Laurence Carey: 2014 New Zealand Slalom Champion

"I am happy to announce that I am the 2014 New Zealand Youth and Men Slalom Champion. I have beaten the 6 times National Champion Gareth Wood after coming 2nd to him last year. It was insane racing and I was very impressed with my new iSonics! I used the iSonic 107 and iSonic 87 during the event and I was amazed with the boards, especially in terms of early planing and acceleration. Anyway, here is a little report about the event:

"The New Zealand Slalom Nationals started on the 5th of February with competitors traveling from all over New Zealand and Japan to compete. The conditions started off with a south-westerly wind which led to very gusty conditions on the first day as the wind was coming over the hills and not down the harbor. Racing was attempted in the afternoon. However, due to the wind being very inconsistent the races were deemed void.

The prevailing wind direction allowed for some great racing on the following day. Most sailors headed out on 7.0m² and 7.8m² with races kicking off at 11 AM. The race format was for scattered heats: 10 rounds were scheduled for each day. I came up against Gareth Wood only twice in the first day which meant it was do or die. I won the first one where it was very aggressive racing. The next race was after the break and Gareth managed to win the pin and I couldn't catch up with him after that. This meant that after the first day of racing, we both finished with equal points..."

"The next day we had stronger winds: the morning started in 7.8m² conditions and all competitors where on 6.3m² or less by the afternoon with winds at a constant 35 knots from 12.30 PM onwards. Again, I won the first race against Gareth which put me in the lead again. However we would race again later in the afternoon. Taylor Boyd, a young up-and-coming sailor) was leading the next race against Gareth however fell at the 4th mark, which gave Gareth the opportunity to overtake and take another bullet. The next two races in which I faced Gareth, he won. But the event was not over. As the afternoon got windier, consistency was crucial and gear was braking all over the race course. Gareth broke a harness line which lead to a 3rd place. This lead to our points being made equal again."

"The final day of racing was not looking very promising as the wind had shifted to the south again leading to light winds. This meant their was a tie break situation. As Gareth and I had both won 17 heats each, we were both on the same number of points, this meant the result would be found through a count-back. As I had a lower count-back I was crowned the 2014 National Slalom Youth and Open Men Champion...!

Kind Regards from New-Zealand!"

Laurence Carey - NZL 252