La Ventana KiteFoil Gold Cup Wrap-Ups from Johnny and Cynthia
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The first stop of The Kite Hydrofoil Gold Cup was just held in La Ventana Mexico, BCS, and hosted by Playa Central. Thirty of the best foilers in the world, from 8 different countries, were treated to four days of racing with warm water and excellent breeze.
The first four races of fleet qualifiers were held in light 5-10 mph Straight onshore winds. Getting off the beach and around the two lap course within the time limit proved tricky with the occasional 6mph wind minimum toying with the kites. The new Ozone Chrono 15m ram air was a steady beacon in the sky and frankly schooled the 19m blimps.
The next day produced a good side on Norte with smooth winds in the 12-18 mph range. Both fleets sailed 4 races
On Sunday the wind Gods blew with a vengeance, creating dangerous off shore conditions ranging from 5-40mph. Thankfully racing was cancelled as one of the top French riders had “the gnarliest wipeout of his life”. Some other riders did brave the waters for a ‘Big Air’ exhibition, and the spectators were treated to some massive foiling heights as well as a snapped board, and a shredded kite.
The final day started out puffy and then ramped up to be solid 16-22mph with all the guys rigging down to their 7ms for the final races. The starts were fast and exciting, with many instances of guys Port tacking the fleet. After the final race, the guys threw down some insane foil freestyle with massive back loop kite loops, board offs, one footers, etc.
The Ozone standouts of the event were:
Johnny Heineken 2nd place Gold Fleet
Bryan Lake 6th place Gold Fleet
Gabor Vagi 1st place Grand Masters, 14th place Gold Fleet
Alvaro Cadena 13th Place Gold Fleet
Nico Landauer 15th Place Gold Fleet
Benjamin Petit 1st place silver Fleet
Alex Aguera 2nd place Silver Fleet
Chip Wasson 3rd Place Silver Fleet
Cynthia Brown 2nd Place Women’s
Catherine Dufour 3rd Place Women’s
FINAL RESULTS - http://sailwave.com/results/kitefoilgoldcup2014/finalsseries.htm
I’m just back from the first event of the 2014 KiteFoil Gold Cup in La Ventana, Mexico. It was awesome to get down to Baja for a week as I missed my annual trip down with the Bay Area crew this year.
We really scored with the conditions, seeing a wide range from a relatively light qualifying day to many 7m races during the final series. I was really happy with my performance in the light air qualifiers–while my upwind angle wasn’t quite as good as Maxime, Nico, and Julien, I was able to pull of second place finishes if I sailed smart and avoided big wipe-outs. Maxime was pretty unstoppable in those conditions and qualified in the lead.
The final series was held in almost all 7m conditions. I have to say this really was the most fun racing I’ve done in a while. The starts are pretty radical–full speed yet nearly silent until someone tweaked out and exploded. I was happy to see my upwind speed was more competitive in the bigger breeze and I was able to win many of the first beats. Downwind, however, was another story. I’m not sure if it was just lack of time on the board leading up to the event or subtle equipment tuning issues, but I was a wreck! It felt like nearly every race on the last day I would round the top mark in first, and maybe hold onto the lead for a lap, but eventually explode to watch Maxime sail right by. I’ve gotta give him credit, I’m not sure I saw him fall once!
Big congrats to entire Ozone team at the event. Bernie almost cracked the top 5, Chip came on really strong in the Silver Fleet with a bullet on the last day, and Cynbad Brown killed it finishing second woman overall! Erika has got some work to do to catch up…
Thanks to Cynthia and Kent for hosting us, to Robbie and Jess for squeezing in as much racing as possible, and Playa Central for opening their doors to the first of the KiteFoil tour events!
1: Maxime Nocher (FRA)
2: Johnny Heineken (USA)
3: Nicolas Parlier (FRA)
4: Julien Kuerner (FRA)
5: Joey Pasquali (USA)
6: Bryan Lake (USA)
Back in SF now and it feels like summer. The westerly is building and I’m heading down to the beach to practice sailing downhill!