There has been some great racing down in Mexico the last three days in Puerto Villarta with most of the heavies from the last World Championships in San Fran. Briefly: Day 1 had Adam Koch (Ozone) and Damien Leroy (Cabrinha) fight it out.
Day two: Sean Farley (North) the Local Boy Shines with a 1,1,3
Day Three: Damien Leroy takes three firsts to move back up to third just two points back of Adam Koch and Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha) .
Good reports from Kent. It seems a very competitive series, with Sean Farley's race craft sometimes helping him to win. Damo seems to have taken Bruno's crown as the guy to beat, if the wind is blowing and steady, and Adam Koch is also good enough to take wins. Kent is a Cab rider, so that has to be taken into account, but it was an interesting statement to say the Xbow 13m had more power than the Ozone 17m.
From Kent's analysis, he was saying Sean can still win if he won races 10, 11 and 12. Damo is in a good position if they run a 10th race, and if there is no more racing Adam will win over Bruno because he has one more first place.
In the ladies, its simple - North rider Steph Bridge by a mile.
In terms of equipment, so far, its looking good for the Xbow kite and the Aguera boards, but Ozone and North are also in the mix.
Did Cabrinha tweak the 2010 Xbow to make it better for racing ( and did that then lose it something for the normal freerider compared to the 2009)? Will the other manufacturers produce kites designed to mainly be used as race kites? Will there have to be super light wind race kites that stay in the air and can relaunch in 5 knots?
I think there may have to be a lower limit set for racing, to keep things practical (they did that with windsurfing racing and it worked OK).
Hi Ronnie, I am not sure about the 2010 Crossbow compared to the 2009? I just started kitting again after a 4 year layoff. I have only been using the 2010.
It seems to be a great kite though and not just for racing. I used the 7m the last 4 days in heavy 30-35kt Maui conditions for wave riding and boosting on my Jimmy Lewis 5'8" kite surfboard. I can ride pretty well with this kite with the Pro Upgrade lines (makes kites turn faster). I really like jumping high and the Crossbow gets seriously high!! I think I have hit some 40-50 footers this week!! I need to get a Go Pro hero cam and get some altitude pics...With the wide angle cam, it might look like you are in a helicopter..
Back to the racing at PV: Kent says they get throwout #2 after the next race (#10) and today they have three more races scheduled since yesterday there were no races completed. Today is the last day of Competition, I think..
I have the 2009 13m and 10m Xbows, which may have slightly more range, bottom end, and better relaunch, than the 2010's which are maybe better for turning and top speed ( from what I have read ). Slight differences, but surprising they changed the new kites after only one year, when the kites themselves (not the bar) were getting good reports.
Here's a big jump but the camera may not have a fisheye lens like the Gopro.
Day five of the North American Championships had no more races. There must have been some scoring errors on previous printout from the Race Comitteee, because this one is different.. Here are the Final Results for the men:
NORTH AMERICAN KITEBOARD COURSE RACING CHAMPIONSHIP 2010 - FINAL OVERALL RESULTS
Name Country 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total Email 1 Adam Koch USA 2 7 1 1 2 7 2 3 3 21 2 Bruno Sroka FRA 5 1 9 2 3 3 3 2 2 21 3 Damien LeRoy USA 1 9 2 4 4 8 1 1 1 22 4 Sean Farley Gomez MEX 9 3 3 3 1 1 8 8 5 32 5 Julien Kerneur FRA 4 5 6 5 7 4 4 4 6 38 6 Johnny Heineken USA 7 2 4 7 6 5 6 5 4 39 7 Michael Gebhart USA 3 4 8 6 5 6 10 7 DNF 49 8 Kent Marinkovic USA 10 10 5 8 8 4 5 6 7 53 9 Cameron Biehl USA 9 8 10 10 9 DNF 10 10 9 57 10 Chip Wasson USA 8 6 7 9 DNF 9 9 9 8 65 11 Donald Parker USA 12 12 DNF DNF 10 DNF 11 11 11 93 12 Andrew Koch USA 13 11 DNF DNF 11 DNF 12 12 10 95
Here are the Ladies Final Results 1 Steph Bridge GBR 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 2 Melissa Gil USA 2 2 1 2 3 DNF 2 2 3 17 3 Sandy Parker USA 1 3 DNF 3 2 DNF 3 3 2 23 4 Rainbow Monds CAN DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF 48 5 Rachel MEX DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF 48
I just want to clarify my comments about range. This is something that we have seen from La Ventana as well as PV. In truth, we never laid a Cab over an Ozone to actually see if the Cab was larger, but it was pretty evident that the Ozone guys always had to run 17's if we were on 13's and they ran 13's when we were on 11's.
In a breeze that would always die quickly at the end of the day, they also seemed to have a hard time hanging on to their larger kites as the wind fell. In the instances whereby Bruno and / or Damo went with 16's, there as really no larger answer for the other guys. This being said, Adam won on an Ozone. The kite he was using was a proto and clearly seemed better than the other kites of the same brand. Adam made very good use equipment and i believe that along with his skill the kite kept him in the ball game.
It seemed as though in the breeze that Damo, Adam, Farley, and Bruno where all very competitive and i wouldn't be surprised to see any one of them come up with a win. If the wind dropped to Cab 13's (Ozone 17's), it seemed to be far less competitive. If it went one step farther and the Cab's had to go with 16's, the only other kite that I saw going was a proto North of Farley's (a 15 i believe).
The 2 races that were canceled Damo and Bruno where well in the lead, but it's fair to say that it was probably too light to continue as many kites hit the water and there were huge holes everywhere.
