Wind, waves and a lots of stoked riders blew through Jupiter yet again
for the fourth annual Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion!
Fun times were had by all on the beach, waves and parties at night.
The level of competition was impressive not just among the regular competitive riders but also among non-pro kiters.
NOTE: version with full sized images HERE
Alex catches one. Alex competes regularly throughout Florida, particularly in the recent extreme downwinder races, it shows.
A big thanks to the organizers, Jeremy with Jupiter Kiteboarding, Neil with XRATED KITEBOARDING, Garry and Todd with Adventure Sports and David Loop. David traveled all the way from Maryland to help make this event a success. The guys are shown here in the Captain's Meeting. Neil has become synonymous with kiting competitions, particularly in Florida. He has been leading the USA and perhaps the world in innovative concepts in kiting competitions. Wonder what Neil is thinking of putting on next, hmmm? Garry, Todd and Adventure Sports/Cabrinha are participants at times but almost always supporters of competitions in Florida. If not for the vision and hard work of Jeremy, none of us would have likely been here enjoying this excellent event for a FOURTH year running. Thanks to one and all!
Day I despite forecasts for winds starting at 20 kts. was fairly light and uneven. There were some very nice wave sets moving through however. I have often thought it should be against the laws of nature to have waves without enough wind to blast through them. Then again, I don't surf much! Competition was put on hold pending more wind which didn't arrive until Day II.
Dave smacks the lip and rides on. Dave, a capable long term rider at 15 years, helped out in the rescue of three people that landed in heavy seas after their boat floundered and sank. More at: HERE
The King and Queen of the Prom, or more accurately the first place winners of the Pro Men and Women's categories. Damien riding for Cabrinha, former olympian skier and the lovely and talented Melissa riding JN gear. Damien has been ripping in a big way all over for years, has been highly placed in the PKRA and is an icon at Cabrinha. Melissa is a regular at Florida kiting competitions and handly won last year's Kite4Girls in Miami, more at: HERE
Just do a key word search for either one (and many other folks shown here) with ricki as an author and you'll find lots of past photos.
Jon Modica, Damien Leroy and others went surfing the first day. Jon is a hometown favorite in Jupiter and also rides very capably for Cabrinha and competing regularly. Looking good!
Dimitri and Damien have a surf/kite-off. This one was a tie and no blood was drawn. Next time, kite jousting with swim noodles at 30 kts.!
Andy Hurdman riding for Best, stops in midair. Andy, like so many others has been a core rider at competitions both in Florida and beyond for many years. His distinctive motion earned him the nickname "grasshopper." He won the recent world record 60 mile race from Jupiter to Ft. Lauderdale. He almost didn't make it when he lost his vision temporarily!? Demion running neck and neck with him talked him into continuing and following the sound of his travel. Fortunately, Andy's vision cleared in a few minutes and went on to make the finish. More at: HERE
Demion ripping it up in some swells on Day I. He is a strong rider out of Ft. Lauderdale and a regular at kiting events throughout the state. He recently came in a close second in the extreme 60 mile race from Jupiter to Ft. Lauderdale, more at: HERE
I learned at one of the parties that he had a rough session this day. His kite was on the water and he elected to pull his lines in. A wave grabbed his kite and his lines grabbed ...
You get the idea. I didn't catch a couple of nice cuts on his fingers. Two kite lines broke thankfully defusing the emergency. Demion initially concluded that his fingers had been pulled off. It has happened before. Don't be anywhere near your lines when your kite is down in waves.
Jessie riding for Cabrinha catches one. Jessie has been a fixture at many kiting events throughout Florida along with past Jupiter Invasions. You'll see lots of great shots of him going off from the Keys through Jupiter. No wonder he goes by "Hollywood Jessie." Of course being featured on an MTV episode didn't hurt either. His girlfriend, Ali, also appears in lots of photos from past kite events and is featured in this years Ft. Lauderdale Beach Calendar
. A special photo project that I took on last fall.
George from Kiteflix at his camera and doing his art. George has created so many excellent videos over many years with singular editing and scores. Some great DVDs have come out of his efforts as well. Give yourself a treat and checkout the clips. Some of the past ones from Jupiter and elsewhere have been truly inspired. HERE
Billy Blackman has been hitting kiting events in South Florida since the start. Billy is an accomplished surfer and waterman in addition to being a well experienced hand with kites. We talked him into being the experienced kite handler onboard the support boat for the Bimini Crossing. Next time I think he'll be riding via kite though.
Stacey riding for Best is very active in competitions all over. She is a driven and talented rider. She won the distinction of being the first woman to kite from Florida to the Bahamas in Neil's incredible race last year. At the time I thought she just might keep on riding past the Biminis all the way to Chub Cay on the Tounge of the Ocean. More at: HERE
Stacey hangs out as Dave rips along the shore. Dave is a Jupiter local and regular competitor at the Invasion.
Packet, a native of South Africa loops in front of Dave. Packet rode strong throughout the competition capturing first place in the Amateur division.
Melissa gets ready for the women's heat as Chris strolls upwind from the surf.
Dimitri came to town yet again. A resident of OBX, he has frequently been at kiting events in Florida and all over since the start. He is a well known figure in kiting worldwide. This time he debued his new company, Eclipse Kites along with a ton of demo kites and riding gear from his other concern, Skywalker Kiteboards. More about the new gear brought to the event in addition to closeup photos in another post.
Andrea strolls upwind to have a go at the surf. Andrea has been a regular at Florida kiting events for some time as well. She graciously consented to act as kiting model during a shoot out on the Flats of Miami for me a while back. More at: HERE
Damien squared for action and driving hard.
Melissa looping along
Doug is a regular at Florida launches and competitions for part of the year hailing from the Great White North. Doug also pulled folks out of the water during the rescue described above under Dave's account.
The future runs back up wind in the heat of competition. OBX natives Morgan riding for Airush and Evan. I can remember someone pointing a much younger Morgan out to me on Cabarete in 2001. She's still young too, go figure! Anyway, she was working on staying upwind and from all I have heard has gone far beyond that in competitions all over.
Jessie gives Matt a tow upwind. Matt is the newest team rider for Eclipse Kites at 12 years.
Zach strides back on his own at speed. I've seen this hard rider gain a third in height over the years of competition or so it seems. He shows up in a lot of shots from competitions all over Florida, particularly in this one from four years ago in Islamorada: HERE
Chris in from the Exumas in Out Islands of the Bahamas. He works with http://www.cross-shore.com/
supporting kiting operations in the archipelago. Rough venue but someone has to do it!
Morgan and Evan give Dimitri a tow back upwind as well.
Demion mulls over strategy as Dave books in the background
The problem with shorebreak is that it does
Andy, Stacey and Zach walk upwind. This was on Day I, can you tell?
Mike Bradley is very at home on a strapless surfboard tearing it up in the surf. At last years competition he created no end of incredible images in the surf. More at: HERE
So, that's a look at this year's Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion. There are still more photos and deserving riders to be shown and described. Hope to come back with round two to share more from the wind and waves of Jupiter.
Whaaaa .... that's all folks!
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