Following a long history of events held in Taranaki, the Taranaki Wave Classic continue to put the emphasis on fun.
The organisers did a brilliant job of organising the event but could not control the wind – but despite the lack of this essential component a great weekend was had by all. Over 80 windsurfers from as far away as Dunedin spent the weekend floating around on their biggest windsurfers or stand-up paddling (SUP), a popular alternative for windless windsurfers.
The early part of the week started with decent westerly breezes and a small swell, that could almost [somewhat unkindly] have been described as ‘chop’. Plenty of sailors got out on the water at Waitara to enjoy some fun blasting and jumping conditions, while Weld Rd and the beach at Oakura had some slightly larger bumps to ride, as long as you kept one eye fixed closely on the rocks.
As the lead-up week wore on the swell size increased, and coordinated with a decent south-east breeze on Thursday to provide some fun size conditions at Pungarehu, for locals and visitors alike. Waves about head-high were perfect for the sailors to get the feel for Pungarehu and push their limits.
Overnight the swell increased a little more and combined with a longer period delivered some great waves on Friday, at both of Kina Road’s North and South breaks. The weather forecast was spot on and a light northerly breeze was just strong enough to enable a serious crew of TWC frothers to get on the water and catch some really fun rides; with any luck the sun was out, the water had warmed up a touch and the waves were firing.
The event was an Expression Session format, where competitors free-sailed in whatever conditions occur at the chosen location for that day. There were no heats, no man on man elimination and no stress. The top 10 riders were selected for a super session.
The emphasis at this event is about participation, so as long as you can look after yourself on the water you don’t have to be able to loop or carve – there will be opportunities to talk to the guns, and there are ‘introduction to wavesailing’ clinics held at the beach. The social side is great, the prizes are awesome (and they are spot prizes) and the opportunities to see great sailing, get great photos and meet great people make it worth the trip.
The event counted with the supported by the various sponsors such as Rodgers Dental, Carbon Art and several windsurfing and local businesses. Spot prizes on the evening included a brand new Carbon Art board, sails from Gaastra and KA, a wetsuit from 7th Wave and other goodies totalling over $7000. Each day featured a BBQ and ‘workshops’ where the experts shared their tips and answered questions. The party on the last night was well attended by sailors and their families.
Congratulations to the Taranaki guys for another great event for everyone, not just the hard core! Roll on next year.
Don’t miss this fun compilation of the Taranaki Wave Classic 2018