The recent SHQ Melbourne Cup Carnival was again another awesome weekend of windsurfing, SUP, relaxing and feasting at one of the worlds best locations for our sports in the world - SANDY POINT!
We were greeted with beautiful sunny beach weather on day 1 with light winds and small waves great for a bit of Stand Up Paddle boarding on Waratah Bay. We ended up with enough waves to run a wave event with some nice riding in some mellow waves - well done to Duncan Banks for taking out the event.
While everyone was having fun on the beach the local Foster butcher Dino was delivering a spit laden with meat ready to refuel everyone for the big days ahead. After many hours in the sun everyone enjoyed a massive feast of of Lamb, Pork and Beef off the spit along with salads and vegies all expertly prepared by Jono Bouillir with the help from Tim Clarke and anyone else who was loitering in Jono's general vicinity who he could rope in to lend a hand.
(Geoff Barden enjoying the demo JP SUP boards and riding well to take out 4th in the event - keep an eye out for Geoffs video of the weekend on you tube)
Sandy Point Surf Club proved to be a great venue again for the opening night dinner and lots of people were happy to walk away with prizes particularly Phil Vaudrey for taking away the Techniice ice box which will take pride of place in his fishing boat and then Kristina who after recently moving to Australia from USA was excited to win the new sail despite not actually being a windsurfer - her husband Walter seemed to be the one deciding which of the two sails on offer she should select. The crowd was entertained by "Daffy's" interesting account of his recent participation in the Leuderitz speed challenge in Namibia - the key takeaway being that Sandy Point was truly a location to rival the best in the world.
SHQ Melbourne Cup SUP Surfing Results:
1 - Duncan Banks
2 - Phil Vaudrey
3 - James Brient
4 - Geoff Barden
We were greeted with a stark contrast to Day 1, rainy... cold.... and .... WINDY!!!!
Finally after a drought for many years we had strong south west wind perfect for flat water blasting on the inlet and exciting jumping action in Waratah Bay. After a bit of discussion amongst the organisers on which event to run when and where the decision was made to run the wave event first up before the wind went too onshore. The waves were too small at Chicken Rock so The Gap would play host to the states Biggest annual wavesailing event, The SHQ Melbourne Cup Wavesailing Championship. The cold did nothing to keep contestants or spectators away we had a great turnout proving once again the windsurfing is thriving in Victoria.
(After winning the pre-registration lucky draw the night before - Tom White followed it up with a 2nd in the event helped along by this nice Cheese Roll)
The conditions were a little intimidating for the fun division with a building swell and very strong cross onshore wind but Jerry Copestake and Geoff Barden tackled it head on giving the opens field a good insight into the challenging conditions they would be about to face. The standard has definitely risen to a new level with all riders sailing at a high level and impressive display of aerial manoeuvres and backside to frontside riding. We were lucky to have the skills of seasoned windsurf and kitesurf judge Robert Bratz who agreed with the other judges that the level was impressive.
(Joel displaying one of his nice aerial moves which delivered him the event title)
Eventually Joel Ryan, Phil Vaudrey, Tom White and Andrew Hocking rose to the top to compete in the final however special mention should be made of Jono's massive forwards, which were stopped only by a blown eardrum! Meanwhile, Tim and Steve seemed to have the wave event confused with the Freestyle event that was to follow later in the day. Despite Phil stomping some great push loops and Andrew Hocking dominating the early rounds it was clearly Joel Ryan who ran away with the event helped in part by one run where he nailed a big pushloop on the inside followed by a stalled forward then another pushloop - this ontop of wave of the day gave Joel the victory, followed by Tom White with an impressive display of backside riding then Phil Vaudrey in third and Andrew Hocking Rounding out the top four.
SHQ Melbourne Cup Wavesailing Results:
1 - Joel Ryan
2 - Tom White
3 - Phil Vaudrey
4 - Andrew Hocking
From the surf beach in the morning it was time to move to the inlet for perfect speedsailing conditions for the afternoon. Impressive speeds were being posted by the regulars but the Tasmanian imports of James Brient and Anthony and Izaak Perkins were the ones to beat with Isaak taking out the top speed of the weekend. The plan had been to run slalom but everyone seemed too excited by just blasting up and down the inlet to compete in a race so a quick decision was made to run a freestyle competition given the freestylers were on the water and doing their thing already. Steve Flack proved the master of the challenging strong wind conditions closely followed by Evan Hawkey and Tim Clarke. Once again it was great to see a bunch of sailors all trying and executing impressive freestyle tricks. By late in the afternoon everyone was exhausted after a full day of 25-40 knots SW perfection - this left the inlet deserted for the last few hours of daylight, perfect for the organisers to have some fun on the flat water.
(Cam Mcleod travelled from Cairns for the event)
SHQ Melbourne Cup Freestyle Results:
1 - Steve Flack
2 - Tim Clarke
3 - Evan Hawkey
4 - Chris Acland
5 - Fletcher Husband
Day 3 was a great combination of Day 1 and 2 with sunshine and SW wind blowing a more manageable 18-20knots - perfect for more blasting along the flat water, freestyle and our Slalom event. A good field of racers met at the start for heats based racing split between Masters and Opens. Setting the course proved difficult when the jet-ski wouldn’t start, so Hudson towed the buoys out on a Funster! Some practical know-how from the Tasmanians help get the jet-ski going again which meant the course could be moved into a prime location further up the inlet within minutes. From there, the action was thick and fast with the Grand-Masters showing those in the Open division how it’s done. In the Open division, Izaak Perkins stole the show, unbeaten in all races, and ahead of his training partner James Brient. Anthony Perkins kept it in the family in the Grand-Masters division, taking it out ahead of Jerry Copestake. With everyone wondering whether youth or experience would win on the day, a series of all-in races in the dropping breeze showed the energetic pumping of Izaak and James to win over Anthony and Jerry.
(Sandy point playground perfection)
SHQ Melbourne Cup Slalom Results:
1 - Izaak Perkins
2 - James Brient
3 - Anton Vdovin
4 - Sam Bullock
1 - Anthony Perkins
2 - Jerry Copestake
3 - Jono Bouillir
4 - Alex Kubenko
Cup Day brought calm conditions, small waves, warmth and lots of sunshine. With the main events in the bag, it was time for everyone to relax and enjoy a beautiful day at Sandy Point. Lots of SUP surfing and demos kept happy those who still needed an action fix. Despite the temptation of an easterly seabreeze in the afternoon, the wind hadn’t swung around by mid-afternoon and it was time to pack up the circus and head back to the big smoke.
Thanks to everyone who helped out at the event. Special mention goes to our major sponsors SHQ Boardsports, NeilPryde, and Techni-ice, and also to Rob Pignolet for the great footage he shot over the weekend.
Stay tuned for the action packed event video coming soon and see you again next year, if not sooner!