Cabrinhaâ€™s Kafka Wins La Ventana Classic
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Friday, Jan 24th saw 130 competitors descend upon La Ventana, Baja Sur, for the competition. The qualifying event was a 10.5 mile downwinder consisting of basically a beam to broad reach. The field of 130 consisted of a few windsurfers as well, ALL starting together. A windsurfer was easily the first to finish with the top 25 men advancing to the quarter finals.
Saturday the 25th saw the menâ€™s racing quarter finals. The course was not your typical unwind, down wind course. It looked more like a boarder cross without obstacles. There was a relatively short upwind leg, a beam reach to a buoy, then three broad reaches around buoys then thru the finish to a buoy just off the beach and around again.
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Twenty five men started this semi final heat which included, Jeff Kafka, the 2007 Cabrinha Race Series Champ with a 2nd at the US Nationals, Anthony Chavez the 2006 Cabrinha Race Series Champ with a first at the US Nationals, Jesse Richman who was 3rd at the US Nationals and also the â€œJrâ€ Champ, Chip Wasson the masters champ at the US Nationals, Sean Farley the Mexican Champ, and Mark the two time champ of the La Ventana Classic. After some very close racing, Jesse Richman pulled away at the last buoy to win. Jeff Kafka, Chip, Anthony and Farley also advanced to the final heat of eight riders.
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In the menâ€™s final, just before the start, a recreational kiterâ€™s kite went down just upwind of the start. I think they should have postponed, but they didnâ€™t. Well, the kiters who were racing made it over and around the downed kiters lines, but the windsurfer didnâ€™t.
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Sean Farley got a great start and traded the lead with Wasson with Anthony 3rd followed by Kafka and Jesse, with the distance among all 5 tightening throughout the race. As they approached the second to last buoy, Sean looked as though he had it won, but missed the buoy and was disqualified. Wasson then became the leader with Kafka gaining quickly, followed by Anthony and Jesse.
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Wasson had the lead after the last buoy but was caught by Kafka about 10 yards from the finish!
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The final results: Jeff Kafka 1st, Chip Wasson 2nd, Anthony Chavez 3rd and Jesse Richman 4th--a San Francisco Bay Area sweep!!!!! CONGRATS