Sunday: 16 Second Weld Road
However the Taranaki Wave Classic is about waves and sailors were frothing over the forecast for Sunday. A clean 16 second period with logo high swell due to rise over the day with sunshine and 25 knot south westerly winds. Taranaki did not disappoint and Weld Road was chosen as the arena for the wave event to begin.
The moves thrown down this year were the most diverse yet. Skilled wave riders were getting multiple aerials on the same wave, goiters, late smacks and plenty of workings. The jumping was up a notch or two from last year with the full array of push loops, forwards, backs, table tops, shove-its and even a shaka being stomped. The only move missing was a rewind - maybe next year!
10 Men Final
The ten man final saw all of these moves landed, Mike La Franchie even managed to land a high back, followed by a clean forward, then a tabletop on consecutive waves on the way out. This jumping along with drawing clean lines on the waves gave Mike the top spot, followed by his younger brother Chris La Franchie. Chris’s wave riding, goiters and forwards made him stand out from the pack.
The Taranaki Wave Classic is such an enjoyable event because the emphasis is on fun.
The Expression Session format gets everyone out on the water free sailing in the usually epic wave conditions. There are no heats, no man-on-man elimination and no stress. This looks awesome from the beach with every wave being shredded down the line by at least one person, and multiple sailors jumping over the same wave going out. The great attitude of the sailors and respect for the rules of the road meant there were no crashes, collisions or other accidents even with the break crowded by sailors of every level.
Thanks to all the sponsors for their ongoing support of the event, and thanks to the organizers for donating their time and passion to keep this long running event going. The 2007 TWC was a great start to the spring/summer windsurfing season. Next year will be bigger and better, so book out Labor weekend 2008 on your calendar now.