TWC 2002 Report


by Mark Hollenstein
The Taranaki Wave Classic 2002, lived up to it’s expectations, as being the biggest and most fun windsurfing event in New Zealand. Due to improved promotion of the event compared to previous years, a large contingent of about 10 Australian wavesailors ventured across the Tasman to specifically take part in this event. They turned out to be a great bunch, going all out on the water as well as being insane party animals. There were also entries from Europe, which gave the contest a nice “international” feel and which would promise some good competition in the nearly 70 entries.

The wind was pretty much up and down during the majority of event days, however, it was enough to provide for 2 solid days of competition. The event officially started with Friday being registration and warm up day. As it turned out this was to be the only unsailable day of the week, which provided a good rest for those who had arrived the weekend before and had basically made pigs out of themselves, scoring day after day of perfect wavesailing conditions throughout the whole week.


Half of the Australian crew had to be dragged out of bed at the Wave Haven after a big night out in town, they all seemed very confused and were struggling to complete the simple task of filling out the entry forms.

2002_04It was decided to run the 1st prelim round at Waitara. The wind was gusting around 15 kn SW with some nice swells rolling through. The large contingent of Australian sailors and variuos Taranaki specialists seemed used to porttack and were the favourites, tearing up the waves that were to be had and showing a good variety of advanced jumps such as pushloops, frontloops and backloops.

Highlights of the day included some very impressive pushloops by Australian pro sailor Ben Severne and a mid air collision between two sailors, one trying to backloop, the other doing a forward. Luckily there was no carnage. A few hours later, dare devil Craig Mc Creary, planted his jetski directly into the beach in an insane stunt, resulting in a trip to the hospital with a bruised hip.

2002_03At the end of Saturday it was nearly an all Australian top 10 with Ben Severne well in the lead and Dan Berry sitting in second. The day was finished off with a well deserved BBQ and beers at the beach.


Sunday allowed for a second elimination expression session, as well as the final “Supersession”, containing the overall best sailors of any previous sailing. Kina Rd was the call of the day, with conditions a bit on the light side, but with most sailors owning lightwind boards and sails they were able to make the most out of the conitions. After several hours, the judges were able to run a 13 man /4 women supersession final.

2002_02The instructions were clear… go for it for a full 1 hour, the 6 best moves would be counted, be it waverides, jumps or tricks. With the obvious lack of classic waves and limited possibilities for powerful waveriding, it was going to be an all out jumping session.

Before the final was started, competitors were put on hold briefly as the wind had temporarily dropped back. Luckily it filled in again as the sun came out and it was all on. NZL666 (one of the new young faces) went down early due to a broken mast, which was unlucky as he was rerally going for it. The final result went to Dan Berry from Australia, closely followed by Clayton Dougan from Wellington. These were the two sailors in the finals who stood out from the rest with their consistency and height during their jumps.


The event finished off with a party at Butler’s Cafe & Bar in Oakura on Sunday night. There was a big screen video recap of the weekend’s sailing by and a BBQ as well as two live bands who were really making the place alive. 2002_05
The atmosphere was great, culminating in the traditional spotprize give away. This time it was lucky dude Mick Westra from Australia taking away a brand spanking new Carbon Art waveboard. Further noticeable prizes were a Hotsails Maui sail, North Boom and Harness and a boardbag from stash-it etc.
Everyone was pretty stoked and in a nutshell, the event was bigger and better than in previous years, with everyone looking forward to doing it all over again next year.2002_06

The final results of the event are as follows     



  1. Dan Berry (Australia)
  2. Clayton Dougan (NZ – Wellington)
  3. Chris Norris (NZ – Wellington)
  4. Ben Severne (Australia)
  5. James Court (NZ – Wellington)
  6. Quentin Bye (Australia)
  7. Aaron Constable (Australia)
  8. Daryn Jones (NZ – Auckland)
  9. Geoff Sutton (Australia)
  10. Trent Petersen (NZ – Auckland



  1. Simone Hollenstein (NZ – Wellington)
  2. Bronwyn Ward (NZ – Wellington)
  3. Shona Lee (NZ – Taranaki)

Thanks to the organizing committee (James Dinnis, Chris Brown, Mark Hollenstein, Aaron Constable) and to all the sponsors of the event!