In the end, when there was wind, it seemed that the best riders always won. When it got a bit light, even the best riders needed different gear to be competitive. I'm sure the Ozone guys will all be riding the new protos at the worlds and that the top Cab guys will probably be on the new Cab race kite (for those that can get them)
The event was great and it was impressive to be riding fully powered in 6-7 knots of wind. I'll try to post some video.
I am keeping an eye on what works in light winds, to see if it is worth buying race gear for light winds. At some point, the gear gets too light and specialised for it to be worth buying. At the moment, there are no limits beyond the kites falling out of the sky and not relaunching, and I suppose we have to let them experiment and maybe we will see kites relaunching in 5 knots.
What is going to be the deciding factor in races? Will they abandon only when kites drop from the sky and cannot relaunch, or is there going to be a cancellation because although they can keep the kites in the air, that is all they can do and they cannot race properly (say downwind)? Would they then run the equivalent of the Windsurfing PWA slalom series with a ZigZag slightly downwind slalom course? Is relaunch maybe not going to be a factor in racing?
We never see much discussion on racing, so all these things are mysteries to those not racing.
Racing actually seems to be growing, along with interest in waves, so I expect development will continue to be fast, until it plateau's, and we start to see a standard develop. At the moment, the practical freeride limit seems to be about 8 knots, and the race limit 6 knots. I'd be happy with 6 knot race gear that was slightly more expensive than the average kite and board. The current North LTD and Xbow 13m are about the right price now.
Thanks again for the info and good luck in the World's
I was wondering if anyone can comment on the current trend in raceboards/fins? I am very interested in getting into racing this year. It seems as though most boards are around 6 ft. x 20 in? Is this correct? Apparently the top three riders at PV were using Aguera designs. He makes a 53 cm(20.86 in.) and a 59 cm(23.22 in.)? Has the trend gone wider? Obviously there are lots of factors like rider size etc. I weigh 235 lbs. and have been kiting on a Mike's lab which is 6'x19.75" I suspect I need a wider board for light air? The board has Curtis hammer fins but there were no fin boxes in front for a four fin set-up. Are four fins not needed for the Curtis hammer fins? I am tentatively planning on racing in Texas and have been diligently reading the racing rules. All 80 pages of it! Do you really have to memorize all those flags? Geez!! Thx!!!
Although the rules read that the wind must be an average of 4 knots at the start, I don't believe that we can race in this year. I can say however that 5 -6 knots is perfectly fine given that current isn't a problem.
The deal is that if they get a start off and I think 15% of the fleet finishes with in the time limit that it counts. We actually started 2 races in PV that were abandon due to dropping winds. Damo and Bruno were well ahead in the first one when Bruno's kite fell out around the bottom mark. Damo's soon fell as well. Farley was next, but made it back to the beach. Adam and I limped in with winds ranging as low as 2-3. We weren't on a plane, but if we kept the kites looping we could make it in.
Race organizers tired to get a race off on Saturday and started the sequence in 7-8 knots. In this wind the top guys were all fully powered going up wind but had to work pretty hard off the breeze. About 35 seconds before the start, the wind dropped out on the starboard side of the course and left several of us out. Damo, Bruno, and Farley were really the only 3 that were powered up wind. I believe that they may have actually been able to finish that race, but if they sailed into any of the 3-4 knot holes it would have been over for them. My kite fell out and I took the 35 minute swim back to the beach.
Regarding boards, I'm not sure that 19 or 20 inches is competitive at this point. Maybe slim boards will work in windy texas with large chop, but it seems as though Alex has the rocker nailed and the 23's can work well in this stuff. This being said, 19 to 20 inch boards are still excellent light wind boards and still fun to ride.
I think that the jury is still out on fins and I doubt that many of the top guys will give much info in this area. I haven't however seen anyone competitive on 2 fins yet so i guess this year will stay at 4 again. Most good boards are riding flat and it seems as though if you are edging, you're out up wind for sure.
If you are thinking about texas, do it for sure. Like me, you will learn more in a few days than you will learn all year riding alone. Most of the guys are really nice and have pretty unique ideas as to what will work. Gebi, Damo, and others are still pretty open and will surely help to push any new racer in the right direction.
Yep, learn the rules as they will be fully enforced at this event. To be honest though, I doubt that you will run into many problems as most come in the start. It always takes some time to actually get up the confidence to mix it up on the line and therefore most confrontations will likely be avoided until your are pushing the line. I'd probably stay away from port tack starts until you are competitive for top 5 around the windward mark. I got caught out on a port start in PV during the first race and had to take a penalty along with Farley and Bridge.
Make sure you understand windward / leeward rules along with port / starboard. I'd also make sure that you understand that you lose right when tacking and don't gain starboard rights until the tack is completed while also allowing port tackers to keep clear. There are some odd rules when heading down wind due partially due to the somewhat difficult task of telling which rider is on starboard or port when kites are looping and boards are heading very low both heel side and toe side. Most commonly you will run into port and starboard off the wind along with windward / leeward.
The starts get pretty anxious but in the end are the most fun part of the race for me. Work on your tacks and determine which style you will employ. I currently use the Damo style and come out with lines crossed, but I'm switching to the Bruno style whereby the lines end straight. Both seem to work well, but if you mess up on the Bruno style, you generally end up on the windward side of the board (easy to get going again). Jibing down wind is also key if you bail over the front it can cost you 100 meters or more against other riders at these speeds. Get your quads strong because they will be screaming both up wind and down in the windy conditions.
Racing is growing very fast and unlike freestyle, age isn't really that important. See you in Texas.