Greenhead WWA Grand Slam 2012
After a good turn out and successful event at the Mandurah Weekend Season Opener, where we managed to run The Crasher Cup Slalom,a Freestyle Comp and an expression session in challenging weather conditions, the next stop on the 2012-2013 WWA Tour was Greenhead. Greenhead is a small crayfish village 300km north of Perth, on the beautiful WA coast. Over 40 guys and girls made the trip based on the excellent forecast.
Previously known as Green Head Wave Classic, this year the competition followed the Grand Slam format introduced in Mandurah, where all windsurfing disciplines are run over two days. The plan was to run Waves on Saturday and Slalom and Freestyle on Sunday.
Greenhead is well known for its strong breeze conditions and a great wave riding spot when the swell is right. This weekend we couldn’t ask for better conditions, it was Greenhead at its best – 25 -30 knts side off shore and 4m swell.
Some competitors started arriving as early as Friday, including some famous names featured in the 2012 PWA World Tour such as Karin Jaggi and Maciek Rutkowski from the Patrik Deithelm Boards international Team. The registrations were opened early saturday morning at John Koch’s house, the draw was drawn and the WWA crew and competitors made the move to the beach.
The wind kicked in around 2pm and the Novice guys were sent to the break. The boat with Judges and windsurfing master photographer Colin Leondhart anchored in the break to closely watch the wave performance. “Novice” can be a bit misleading as everyone knew their stuff and moves such as front loops were pulled, some good wave riding and high jumps with spectacular crashes. The exciting final was decided between Cameron and Duane, and both of those guys have no excuse not to enter Open next time! Mike Warner deserves a special mention as he produced 3 forwards in a row in his heat. This was only the second time he has attempted this stunt. Unfortunately for Mike his opponent Alan Whelan got better wave rides and advanced through to the next round by the narrowest of margins.
Shortly after, the women hit the water, where Karin was challenged by Maeli and Liss. In the end Karin’s fantastic wave sailing skills proved superior to the other two ladies, but it was great to see the ladies sailing at such a high level – beware guys!
After Women it was the time for the Masters Division. During this whole time a fantastic job was done by Pete Tommset and Nic McCormac as Beach Marshalls, who ran the show and kept all competitors informed on when and who goes in the next heat. Thanks Pete and Nic!
Master Division was highly competitive and experienced guys showed off their skills. Some sailors were throwing high backloops, but the highlight of the day and highest jump award winner was John Koch’s closed eyes massive front loop. According to John it was “GO BIG or GO HOME” approach! Even still, this was not enough to beat Andrew Lang who delivered a fantastic overall performance and won the Masters final.
Next, The Open was on, and this category had 16 competitors! This was an absolute mix of international and local sailors with guys all the way from Germany, including the " Wave Tiger " title winner Tim Breeman, local Polak Primo Jacniacki, Reunion Island Max Ploumis and all the WA wave rippers such as Pete Tomsett, Jonah Desforges, Graham Pullen and Steve Sheen just to name a few.
Competitors watching from shore (on our invisible Jumbotron!)
The Open Division was highly competitive and every heat was made very interesting, as sailors were trying to make most out of every wave ride and jump. We saw some perfect table tops and front loops, big back loops and tricks on the waves, such as aerials and 360’s.
Tim Breeman from Germany was going in to the waves, radical style with no fear, which resulted in two broken masts and the "wave tiger"title! Jonah Desforges was on fire presenting fantastic wave riding skill throughout the day, all the way to the final where he met with young gun, Max Ploumis. On their way to the final, both Max and Jonah eliminated some very good riders, who didn’t want to give up easily, which resulted in very high level of riding, where any mistake could mean losing the heat. In the final Max’s fearless jumping and good consistent wave riding gave him the 1st spot in Open! Well done mate!
Elite guys were next and it was already 6pm! This division had names such as Ben Newson,the UKs Graham Woods, Karin Jaggi and Maciek Rutkowski all experienced PWA wave riders! Add the local legend Glen Alexander plus all the best wave riders from WA and you get the highly explosive mix of radical wave sailors! The level had reached its peak with ridiculously good wave rides, massive backloops, and just overall superb sailing. At the end of the day, the local- Glen Alexander had proved who is the king of Greenhead by winning the Elite final for the 4th time, this time against Graham Woods, who put on a great battle Ivan Zecca took the third spot.
More photos of the Waves event can be found here
A quick rush at sundown to the Greenhead sports club where dinner and the Award ceremony awaited the tired and sore sailors taking it into the late evening. A few hardened individuals partied on with some smoke machine antics from Mr Newson and PJs wild dancing much to the amusement of Mick the Barman!
Sunday’s conditions flattened out for the slalom race in the bay north of the jetty where 15 guys and 1 girl ( Well done, Deb Jones) competed in 20-25 knot conditions. A figure of 8 course was laid and Tim Brazier acted as chief race officer. 5 rounds of slalom were completed with some close racing and some spectacular crashes. Rowan Law dominated the field winning 4/5 rounds and only allowed Jonah Desforges to sneak through for a win when he dropped a gybe on the final mark.
Freestyle was held in anchorage bay, around the north point with 8 competitors and was won by James McCarthy-Price. A more detailed account of the freestyle will be updated later. To see some Pics of the secret flat water spot click here
Congratulations to all the winners and competitors for making it such a great event, thanks to Dave the Plumber, and Max forrest who provided both judging platforms and transport to/from the break during the waves. Thanks to all the Judges, Beach Marshalls and other volunteers who helped with the event. Sponsors E3 (Endurance, Energy and Electrolytes) & G3 (Ginger, Gurana and Ginseng) provided liquid refreshments during the weekend and WindSurfing Perth who donated a huge number of neil pryde goodies and Guy Cribb for providing some intuition DVDs and books. A special thanks to Nolan for the awesome job he did making the trophies and thanks again to WSP for supplying the retro fins used.
Next stop on WWA tour is the Safety Bay marathon, a great way to train for the LOC. See you there!