WOW...We are just getting finished with all the clean up of the event/race this past Saturday...We all had a great time, and the wind was there for the taking, just like the winner was at 60 miles...Great Job Scott Barrett for 1st place...The conditions were the Best that anyone like me would have hoped for, when it came to the Ultimate Challenge, on putting on an Event/Race...The Skipper's meeting started out asking the riders what they wanted to do..Here is Why..The winds were 15 mph out of the NNW in Cocoa Beach at the start, but halfway down it was blowing out of the north at 18 mph, and in Vero Beach it was North Northeast at 20 mph...That meant it was just a little side-offshore and the conditions were getting better for a fast finish...BUT...when it came time to pick a kite size, do you ride a surfboard with a 9m kite, knowing that the waves were going to be bigger as you left the Cocoa Beach area..Do you choose a bigger kite, and ride a medium size twin tip, or do you play it safe, and just pick the size kite and board you need to get off the shore in the conditions, and then just hang on for the long 60 mile ride for the day..Here were a few more things to think about before you decided to take the "Green Flag" at the start..Lifeguards had posted that the rip current was going from north to south, and the 3 to 4 foot waves at Cocoa Beach that day were for sure going to be bigger down south, along the way..Air temp in the mid 60's..Water temp was in the 60's too....So let's recap the thoughts for the day if you were going to ride 60 miles downwind...Side offshore winds at the Start, current going the same direction, waves were going to get bigger, and the winds were forecasted to get stronger, and a full wetsuit was needed...
Now here is what happened the whole way down...Winds turned to the north at the start, and just at the end of the race, turned north,northeast...That meant all the way down for 50 plus miles, the riders were tacking in and out along the shoreline, or doing long offshore tacks, then coming all the way back to shore, then back out again..For Me, as the Event coordinator, watching it from the shore, it was very scary to see kiteboarders going way offshore, for miles without a Safety Boat available..It was good to see that most of the kiteboarders did stay just outside of the reef break, and rode the waves as much as they could to get them downwind faster, per se..So when it was all said and done, you could tell yourself that you just did MORE than 60 miles, probably felt like 100 plus...lol..
Thanks to Liz, my girlfriend/best friend, for putting up with me while I was going crazy to get things going for this great Cause...
To the volunteer's who helped in every way they did..Thank-you Todd, John, and crew...
To Scott Polera "Burn Boardsports of Daytona" and Ben Hill for being the "Safety Crew" who followed the Riders down the whole way, just in case..
To ALL the Riders that did come, and for being part of this Event/Race...GREAT JOB...
Here are the results for the 60 mile race:
1st Place...Scott Barrett....Finish time: 3 hours and 21 minutes
2nd Place..Scott Peterson...Finish time: 3 hours and 34 minutes
(Jupiter- Also Won the 1st "45 and Over" trophy!!!)
3rd Place...Tony Michels...Finish time: 3 hours and 36 minutes
(New Smyrna Beach)
4th Place...Mike Klein...Finish time: 3 hours and 54 minutes
(New Smyrna Beach)
Eric Davies...(New Smyrna Beach)
Brad Lux...(New Smyrna Beach)
Daniel Shulman...(Gainesville-youngest rider at 18 years old)
Bryan Rivera...(New Smyrna Beach-did the downwinder in a summer suit, brrrrrr, lol)
Joe Harkness...(Daytona Beach)
Scott Polera....(Daytona Beach-it was his birthday weekend, Happy Birthday Bro)
Ben Hill...(Daytona Beach)