I just wanted to toss out a quick look at the first day of the Jupiter Kite Invasion put on by FLORIDA KITING
A more detailed workup will be put together soon out of the thousand or so shots that should come out of the event.
The day was characterized by ...
WIND & WAVES.
Lots of each and a special challenge to riders trying to throw down and land tricks in gusty, churning conditions. About 50 pro and amateur riders registered for the event. Wake style tricks were few and far between but suicide leash deployments were slightly more common. When the wind and irratic waves go up the complexity of the tricks of a necessity goes down. The competitiors were impressed with the challenging riding conditions.
As dark as the image at the top of this post is, no obvious squalls swept through. At least none with distinctly violent winds with a large gust range and more than minor rain, fortunately! Still, it was a gray, dark day but the honking winds and waves out the wazoo made up for it.
The event shut down around 4:30 pm. Good thing, looking at the wind graph as it really started to cookoff a bit after 5:00 pm, MAYBE. I question some of the wind speeds shown in the wind graph above for a station some miles to the north and at a higher altitude. No one at the event noted anything like this that I spoke to. Most folks that I spoke to estimated wind gusting into the low to mid 30 mph range max when they were riding. I will ask around again today. Another local wind graph from a different provider, ikitesurf on the pier just south of the event, appears below:
ikitesurf data for Jupiter, FL
That is they way it can be with shoreside anenometers stations. They can be good for guidance but should be confirmed if feaible. Also, as the shoreline aligns NNW to SSE, east winds are side onshore somewhat and northeast winds are onshore there.
Francisco drops down as Jessie works out.
Many riders were on 7 m kites with a few on 9 m kites. Brad at 190 lbs. and Irma at 109 lbs. were each on 7 m kites! When Brad went outside into even stronger winds and heavier seas, he said he was overpowered at times. It was Irma's smallest kite and she hung in like a trooper. She said it may be a small 7 m, still it was a 7 m all the same! I recall hearing that one or two folks were even on 5 m kites. I asked Jeremy how the day's conditions stacked up and he replied not that different from quite a few days lately! The wind finally came back to Florida this winter.
Hamish does a (surf) board off manuver.
Shooting conditions weren't the greatest with the subdued colors and light, still you get a feeling for the intensity of conditions in the blurred photo.
Hamish growing tired of board sports and trying his hand at leviation.
Bill Parker tearing it up.
The event site earlier in the day.
Andy Hurdman riding the wave
The standings near the end of the day. The final results will be announced this evening.
Flash Austin pops one in the distance. I had a chance to meet and speak with Flash for a while. What a wealth of experience and stories, more to come on that.
So long from Jupiter for now. Tomorrow there are more heats, wind and a new day. It is forecast to blow hard all night with the wind easing off a bit tomorrow. As I am typing this I can hear the wind hammering through the trees outside. You know what a night of heavy winds means ... WAVES!
I was speaking with Neil Hutchinson, the head judge, and he was thinking of something a lttile different tomorrow. I hope it comes off .
Stay tuned ...
Thanks to Jeremy and Dave at Florida Kiting for putting on this event and to all the judges and volunteers that make it possible.