All I can say is WOW, what an event! We kicked it off with a party at the Bends where the beer flowed like wine and the locals came through with plenty of spaces to crash in the Burg.
As soon as I saw the final lineup, I knew we had the best 10 riders from 7 different schools to conclude the final event of the fall season and they gave it all they had. On the flip side things are just heating up for CKA, with 3 more events still to come. We continue to diversify the sport by bringing together all aspects of the sport from racing to freestyle and hope to have riders from all levels expertise in future events.
On the line was $670 worth of cash and prizes donated by CKA and Liquid Force. After reviewing the score cards, a dizzying amount of highly technical tricks were performed, that even impressed Billy Parker. At the end of the day someone had to go home with the loot and at the top of the lineup was Florida Atlantic University that went home with a new 2014 Liquid Force Drive 136 Drive for highest ranking school. Patrick Fletcher aka “Rasta”, dropped some high flying acrobatics, but I do believe he had one raley in which his board could have soared over everyone else’s kites. Ben Peyrot also let loose with strong F-16’s that weren’t event contested by others. Not sure where the other ladies were for this contest, but like in comps past Jaime Fields continued to show the fellas that she has what it takes to compete in the man show.
Without giving away all the details, the freestyle competition started off with what we thought was 12 riders, but ended up with only ten competitors. Locals continued to trry and enter the fray, but were met with a lack of enthusiasm. The comp started off with 4 heats of 3, but going into the semifinals we had, Lewis Hunt and Julien Verglas to narrow it down. What began as an even match up, Lewis struggled with landing some back and front mobes, but Julien kept up an even and consistent run of raleys to blind and a sick slim chance to overcome. After that a round of three with Bret Sullivan, Jaime Fields and Patrick Fletcher squared off with only Bret moving on to the finals. Despite dropping two around all three kept the crowd cheering with some big blinds and s-bends. Rounding out the semis, Drew Christianson took on Sean Buell, which left the crowd jumping out of whatever chairs we had; well maybe that was just me as I caught Sean’s kite when his leash unexpectedly snapped in two during his handle pass. Drew capitalized with some ultra-smooth shifty 3’s as we got Sean back in the game, but despite the valiant effort; he wasn’t able to make up the difference.
In the finals, I haven’t seen so many ridiculously fit looking people so exhausted. Everyone was panting as I said, “You have 15 minutes for a break.” For the finals Julien, Bret and Drew lined up as the wind finally came in at 20 plus and they all questioned their choice for 12 meters. No one went without dropping their kite twice, but Drew literally floated and landed like a blind butterfly to ride away with contest.
After all the riders were ready for a break daylight savings was kicking in and the final race had to start. The good thing was Drew had no idea how to win the event, so after going hoarse on the megaphone for three minutes, I had everyone ripping upwind toward the windward mark. Not sure anyone was a favorite for this event but, Sean Buell hailed victorious around the windward /leeward course with Lewis close behind and Bret once again staying in the money.
All in this entire event proved that College kiters are here to stay and hence forward will be the proving ground for major competitions in the future. This is only the beginning and we hope to have many competitors of all levels come out to cheer on the best and share this experience with everyone that wants to be a part of this awesome organization.
Thanks again to our sponsors Best Kiteboarding and Liquid Force!
Also, huge thanks goes out to my friends and organizers: Anthony Franchi, Mike Barden, Steve and Shannon Lincoln, Kendra Kaye, Billy Parker and Louis Chavez. More to come with a dope video of all the action in one week!
1. Drew Christianson
2. Julien Verglas
3. Bret Sullivan
4. Lewis Hunt
5. Sean Buell
6. Patrick Fletcher
7. Jaime Fields
8. Broinslaw Gepnar
9. Ben Peyrot
10. Peter Jesberg
1. Sean Buell
2. Lewis Hunt
3. Bret Sullivan
4. Drew Christianson
5. Patrick Fletcher
6. Jaime Fields
7. Broinslaw Gepnar