SHQ Sandy Point Melbourne Cup 2012

Words: Alastair McLeod

I always look forward to the famous Melbourne Cup, but not for the horse racing. Over four days in early November Sailboard Headquarters (SHQ) Boardsports holds the annual Sandy Point Melbourne Cup, and every year we score.

Sandy Point is located about 2 hours South East of Melbourne and is world famous for it’s speed sailing strip on Shallow Inlet, where many world records have been broken. This being said, there is a lot more on offer than just speed sailing. The large Waratah Bay offers some fun beach breaks and seeing the area is one of the windiest on Australia’s South Coast there is plenty of decent wavesailing to be had.

This year the forecast was not looking amazing, with pretty light wind on the cards, but some fun swell for the first few days. However Saturday was showing an Easterly airstream, which can absolutely crank at Sandy Point even when there is no wind anywhere else. It also happens to be perfect cross offshore.

After everyone made the most of the clean waves Saturday morning the wind started to build and by early afternoon we were on! With 15-20 knots fanning the 2-3ft waves it was perfect to race down the line and sneak in some fast turns before punting an aerial off the inside close out. Pure fun. After a quick warm up it was decided to get into the first round of the Victorian Wavesailing Series for the season. Everyone was sailing well and after a few heats I was stoked to make it to the finals and take the win with a couple of decent rides.

While we making the most of the wavesailing, there were still heaps of guys blasting around on Shallow Inlet. With the Neil Pryde and JP Learn to Windsurf Trailer turning up for the event there were boards and sails everywhere as everyone tried out the latest 2013 offerings.

Saturday came to a close after the famous spit roast dinner and raffles. Several people went home with some awesome prizes including a new Neil Pryde Hellcat 6.2, marking the end to a great first day.
Sunday morning dawned, warm, sunny and glassy, with some swell still hanging around. Perfect for everyone to get out on the SUPs! After a while buoys were set, competitors gathered and suddenly the Battle of the Paddle was on! With everyone having to get through the surf on raceboards and then make it around the course it certainly was a challenge. Afterwards the SUP surf competition was held in the fun little waves, and before long everyone was knackered from so much time on the water.

Over Monday and Tuesday the wind stayed light, and with the weather heating up heaps of kids came out to play. It was awesome to see so many kids and families coming down to the Inlet and having a go at windsurfing and Stand Up. Some of them were gibing and tacking in no time – future rippers for sure.

As the long weekend came to a close I think everyone was happy with the great mix of conditions Sandy Point delivered yet again.  A big thank you to the event sponsors Neil Pryde and JP, as well as to all of the SHQ crew for putting on the event!
See you back at Sandy Point next Melbourne Cup.

Event video on YouTube

Photos: Georgia Pignolet, Rob Pignolet, Alastair McLeod