La Ventana Classic 2018
January 22, 2018
By: Ella H Johnson
“It’s for the kids!”
This past week, athletes from all over the world came together in the small town of La Ventana, Baja California Sur, to raise a record number of over $35,000 (USD, not Pesos!). All the proceeds go towards supporting the local schools and education system.
Did you know that it only costs $300 USD to send one child to high school for an entire year?!
This 10th Annual event marks my 11th season coming to this gem of a town, and every year I am humbled and proud to be a part of this fun-filled, loving community.
We were blessed by the wind Gods, who provided steady puffs the first two days during which I completed Stand Up Padle Board downwinders, Slalom and Strapless Kiteboarding heats. I used my 12″6′ F-One Race board and my 8m F-One Bandit, which proved to be the sturdiest and most reliable gear yet again.
OH, did I mention about 1 minute prior to my first competition I managed to destroy my toe on a rock? Classic.
A little tape, some tequila, and I was on my way back onto the water. #cantstopwontstop
The third day we had absolutely no wind- which was no bother to most of us. We were able to run a beautiful SUP course race, as well as include the local kids in mini SUP relay races (FYI- This was much harder to do after a night of dancing and margaritas- but as we say, #itsforthekids). This was also a perfect time to let the Mountain Bikers shine- a new and welcomed addition the LVC.
The final day was by far my favorite, where I participated in the 9 mile downwind paddle from Las Cruces to La Ventana.
This was one of the roughest, most emotionally and physically draining paddles of my life. I am greatly humbled by the entire experience- there is no feeling like that of sitting alone in a grueling body of water to remind you we are but tiny humans. A perfect time to simply breathe.
While half the fleet of experienced paddlers zipped on down (Including Mr. Pipeline legend Gerry Lopez and Macrae Wylde), I struggled with the HUGE swell and currents. After a few tears, smiles and falls, I made it back to shore in 2.5 hours to slam a cold one and enjoy an avocado.
A big thank you to Tim Halter and Palapas Ventana, the volunteers, the boat support, as well as the Kiteboarder Magazine, for organizing this amazing event. It is a pleasure to see it grow each year, and I look forward to participating in it for years to come.
Lastly, a huge shout out to those who have been supporting me in my endeavors, including but not limited to Mom, Dad, F-One and Manera America.
That’s it for now- Much love from Baja.