The event last year was called the Dirty Second, so when they called for suggestions for a name for this years event, the Dirty T#rd came to my mind immediately. Despite constant harassment from me the event organisers chose the 33 and a /13rd as the event name haha! This event started out as a windsurfing only event, then back in 2001 or so kiters were invited to attend, 12 years on and SUP is now equal to or bigger than kiting and windsurfing entries are a long way back in 3rd place. Still, there is much respect for the windsurfing pioneers and heritage of the club, and the event would not exist if it were not for the passion and efforts of the Merrimbula Sailboard Club members.
The weather forecast this year probably had a lot to do with the lower than expected attendance, Sydney and entire East Coast has been getting lashed by heavy rains and flooding, the week before the place was on fire, and almost all animals here have a strong desire to kill humans, got to love Astraya! The Ozone team decided to go a day early this year, glad we did as Thursday was excellent winds, light rain at times, and small wind swell from the NE, Friday was a repeat of Thursday. The weather on Thursday and Friday meant that most people decided to kite somewhere other than at Merrimbula main beach as the NE is very gusty there so people were spread out from Tathra down to Pambula.
Saturday greeted us with blue skies and a glass off till around 11.00am, which was perfect for the SUP crew when a light front kicked in and kiters and windsurfers were able to sail at main beach. The East wind slowly turned SE over the course of the day with a light SE front line moving through about 3.00pm and giving kiteable conditions for about 90 mins, the wind dropping to well under 10 knots by later afternoon, so it became beer o’clock. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday except late in the afternoon a southerly kicked in with horizontal rain, too late for most as they needed to get to the local bowling club rooms for the awards and presentation night.
The awards ceremony revealed that numbers were not that much down on previous years, as the room was pretty full, more than 220 entries were recorded. Ozone and Kitepower riders were strongly represented in many classes, Leo Loro taking second in the Mens Open and winning the Horizon Big Air division which came with $500 cash with Alex Lewis-Hughes taking fourth place in the Mens Open. Cronulla local Brad Hampson, picked up the Ozone Reo 9M donated by Ozone kites Australia and Kitepower, and also the Gary McKenzie-Smith trophy traditionally awarded to an amateur for excellence in wave riding. Aaron Kenny won an encouragement award from Smook Boards and went home very pleased with a brand new 4′8″ surfboard, Aaron is 12yo and rips!