Christchurch),
Wood stamped his mark when he won eight of his 10 races on
the first day of racing, on Friday.
''If you are not out of the blocks quickly at the start it is
hard to catch up,'' Wood said.
Slalom windsurfing is the high-speed arm of the sport and can
be likened to slalom skiing, with obstacles rounded at speed.
The course is over 2km to 3km and there are usually five or
six markers to be rounded at speeds of 30-35 knots.
Wood reached speeds of 70kmh when he raced downwind on the
Otago Harbour at the weekend.
''A race only lasts three to five minutes and if you are not
out fast you can't catch up,'' he said.
Wood has been windsurfing since the age of 7 and has
dominated the open men's events since 2007.
He started windsurfing in Wellington and he has lived in
Dunedin since 2007. His wife, Victoria, and daughter, Ngaire
(2), encouraged him from the shore.
Annie Crombie (Christchurch) won her fifth women's open title
with a score of 10.50 points from Sue Bradley (Queenstown),
26.25, and Lucy Waters (Wanaka), 40.
Crombie (45), the owner of the House of Travel in
Christchurch, has been windsurfing since 1990 and has
She won the French Polynesian title in Tahiti in 2010 and
gained a lot of confidence when she came fourth in the
women's section of the prestige Maui race in Hawaii last
''I improved my jibing at Maui. It made a big difference this
weekend,'' Crombie said.
This ability showed on Friday when she won nine of her 10
races. She completed the championships with 15 wins from her
Crombie won her first national title in 2007 and also won in
2009, 2011 and 2012.
Auckland dentist Jim Rodgers (60) won the silver fleet title
with seven wins and two seconds from his nine races. He
scored 5.25 points and was followed by Aaron Kitto
(Christchurch), 10, and Russell Lund (Dunedin), 13.5.
The women's youth title was won by Xanthe Bowater
(Christchurch) with 133 points.