In the middle of June the Australian Green Island Nationals were held on Green Island, which is located in the beautiful Great Barrier Reef just 27 kms of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Maeli Cherel reports from the event.
Shaka action on Green Island, 2015
A report by Maeli Cherel
Granted, it was a few months ago – time flies – but I figured all the PWA stuff would be the main focus on the media – so best to wait till all of that was over. Freestylers are a rare species in Australia. And yet, in June, fifteen of us travelled from all over the country to compete in the Australian Nationals. The event, now in it’s third year, is held on Green Island just off Cairns on the great barrier reef. Think: crystal clear turquoise water, multi coloured colours and all sorts of marine life. It also happens to be windy. It’s a real flat-water windsurfing paradise.
Author Maeli Cherel in action
This year the event attracted over 25 slalom sailors who raced all week to fight for a place on the podium. Alongside this, the ever growing freestyle crew – inluding a youth division – put on an impressive display as they battled through heat after heat. The week was filled with explosive action with riders pulling off power moves right, left and centre. Despite some tropical rain storms, the conditions were good enough all week for us to run three single and double eliminations.
In the end it was Alistair Bentley, who claimed first place, closely followed by Maxime Ploumis and Dave Williams. In the Youth Division fourteen year old Alex Halank put on an impressive display of smoothly slidey moves, showing us all that windsurfing is not a dying sport.
Green Island, a real freestyle paradise in the Great Barrier Reef
1. Alistair Bentley 2. Maxime Ploumis 3. Dave Williams 4. Steve Hackey 5. Nick Bentley
1. Alex Halank 2. Rhys Mooy 3. Elli Halank
In the Slalom discipline Jesper Vesterstrom won the event, which saw 5 rounds. Jesper Orth made it in 2nd and Sean O’Brien finished in third. 28 riders did compete in the Slalom.
More infos about all disciplines and the event here