What an incredible weekend it was. Going into the last day of racing there was a three way tussle for first spot overall, with a fourth sailor close enough to pounce in the event anyone made a mistake.
Brett Morris (AUS8) was in the box seat. First or second spot, beat Steve or one spot behind Sean, or no racing at all would see him crowned the Series champion.
Steven Floyd (AUS222) needed to beat Brett and come no lower then one position behind Sean to win.
Sean O’Brien (AUS120) needed to beat Brett and Steve by more then one spot and not finish lower then 5th to win the series
The forecast was for increasing NE’ers in the afternoon. The race organising committee had decided that there would be no race starts after 4.30pm to allow time to pack everything up and prepare for the annual prize giving party.
All day long we sat waiting for the wind. Those of us who were there on the Thursday and Friday had seen the wind fill in at 4pm both days and figured it would be a repeat performance on Sat.
Things started to look better and better, with some people hitting the water and trying to convince the RO’s that it was windy enough to sail. At 2.55pm the AP came down and everyone rigged in preparation for racing. An hour later and it was all on, a beautiful 12kt Northeaster, a little gusty, but with good flat water.
Brett had a poor start and struggled to work his way through the fleet.
Steven had a good start and slotted into third spot
Sean found himself in a position that he is not used to – second spot.
and streaking out in front was the inimitable Sam Parker, on his shiny new JP Formula board, NP RSR II and VMG fin. Sam showed everyone the way around the course and took the victory. (Sam – is that a big enough plug for you???? Remember this when I need gear next ;-) )
Sean tore the clew out of his modified Point 7 sail (borrowed from one of his main rivals) and could not race the last race. With no drops for the heat it was all over for him.
Steven found himself in second spot again, with Brett close behind.
but once again there was Sam Parker in the lead and doing it easily.
In the FE+ fleet we saw Ben Turner continue his domination to record the victories he needed to claim the season title outright.
With only two races completed in the allocated time, it was Sam Parker the Heat victor, Steven Floyd second. The crowd on the beach went absolutely wild. Brenda, Kay, Ev, Nerida, Sweetie, Rachael, Tam, Bel and of course Nicole ran around popping champagne corks and expressing their delight at the end of another season and the safe return of the warriors from battle (OK – I don’t really know what the reaction was but I expect this is pretty close to the truth).
Saturday night was the annual prizegiving function and a beautiful meal was enjoyed by all, and the prizes were distributed.
Mike Nelson for MC’ing the night
Chris Ting for helping with the technology, and his Presidential address. Next day Chris stepped down as StormRiders President after 9 years, luckily he is not going far so we will still be able to benefit from his sage advice.
Tam (T2) for organising the function, including location, catering, cake, cleanup, cake, drinks and even more cake. Organiser Extraordinaire indeed
Sam Parker from WindSurfnSnow (‘nBowling) for sponsoring the prizes
Brett Morris for organising the trophies. He also managing to do so much work for StormRiders, Windsurfing NSW, AWA and still come second overall. Is there any limit to his abilities?
Barry Fawkes for talking his son into running racing for us that day, and kicking my ass on the water at every event this season. Barry – you are an inspiration.
Wayne Bowness for being on his best behaviour, it was a big ask but Wayne came through with flying colours.
All the competitors (54 in total) for their enthusiasm and sportsmanlike behaviour throughout the season.
Steve, Brett and Sean for providing a fantastic nail-biting last round, in my 24 years of racing different boats it was the best showing of friendly competition I have witnessed.
Series Winners were:
Overall: 1 – Steven Floyd, 2 – Brett Morris, 3 – Byron McIllveen
Grand Master: 1 – Rick Murray, 2 – Wayne Bowness, 3 – Bruce Healey
Ladies: 1 – Allison Shreeve, 2 – Krystal Weir, 3 – Jessica Crisp
Youth: 1 – Mitch Stephenson, 2 – Ben Morrell, 3 – Luke Baillie
FE+: 1 – Ben Turner, 2 – Barry Fawkes, 3 – Mick Saunders