Our portion of the Cabrinha Team made it to Corpus yesterday. I met up with Damo and Melissa in Dallas and shared a flight the rest of the way. Garry Menk was waiting at the airport when we arrived as his flight had just landed. After shoving all of the gear into a mid sized taxi we were off to our secret beach side training grounds!
Surprise, surprise... upon arriving our secret lair we noted that the color of the buildings were far different from those on the website (as was the condition of the building). After an interesting check in process whereby the manager sternly requested payment before we were actually able to see the room, we were starting to think twice about our choice. Thankfully Damo had more patience that I and we were able to survey the situation before paying. I have stayed in worse, but not since Jr. high school. All I can say is that "it's small, but dirty". Damo and I kept trying to reassure ourselves that this is the best for training and that the sheets at least looked clean. We put it behind and started to look forward!
We quickly put together our boards and Garry and I hit the water for a light 11 meter session. As I pretty much dialed in my stuff weeks ago, I was just looking for some leg burn and to get used to my PFD as they are required for this event. Garry on the other hand had just finished his new board and needed to dial in fins and foot strap positions. Fortunately, Damo decided to hang on the beach to play pit crew for him. After 2 fin swaps and a foot strap alteration, Garry was in the zone.
While Garry and Damo were testing, I decided to cross the bay to ride at the race venue (about 4 miles and crosses a major shipping lane). I could see a few kites in the distance lining up. They looked to have launched off Oleander. I ran into Gebi and we did a few tests upwind and then launched into a few half hearted down wind runs. The chop was larger than Miami for the same conditions, but pretty easy to get used to. I'm sure windy 9 meter or with the wind a bit more onshore, this place will be interesting. I have raced here probably more than most of the riders as we used to come to windsurf at the US Open, so I'm familiar with the location, but the boards we raced back then were longer and handled the chop better tan these shorter kite course boards.
After a bit of riding with Gebi, Heineken rode into check things out. I left him and Gebi to ride and headed back across the bay to head for home. On the way down, I saw a very serious Adam Koch heading back up wind toward Oleander. It looked like the boys were all still in full catastrophe mode, rigging, sanding, and building. They had a ton of kites pumped up on the beach and I'm guessing that they were happy to ride in some lighter conditions as it looks like things may be going that way for the event after Thursday. I’m good with light as we have had countless hours testing 13’s and 16’s before this event and now firmly believe that our big kites hold a fairly significant advantage in 13 and 16 meter conditions. Only time will tell. I’m also looking forward to the windy stuff on Thursday so that I can put my legs though a test! I’m sure my normal fin combo will be a challenge down wind and it will be more a matter of keeping it together than searching for speed! It’s going too be fun.
The only bummer it that it seems as though several European riders will be unable to attend given the flight situation. We are all hoping that things will work out for them as I know how much work goes into this. Thankfully, Bruno was in Maui and will be able to attend and therefore Europe will be very nicely represented by one of the best in the World (as well as a few others that made it). Gentlemen start your engines!
Garry and Josh charging for the finish of the Masters. Garry is ready for TX...he things.
a little 13 meter training at last weeks Miami Kiteboard Masters. Damo, Garry, Josh, and Melissa were all charging!