EVENT SUMMARY: Georgetown Lake Open brought together a great group of snowkiters arriving from all over the west for the first NAST event. We were definitely feeling the cold morning air, and getting excited for the prevailing winds at about 20 knots. I walked the parking area looking for good friends said a few quick hello’s, and headed for the ice. Riders quickly put up there small kites and went for a test run early Saturday morning. My new F-One 9 meter fresh from the factory on her maiden voyage felt great powered and solid upon launching so I clicked into my ski binding’s and headed out. A quick assessment of the ice and riding area sent my mental danger warning sign a bolt of illumination flashing: SOLID SURFACE BEWARE! After a few tacks out of the marina and onto open ice I found a few edge-able surfaces where wind blown snow was somehow holding on. For me the challenge was too compete freestyle on this surface and not jump higher or kite-loop more than necessary just keep it simple with smaller freestyle maneuvers thinking that this is only the first stop on a four event tour and early in the snow-kite season so self preservation and not “off-the-reservation” riding was in the back of my mind.
So back too shore for the freestyle meeting we gathered together and Cole Russell, our event organizer and shepherd gave us the info on what the judges were looking for in the freestyle layout of the competition riding area, and 15 minutes later I was riding in the first heat. The horn sounded and our 15 minutes of fame had started. So, making sure not to do anything crazy I rode around spinning and jumping hoping the judges were watching.
This was building confidence so I tried a fakey 540 backloop and it felt good so I did a few more. My confidence grew so I tried a couple of powered backloops. I wasn’t really paying any attention too the other competitors and what they were doing I just kept on riding in the zone. I knew if I wanted to get some attention from the judges the powered loops had to be done directly in front of them but at a glance I realized that if anything went wrong I would be putting the judges in danger since the marina was small and the judges were too close directly downwind about 40 meters from where I would need to be to kite loop. After a close call and almost landing on another rider that had just by coincidence changed direction at the same time, we crossed lines and I fell to the ice on my arse and pulled the release not because of the crossed lines but because of the fact I knew it was going to hurt in 3… 2… 1… and yep it hurt; deep bruise and difficulty standing back up. I took a moment assessed the pain, knew I was ok just really sore. I got back on my skis and headed slowly back, landed the kite and began pacing the parking lot trying too stay loose while I watched the next freestyle heat.
After the freestyle event it was time to race. Another skippers meeting and explanation of the course layout and the snow-kite racers went to get ready. I had my mind set on not racing, just resting my sore arse. But after a few moments, and a lot pacing I decided it was worth trying and if I couldn’t finish I would be alright with that. I heard an announcement only five minutes before the race start. Quickly I got my kite pumped and lines tied. I was going too give the 12 meter a go but before I could get the kite up the horn sounded. The race had started and a missed opportunity. All the racers went together, snowboarders and skiers but separated in final placement. It was great to be at the finish and watch fellow F-One rider Aaron Sales finish in first place. Congratulations Aaron well done.
Skies cleared, the sun was out and the wind was good; a nice chance to get a few photos. We all rode with smiles, sore muscle’s and bruised elbows. We took it nice and easy, it was a great way to end the day.
A special THANKS goes out too the organizers and all the riders who showed up in support of the FIRST EVER NAST event. (THANKS NAST )
Looking forward too the next event at Lake Dillon .
Regards Chris Nester
BIG thanks to F-ONE
FINAL RESULTS FOR COMPETITORS FLYING F-ONE @ Georgetown Lake Open .
Men’s Pro Freestyle
Chris Nester 2nd place (ski)
Aaron Sales 2nd place (snowboard)
Men’s Pro Race
Aaron Sales 1st place (snowboard)
Men’s Pro Overall
Aaron Sales 2nd place (snowboard)