Fortunately Saturday brought plenty more wind than expected. The organisers were able to run all the kiting, thundercat, slalom racing, mountain boarding and freewave competitions.
The conditions were by no means classic, in fact far from it. The morning was taken up running the junior, youths, amateurs and ladies freewave and Slalom Pro and Open at Yaverland. The fleet sizes were impressive as the conditions were great for racing and freestyle. However the Pro sailors on hand were looking at getting some wavesailing in to contest for the National Wavesailing title. The King brothers, as usual were at the site at 8.30 wanting to look for conditions, however there was only one judging team and the pro\’s had to wait for the freewave competition to be complete. Richard Potter won the juniors, Graham Woods the Youths and Tanya Saleh the ladies. There were some very impressive performances throughout all the fleets, a promising sign of the future.
The Slalom saw intense battles between the former UK champions Dan Ellis and Alan Jackson, against the current UK champion Keith Atkinson. The short downwind slalom course left no room for error. The start was in much lighter winds, the first buoy was probably double the strength. Rob Stack made good of the challenge fleet.
Meanwhile the Pro\’s were hearing that Niton had in fact been producing the goods, and it could be a little too late. The usual rush to find the place was on. Arrival saw time running out as the tide was flooding in. The plan was to get out as soon as possible and run a 15 minute expression session. There were some waves and fairly sizeable lumps, but these were inconsistent and conditions were deterioating rapidly. The diminished fleet took to the water and did there best to make the most of the lame conditions.
The jump ramps were far out to sea, and often the best jumps were easy to miss. The overall impression format allowed for a bit of freestyle ingenuity. Ben Proffit was lucky enough to get a decent wave and scored the highest on this, whilst Andy King and Chris Audsley made good of the ramps with some big forward loops and pushloops. Ben Proffit pulled off a shaka, some backloops and a forward loop to sway the judges to first place. Andy King meanwhile hit a big ramp out to sea and nailed a double forward on his 5.7 which he waterstarted away from. Unfortunately for him this was apparently just out of time, although without the usual flags on the beach to indicate how long was left, or indeed when the heat started you could understand the frustration out there. In the end Ben Proffit claimed the title, with Chris Audsley in 2nd and Andy King in 3rd. Richard Potter and Clyde Waite made up the top 5.