RE: Life Jackets Required?
In Victoria, Australia, we too have suffered from some overzelous enforcement of Life Jacket wearing regulations that often did not make a lot of sense. Thankfully, some reason has finally prevailed in the new regulations issued at the end of 2005.
It is no longer required to wear a lifejacket on a Kitesurfer or Windsurfer if you are within 400 meters of the shore and wearing a wetsuit that is at least 3mm thick.
I guess if I was sailing out in the middle of Port Phillip Bay I would want to have a lifejacket anyhow. Not many days here where we don't wear at least a 'shorty' wetsuit, even in summer. I don't think the water police are going to measure how thick it is!
It is noticeable that a typical windsurfing wetsuit has pretty much the same amount of floatation as a buoyancy vest.