Cape Hatteras Wave Classic
The first annual Cape Hatteras Wave Classic was held on the Outer Banks, September 20th-26th. In choosing this time of the year to host the wave-based event, organizers claimed September is “prime time” for wind and waves, providing excellent kitesurfing or surfing conditions, and many times BOTH, nearly every day.
James Ropner wrote up this text in order to give us a unique perspective how the event turned out:
I had the privilege of heading over to North Carolina last week for The Cape Hatteras Wave Classic - It was such an epic event! This is my second time visiting North Carolina, my last time was at the 2013 SSS event. I flew in with my good friend Patrick Rebstock and my girlfriend Alison Pareti.
We rented a car and started our 2 1/2 hour drive down to Real arriving for the opening dinner/registration/party. The next morning we awoke to our windows shaking and house whistling from the strong NE wind. I looked out the window at the ocean and saw heaps of white caps and spray off of some waves. I woke everyone up and we headed to the riders meeting @ 8 AM. Trip Forman went over the event format for the upcoming week. In summary, the contest will be held in the best conditions in the next 5 days, scoring will consist of 50% wavering, 25% tricks, 25% overall impression.
Real organized a media shoot that day at a popular spot called S-Turns at the north end of the town. This was a great time for everyone to just go out and ride with no pressure of a contest to get used to the wind direction and waves. I was lit on my 9 meter Cabo most people were on 7-9 meter kites in the head high surf. Best had the most presence on the water with Dave Serrano , Annie Carrier , Tony Bolstad, Carol Bolstad , Brandon Cordina , and myself James Ropner . The conditions were testing as it was mainly heavy shore pound. I saw my good friend Davey Blair get taken out in the first 30 minutes separating his should on a dredger. After a solid 3-4 hour shore pound session everyone was beat so we went back home then finished off the day with some beers and food at the waterman's retreat at real. The next day we awoke to yet another windy day. Rider meeting was at 10. Trip told us all that the comp was on, and everyone was to meet at the Lighthouse for a start of the first heat at 12. We all had some breakfast and headed down to the lighthouse. The women's first round were the first to be completed.
After the first round the boys were up. I was in the second heat of the day with Jason Slezak, I was pleased to win my first heat and go straight into the 3rd round. Brandon Cordina also made it through with some nice backside riding. We all buckled down and cheered our teammates on through the rest of round 1 and 2. The wind and waves were steadily building throughout the day with most people on 10's coming in to pump up 7's and 8's. As round 3 came up, I was back out again against the Local kid Danny Barnette. I beat him and was now onto the quarter finals. It was a lot of fun watching all the close heats go down.
I found out that i was up against Evan Netsch in the Quarters. I was pretty happy with the way I rode, but Evan was on fire with some nice airs and some local knowledge. He ended up beating me by a few points. Being out of the comp, I was now rooting for Cordina to crush his heat which he did securing a spot in the Semis. With darkness closing in to a very long day of competing (12-7) the officials called the comp off until the next day due to the sun setting. Finals Day: We all gathered at a little secret spot close to real. The wind had shifted to a rare East wind (onshore) First up were the girls competition for 3rd place. Next up was Cordina competing for 3rd against Evan Netsch. Cordina put up a good fight but the Local kid stomped some big rolls and a few good cracks in the difficult conditions. Next up were the ladies finals in between Jalou Langeree, and local shredder crusty ??? They were both killing it and it was a super close heat. Next up we were on to the mens Final Between Kevin Langeree and Ryder Decker. It was a super close heat with some big hacks and airs going down with 2 completely different styles. No one knew the results at the end of the session as the judges were to announce them on Friday at the closing ceremony.
The next 2 days were lay days as the wind backed off so we all hung out and went surfing and just relaxed. Awards Day: We all gathered at Real at 7 pm to have some food and beers for the closing ceremony. For the ladies: Gage Fichter (3rd), Isa Cohen (2nd), and Jalou Langeree (1st). For the men: Evan Netsch (3rd), Reider Decker (2nd), and Kevin Langeree (1st). The Langeree's were killing it the whole event! The east coast cats also finished 2-4th. I finished in 5th out of 24th so not too bad of a result :) I'm looking forward to going back next year. I hope that this contest will continue to grow in the years to come. It was so good chilling with all the east coast cats, and just catching up with everyone. I had an amazing time throughout the week. I want to give a big shout out to Best Kiteboarding for helping me get out to the comp. Also a huge thanks to Real for putting everything together in a very professional manner. If you have never been to Hatteras you should go!! September is an amazing time to go as you are usually blessed with tons of wind, cheaper rental rates, less crowds, and more waves :). Its pretty incredible to get a solid surf or kite in, and then go to the sound and get a flatware session all in the same day.
James Ropners weapons of choice:
James Ropner riding the 2015 CABO: