It was a very challenging venue to put on event on in. It was held in the middle of a four day Fitness Festival with about 100,000 people. They closed off four city blocks of the beach front road, Ocean Drive, for the event. So, we had tons of people all around us. We had a double fenced off compound, 400 ft. by 250 ft., riding cooridor buoys going offshore about 300 ft. We had up to three safety boats. We had six security guys trained to intercept runaway kites and deal with landing kites and other related issues. These competitors weren't using kite leashes. I sincerely hope that this trend changes soon! Also the security guys tried to keep bystanders out of the fenced compound. I had wanted to have running corridors about 15 ft. wide and 150 ft. long to the north and south of the primary compound to intercept runaway kites and for beaching of out of zone kiters. It was very difficult to negotiate creating the hole in the pubic beach the size of the staging area with the City and beach concessions. So the running cooridors weren't approved. We did have lifeguards at the north and south sides of the compound trying to keep swimmers well away. We also had an EMT on standby, a beach marshall for controlling the event and a full time announcer. All kiteboarders and volunteers.
Fortunately or unfortuately, depending on perspective, high winds didn't come reducing the issues of runaway kites. I think that we had only five minor cases of lost kite control that were readily handled. Don't ever let anyone tell you, as they tried to tell me at one point, that pros never lose control of their kites. It isn't true, everyone does, particularly while trying very hard to pull off demanding moves.
Holding an event like this, particularly in the USA, with tens of thousands of people immeditely beside the launch/landing/performance area is very challenging. I recommend to anyone contemplating putting on an event to designate a safety coordinator, Paul Menta was ours and was excellent! Then spend a lot of time working out scenarios, responses, training personel, staging equipment, etc. This event came off, well I think, no incidents occurred, and it should happen again the same time next year. Careful planning and execution helped tremendously. A big thanks to Gilles, Paul, Bruno and the FKA for all their efforts and to all the volunteers for making the Masters a successful event.