27th of March 2012, New Zealand, 2012 New Zealand FW Nationals

New Zealand Formula Windsurfing Nationals 2012

After a few quiet years on the Formula Scene in NZ, the 2012 Nationals had some real buzz about them.

A great mixture or old, young, experience and straight out “in it for the fun” made up the 20 strong fleet. I think a combination of a world class location (Big Manly Beach, Whangaparoa) and a windy forecast for the whole weekend really helped motivate everyone to participate in what was always going to be a fun regatta.

Saturday 24March.

We were greeted with a beautiful 15-18knot, cross on-shore wind, with a developing swell on the left and flat water on the right. Racing kicked off at mid-day with a simple 2 lap windward-leeward, down-wind finish, just off the beach. Brett Morris (NZL-0 or AUS-8) and last year’s defending champ Antonio Cozzoline went straight into a match racing battle sharing 1st and 2nd places, until the last race of the day where Tim Woods sailed a great race for a 2nd, giving Brett a slender lead for the days racing.
After 4 races in almost perfect, but still challenging conditions, it was back to the club house for pizza, washed down with a few cold beers, then off to bed for a solid sleep in preparation for day 2, which was forecast to be extreme and very different from today.

Sunday 25March.

The rain came overnight, but come morning it was bright sunshine and directly off shore winds of about 15knots, but predicted to increase. The good news was the prospect of racing in flat water, but bad news was picking the strength of the wind.
With the AP down at around mid-day, we were back into it, 2 races back to back before a break and 2 more races back to back. Antonia and Brett were back to their match racing best with Antonia taking 1st blood. Then things got real interesting with the wind really kicking, now a solid 26-30knots. The fleet smashed their way around the course and made their way back to shore for a well deserved break and the chance to change down sails as some guys (Tim) were still slogging it out with 12m…ouch!
The last races of the day were in really solid 25+ knots, but flat water and sunny, making it really good fun. Antonio consolidated his lead to pick up his 2nd NZ FW title.

I apologize for not knowing the other places but I don’t have a results sheet handy at this minute, but judging from the positive feedback and genuinely happy demeanor at the prize giving, I think it is fair to say everybody had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the regatta.
Huge thanks to Manly Yacht Club, especially the race and shore crew who made the whole weekend really enjoyable. Great to see Formula popular again in NZ…..