The 2007 Wind and Water Open, formerly known as "The Velocity Games"
Saturday, Day Two: Bordercross and Racing ... Attempt #2.
Words and most photos by Stacey Fonas
Posted Tuesday May 15th 2007*
*sorry I'm a little behind. When you go to these events you have to LIVE them, in order to write about them, and it's hard to do both at the same time)
Saturday 12 May
Despite the dismal forecast (averaging 3 knots all day, during the gusts), we all assembled on the beach the next day around 11:30 for a rider's meeting, just in case.
I use Windguru and knew there was no chance that any of us would be kiting that day, but Best Team Rider Will Caldwell, who uses www.fantasy_forecast.com, was sure it was going to blow "10-20, uh, no ... 10-15, they just revised it." Why don't you use Windguru, I keep asking him. I've learned the hard way never to trust his wind calls. "Uhhh, it's too accurate," he says. "It gives me no hope that I'll ever get to kite."
So ... these were the heats for bordercross ...
And this was the course for the bordercross ...
This was the racing board, and this was the course: around in a circle. There aren't any "heats" for racing ... it's just everyone in the water with all of their kites in the air at the starting line. Everyone starts at the same time, and it's boys and girls together ... each man for himself and devil take the hindmost. It makes me nervous even thinking about it. The Cabrinha guys are all pretty serious about it, with their special speed boards, but I wasn't able to get their board hookup. So if anyone knows of any good speed board shapers, let me know. There's supposed to be a big race in SF at the end of July and I need a speed board by then.
During the meeting, a very surprising announcement was made: that a kiter and fellow racer named Nils (who is also the GM at the Omni Hotel where we were all staying) was hosting a big "Kiters Meet Windsurfers" party that evening, starting at 7:30 PM, at his home. He was actually handing out flyers ... with directions! Food and drinks were going to be provided, which pretty much guaranteed that everyone was going to show up. I stood there gawking at him with a combination of amazement and sympathy.
He obviously had no idea what he was getting himself into. I can't speak for the windsurfers, but as far as the kiters went, there were some pretty notorious partiers in the bunch. To explain it in G-rated terms, it was the sort of crowd that made you feel absolutely certain that someone would be pushed into the swimming pool before too long, naked, at best.
It was an especially big risk, since Marina Chang was offering to shuttle people back and forth in her van, and we had also volunteered the Best RV to cart people over and back. Sean, magnanimously, had agreed to be the Designated Driver. The rest of us could thus be the Designated Drunks. It sounded like a recipe for disaster.
Sean, Keri and Andy had picked up the RV from the repair shop that morning, and parked it across the street from the event site. I was very proud of it, and I can see why Bucky has become so attached to it. Kristin, who'd only seen the Slingshot bus in Europe, was impressed too. It certainly makes a statement. I especially like the statement that I found.
After bonding with the RV for about a half hour, which means sitting inside of it and sweating while reading some kite and skate mags, Kristin and I headed back down to the beach, where not a whole lot was going on anywhere.
While hanging out under the Best tent with Keri, Clinton, and Sean, I looked over to my left and was not suprised to see Bill Bentz, putting in a surprise and unexpected appearance with his son Tyler. Supposedly, Bill is from Fort Lauderdale, but I've only seen him, or his sons, in Florida, maybe once or twice at the most. I do see them, however, pretty much every time I leave Florida ... Brazil, Cabarete, Bimini ... so to look over and see them standing on a beach outside of the state of Florida ... surprising? Not so much. High Five :).
We all just relaxed and hung out on the beach. Kristin talked to her boyfriend under a competitor's kite.
I don't know exactly what Clinton was up to, but he kept dashing off with his buddies on a little candy-cane striped bicycle cart. Meanwhile, the Best girls were buzzing around tattoo'ing people.
Some people went wakeboarding behind the jetski ...
Andy climbed the wall ...
And after doing so well on the wall, Andy spent the afternoon pensively reconsidering his career as a kiteboarder, and thought about joining the Armed Forces, where he could scale walls all day and not worry about whether the wind was going to show up or not. Keri was also having a very pensive day, saddened, as we all were, by the absence of Buck Ashcraft, who'd skipped town to attend some wakeboard event at some cable park a couple of hours away.
At one point, we talked about taking a copy of the Kiteboarder Mag around and getting everyone who was in it to sign the pictures of themselves, but no one wanted to be the one who actually went around getting people to sign it. These guys adamently refused. Shawn Richmond, Sam Medysky, Brandon Pelly from Ft Lauderdale.
Ben Myer and Jon Modica
For the last hurrah of the kiteboarding day, the Army whipped out their latest combat tool ... a big, puffy, friendly soldier guy ... which was a huge hit with the girls. Apparently, the modus operandi is to send them into any village that needs to be conquered and have them make friends with all the women, children, and dogs, and then when everyone is least expecting it: boom. Pillage, plunder and take over the town.
Then we all packed up and went to get ready for Nils's big party. We had to get the bus over to the Omni by 7:30 for its big debut as a Party Bus. And
when I say "big debut as a party bus," I'm being facetious. If walls could only talk ...