Kendall and Ashley win Windsurf Nationals
2008 RS:X World Championship
Takapuna Boating Club, North Shore City, Auckland, New Zealand - 10th – 20th January 2008
By: Jodie Bakewell-White
Kendall and Ashley win Nationals against stiff competition
The kiwi windsurfers came out on top at the RS:X Olympic class windsurfing National Championships which concluded yesterday off Takapuna Beach, North Shore City. Barbara Kendall won the Women’s and Tom Ashley won the Men’s against tough international competition.
Barbara Kendall has won the national women’s title more times than even she can count but few would be more satisfying than this year with the level of competition on the water. With the RS:X World Championships now less than one month from kick-off, Takapuna is awash with top international windsurfers and 35 women from 15 countries took part in the weekend’s nationals to get a taste of what Takapuna will offer in January.
Kendall’s long-time rival Alessandra Sensini of Italy proved to be the kiwi legend’s toughest opponent on home waters, but it was Kendall who prevailed on the final two days of the three day regatta to take the championship. Sensini was second and Romy Kinzl of Germany was third.
Just one point separated Kendall and Sensini at the close of competition yesterday - after eight races in total, Kendall finished with fifteen points including five race wins, while Sensini finished with sixteen points.
Tom Ashley came through on top in the Men’s division which was contested by 48 windsurfers from around the globe. However it didn’t come easily for Ashley either whose winning margin at the conclusion of the regatta was a narrow two points over Julian Bontemps of France. Casper Bouman of the Netherlands was also in the hunt for the title but ended up five points adrift of Bontemps in third place.
The men sailed nine races over the three day event in which Ashley clocked up four race wins, never finishing outside the top seven places.
Women’s Division Top Five Results
1st - Barbara Kendall NZL (15 points)
2nd – Alessandra Sensini ITA (16 points)
3rd – Romy Kinzl GER (16 points)
4th – Blanca Manchon ESP (37 points)
5th – Flavia Tartaglini ITA (38 points)
Men’s Division Top Five Results
1st – Tom Ashley NZL (21 points)
2nd – Julian Bontemps FRA (23 points)
3rd – Casper Bouman (27 points)
4th – Joao Rodrigues POR (47 points)
5th – Dorian van Rijsselberge NED (51 points)
The RS:X Olympic Class World Championships 2008
Less than one month from now the RS:X World Championships start, and the number of windsurfers on the waters off Takapuna Beach will swell to around 200. With 120 competitors in the Men’s fleet and 80 in the women’s, the Worlds in January promises to be a windsurfing spectacle not seen before in New Zealand.
more information see… http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2008.html
About the Neil Pryde RS:X Board
The RS:X is
a tightly controlled One-Design class selected by ISAF for
use at the 2008 Olympic Regatta and probably also for 2012.
Racers therefore all use the same equipment. In Qingdao,
China where the board is being sailed in the Olympics for
the very first time, Neil Pryde, the manufacturer, will
supply the equipment.
Previous World Championships have been held in Lake Garda, Italy (September 2006) and Cascais, Portugal (July 2007 – part of the ISAF World Championships for Olympic Classes) Takapuna, North Shore City is therefore the third ever worlds for the RS:X and the first time that any Olympic windsurfing Worlds has ever been held in New Zealand.
Further information is available from:
2008 RS:X World Championship website: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2008.html