Wavesailing championships at Gerroa

WAVESAILING

Wavesailing champions Michael Westra and Brett Goodwin are expected to benefit from their knowledge of local conditions when the NSW Wavesailing Association state championships resume at Gerroa today.

Goodwin, a Gerroa local, and Westra, a former national titleholder from Windang, are tipped to fight it out for the open title with 20-year-old rising star Forrest Ladkin.

Westra, who is also the event organiser, said Gerroa hosted last year's national championships and is one of the sport's spiritual homes in NSW.

"It's the natural phenomenon of the area," he said.

"The sea breeze at Gerroa and at Seven Mile Beach is stronger than the rest of the coast.

"If it's a proper south swell, the waves are pretty big and smooth. It's where everyone travels to. If it's going to be on, this is the spot."

Westra's home break of Windang is a back-up venue, and he believes local knowledge should come to the fore when finals begin tomorrow.

"Brett [Goodwin] is a local guy . . . so he's got a bit of a home advantage," he said.

"In the masters, we've got eight-time national champion Warren Holder and he's from Gerroa as well."

Judging for the event is based on three wave scores out of 10, like a traditional surfing competition. But wavesailing has the added spectacle of aerial tricks, as competitors navigate the break on their way out.

"You're judged on your three best waves, which are scored out of 10 for how you surf the wave," Westra said.

"In conjunction with that, you're judged on jumps on the way out as well, so forward loops, backward loops, those sort of things - you're getting judged for the two aspects."

Westra said the favourable conditions forecast for the weekend would suggest some solid competition.

"The rest of the weekend looks like it's going to be pretty good conditions for sailing," he said.

"It's quite stormy and rainy, but it's meant to be windy.

"There's a little bit bigger waves coming as well, so we should see some good action."

A spectacular round of finals begin tomorrow and continue into Sunday.

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