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Another EPIC Melbourne Cup weekend at Sandy Point

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Once again SHQ Boardports ran their famous Melbourne Cup Windsurf and SUP carnival at Sandy point over the long weekend from 1st - 4th November.  
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Whilst we usually get some reasonable conditions for at least part of the weekend this year really turned it on giving great opportunities for all our events.  The weekend kicked off on Saturday with a very solid WSW wind howling across the inlet.  The excellent forecast and conditions resulted in a record number of people pre-registering for the event so we knew off the bat that it would be a fantastic weekend.  
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DAY 1 - High Tides, Waves, Parties and Pariahs
Day 1 started with a slight hiccup!  In a bid to out smart the fishermen who usually set up right where we like to put the trailer and tent we decided to drive the trailer with all the gear into the inlet the night before so we'd be in pole position and all ready to go the next morning.  So Saturday morning 8:30 we head off to the inlet only to be greeted with this (see below) the highest tide I have ever witnessed.  The trailer was almost certainly underwater and there was no way to get all our gear setup for registrations.
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hmmm - parking at the inlet the night before is suddenly not seeming like such a good idea!
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Whilst this put a dent in our slick schedule planned for the day we did finally manage to get in and get the site setup, albiet a few hours later than planned.  The excellent easterly forecast for Monday afternoon was beginning to look shaky so we decided to kick off the competitive part of the weekend with a wave event at The Gap on Waratah Bay.  
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Nice Huddo - sneaking some riding in at Chicken Rock between all the events - pity he had to judge and couldn't compete!
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A building swell and squalls exceeding 40knots was definitely going to sort out the men from the boys.  Unfortunately the intimidating conditions resulted in only one entrant from the 15 registered in the fun division actually showing up to compete so we put them into the main draw and kicked off with two Expression Session style heats judged on overall impression which would determine who would move straight into the semi-final and who would get a second chance in the repechage heat for the final places in the semis.
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Simon Hansen showing no indication that he's hardly sailed for two years!
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The first heat included some impressive sailing but some questions were raised on who did the seeding for the heats when the second heat started as everyone in this heat were super impressive and aggressive proving once again that the level in Victoria is really going up every year.  The heats saw the usual stars like Tom White and Andrew Hocking shining while Tao Langham impressed with his jumping, Andy Ackland showed his usual consistent flare, Phil Vaudrey stomped some big pushloops and Simon Hansen demonstrated that two years off windsurfing hadn't slowed him down at all storming into the semis.
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Phil busted some nice jumps like this Pushloop!
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The big upsets though were that the winners from the previous two years Joel Ryan and Al McLeod both hadn't made it into the semis.  This left the repechage for them to make amends and they did not disappoint.  Big jumps and impressive wave riding saw them both fight off solid performances from the crew of South Aussie sailors who came over to the event plus James Toth who was getting some great waves.
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Great to see a decent crew of quality wavesailors making the trek from SA for the event
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The first semi saw another big upset with Tom White narrowly being edged out by Andy Ackland while Al McLeod was definitely making sure he wasn't missing out again with some really solid rides and impressive jumping.  Similarly Joel Ryan smashed the 2nd semi landing some big pushloops while Simon and Tao both seemed to be tiring in the tough conditions where Andrew "Hock" Hocking was revelling in the conditions making the waves look a lot bigger and better than the rest of the riders seemed to be getting.
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The final was battled out between Al, Hock, Andy and Joel and while Hock smashed some awesome waves he couldn't seem to stick a jump where Al's super impressive and perfectly clean gutter flips wowed the judges and the crowd.  Ontop of some slick riding this saw Al run away with the event after coming right back through the repechage round, with Hock in second, Andy in third and Joel rounding out the final.  
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Another great wave event and everyone had definitely worked up an appetite ready for another one of Jono's feasts which Jono selflessly missed the wavesailing comp in order to cook.  
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The feast ready for the onslaught of exhausted hungry windsurfers
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When we got to the life saving club we were concerned to hear that Cam Lethlean had to be rescued from the inlet after dislocating his finger and getting caught in the tide and 50knot gusts blowing him to the Yanakie caravan park.  All ended well though with another great effort from the surf lifesaving club.
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Lots of prizes!!!
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After the usual feast of Lamb, Pork, Beef and homemade salads from Jono with help from Tim, Kevin and the team we gave a bunch of prizes away and then were super privileged to be entertained by the rocking tones of the Pariahs of Madness.
Big thankyou to SHQ rider and Saxophonist Mick Phelan and his band the Pariahs of Madness for making the trip down to entertain us
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Day 2 - Freestyle, Racing - the inlet at it's best
Day 2 saw the wind abating slightly to a manageable 25knots with stronger gusts upto 30knots.  Perfect conditions for freestyle and slalom racing.  The inlet was bustling with 60+ windsurfers - it was amazing to see so many sails blasting up and down the inlet - the sport was looking very healthy.
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Perfect conditions on the inlet!
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Competition kicked off with the freestyle which saw a variety of skills and equipment including a SUP longboard and full on speed kit.  Spotty impressed in the fun division with jump gybes on his speed gear, while Jerry Copestake was flawless with his duck gybes.  The open competition promised to be spectacular with german freestyler Kevin lining up switch Kono's, burners, funnels and shakas but consistency saw him knocked out in the heats.  the final was made up of mister consistent Andy Ackland, Tim Clarke fresh from 7 weeks training in Brazil and store owner Fletch hoping to make up for his dismal performance the year before where he was knocked out in the first round.  The eight minute heat was action packed with moves being busted everywhere including a decent ponch attempt from Andy.  Fletcher eventually ran away with the overall victory after consistently landing an array of moves.
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Kevin busting a shaka!
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Perfect conditions for Flakas
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Timbo shows what he's been upto after 7 weeks in Brazil
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Following the freestyle there were a bunch of speedsters ready to race around the slalom course.  The ever shifting wind played havoc with the course but competition was fierce in both the Opens and Masters.  Simon Hansen, Anton, And Spotty proved to all be competitive in the Open fleet with some very exciting competition.  There seemed to be some confusion with the start with a few riders breaking the line in a bid to get a flying start but Anton and Spotty where consistently going head to head heat after heat while Martin Love and Andrew Daff were equally competitive in the Masters.  Not to mention Jerry Copestake who seemed to have one race in the bag only to drop one of his usually consistent gybes at a crucial moment.  Eventually Spotty managed to edge out Anton for the overall victory which based on his nail biting comeback and fist pumping enthusiasm over the finish line seemed to be almost as rewarding as doing 50knots down the speed run.  Andrew Daff took out the masters division and also managed to knock off Spotty and Martin for the speed event victory.
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Martin Love, Geoff Barden and Andrew Daff screaming down the racecourse
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Anton and Spotty had some very tight racing with each snatching victory from the other in different heats but Spotty just took out the decider after Anton squandered a big lead around the second last mark giving Spotty a chance to catch him right on the line!
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The rest of the afternoon saw hundreds of runs along the butter smooth inlet with every windsurfer wearing a smile from ear to ear despite sailing to exhaustion!  What a perfect day!
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Luke blasting on the JP-Allride  and Gaastra Matrix - good looking gear!
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Go Kevin - welcome to the SHQ team!
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Day 3 - Flat water, Sun and Rescues
The wind abated for day 3 although was too onshore for decent SUP surfing so instead the action moved to the inlet for an epic SUP tour on the flatwater boards upto the northern end of the inlet.  A group of around 10-15 headed off to see what lay around the corner of the inlet.  turns out its quite shallow with sting rays and banjo sharks cruising along the bottom and swans and pelicans wading in the shallows.  There are definitely some good looking freestyle and speed runs worth investigating on some more wind.
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Three suckers Fletch, Evan and Farmer Nick decided it would be a good idea to head from the northern end of the inlet up to the mouth to the ocean.  Whilst seeming like a good idea at the time after getting to the mouth it became apparent that they'd have to wait for the tide to turn before attempting to paddle home.  It was a long wait which sparked worry at base camp so the jetski was sent out on a rescue missing but didn't go far enough to find the paddlers... which caused even more worry from friends and partner.  Everything turned out well when 6 hours after heading off the 3 paddlers finally pulled back into the beach.  
Whilst this was going on there was lots of learning on the inlet with kids showing how easy windsurfing really is which was great to see.
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The afternoon saw a late easterly get the wavesailors back on the water.  Riders headed out infront of the surf club, at Neds and at Longarms.  It was a good way to finish another good day except for Hudson who managed to injure his ankle getting caught in the footstrap at long arms making it a painful hobble back to the car.
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Day 4 - SUP surfing and another Easterly
Hudsons injury slowed things down on Tuesday but eventually all the demos made their way to the surf beach for some fun SUP 
surfing on some performance boards from Coreban, NSP DC Surf and JP-Australia.  The afternoon saw rise to another easterly which saw a few riders having fun on the land boards in the low tide at the inlet.
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Another great weekend was done.  a big thank you to all the SHQ team who helped with the event and an even bigger thankyou to all the riders who came down and enjoyed the sports we love so much!  
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Watch out for the event movie coming soon!
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See you again next year!

3 Responses

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

June 23, 2015

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Elena
Elena

April 06, 2015

she was 99% sure she was a girl. Terrified. We painted the nusrery lime green, and vowed not to buy obnoxiously pink and purple clothes or princess garbage for her. We’ve relaxed a bit and just go with the flow now, and while she’s currently in a dress-obsessed phase we feel she’s pretty balanced. She enjoys painting her nails with grandma (I haven’t painted my own in 5+ years), but is also surprisingly athletic; she loves art projects, blocks, and cars alike. We are very pleasantly surprised by what life is like with 2 daughters. Oh, and the reusing of clothes if you get two of the same gender is totally overrated. Did you know that no matter how clean you think an item is, if you put it away for a few years it is almost guaranteed to have brown stains all over it when you pull it out again? Ok, exaggerating a it. But I had no idea that traces of breastmilk hiding in the fibers of clothes would darken over time. It was fun reusing a few pieces that escaped that fate, but many were too stained, surprisingly out of style, or the wrong season (we had November and May babies.) Enjoy buying new things for your new baby, and picking out a few of your favorites from Miles’ collection to save. I’m slightly mourning the fact that we’re done having kids, but I recently gave away all of our baby stuff (after saving a few favorites) and it actually felt really good. Kind of symbolic of one phase ending, and celebrating the fun things that lay ahead.Thanks for sharing your news! I’m really happy for you June 28, 2011 8:07 pm

Abi
Abi

April 05, 2015

Hey Ras, I purchased my cnioflat from Burnscoes for 249 NZD. It doesn’t really have a brand, but it is still working fine. The water intake is in my casegravity fed from a creek and the pressure is good, but you can always hook up a marine 12 v pump. They are easy to install, more or less fully automatic andan easy way to enjoy a hot shower whenever you want. cheers, Ben

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