Report by Danny Alvarez
This year was totally different from last , we had wind ! Wind for kiting AND wind for Sourcing !
The trip started with a nice showdown session at Palapas Ventana … big , juicy guacamole burger with homemade fries , thanks Tim
After a restful night at F-One central, the morning was already here andwe went straight to Quijote Coffee shop. If you like espresso and a well trained Barrista, definitely swing by for one of the best double shot latte south of the border.
After a conditions check with Arnaud of Kitemasters , the local F-One School in La Ventana, it was time to get on the road . Our pick up stocked with F-One gear we headed to Los Barrilles. One hour and a half later, we arrived at the”Lord of the Wind Showdown.”
When we arrived the wind was already cooperating and blowing a steady 20+ knots. The riding conditions are perfect here , El Norte wind dominates the coast and a nice little swell made for fun kickers to boost off… perfect for Bandit IV and Trax, boosting with these kites is way fun with some sick hangtime. The Big air competition was really competitive and the crowd was amazing , spurring on every boost. After a full day of competition it was time to head back to La Ventana .
That evening the annual ” Burning Bush” came to life. Totally hidden among the sand dunes and the Cardon forest , this mini rave party was on ! People dressed up in costumes and there were fires all around… the most fun part was seeing the people in charge , burning things , dressed up as Mad Scientists ! With tanks of propane on hand blowing spray almost 10 feet long of pure FIRE..!!!
Almost seemed like little kids playing with fire for the first time… piles of dried wood with an odd shapes made up the landscape… 5 bonfires later it was time to head to bed , but not before we consumed a couple delicious, bacon wrapped, crema filled “LV Classic” hotdogs ….yummmm
Morning arrived and our F-One sponsored home espresso machine kicked into high gear, after a couple cups we were off to the Bandit Beach as they call it … the El Norte wind was already blowing a steady 20-25 knots, and so the day began. With our arsenal of Bandit IV kites, bamboo surfboards, Trax and Acid TT’s we were ready to ride. That day Paul Lang From “The Kiteboarder Magazine ” swung by to take some photos and perform some tests on the new gear.
After a rather fun day the skipper’s meeting for the event was held at Palapas Ventana . There was a full moon on the verizon and the sky was full of stars. It was a good meeting with some familiar faces around and everyone was anxious to go riding.
Breakfast the following day at Coyas right next to Baja Joe’s . We witnessed a group of people in Baja Joe’s parking lot waiting for something, forming a line and 30 minutes later a white pick up truck showed up, filled to the brim with fresh produce , fruit and fresh coffee beans… it was cool to see the local farmers make there way to La Ventana and sell their goods to the community…FYI the strawberries were off the hook !
The day produced perfect SUP Kiting or “Sourcing” conditions with solid 8 knots, and thanks to Brendan of Caution kites , we were able to secure a couple of short SUP’s to go along our 11 and 13m Source quiver… needless to say we were the only ones cruising on the water.
Day one of the Event was awesome, light wind dominated the first hours of the start which favored the skydiver/announcers (Neil Hutchinson and Baja Joe) suddenly a plane flew overhead and produced a couple white and blue dots that started circling around. Evidently it was Neil and Joe free falling and finally parachuting in, to start the event. After the jump, people were hyped and the official start of the event was here… The Source came into play again and allowed us to enjoy an otherwise mediocre wind day at the beach .
The grand Crossing day was here… all the riders were called up to arrive at the event beach at 7am La Ventana local time. After a little time waiting, we finally made our way to Isla Cerralvo.
Yogurt and Peanut Butter Jelly sandwiches were given as a snack for the riders and soon enough the wind was blowing 25 knots and all kites went up in the air to start the downwind race. After mixing it up with 140 fellow racers for 11 miles , we made it to the finish line where a cold Tecate Beer was waiting for us to refresh our soggy legs. The crossing was followed by the Big Air/Old School event… First heat, I went to the semifinals… wind was still kicking a steady 25knots, perfect for big air. F-One lineup was on FULL DEMO mode… it was a successful day for people to ride the new gear. The bamboo surfs were all in the water and people were taking turns to try out the new kites as well as the twin-tips.
For the last day of the event, the wind started light, giving us another chance to go Sourcing, epic conditions for the 11m and 13m.! As the day progressed, the wind filled in and our Bandit 4’s came into play again. People demoed all day and as usual we had our full demo quiver out on the water at the same time…7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 and 12m…..these kites have some serious range !
The Award Ceremony was well attended and was held @ Pizza Vela. Fire dancers gave a good show and a cool slide show was playing in the background , showing photos of the event. The prizes were handed out to the winners… the F-One crew was there to show support for the event and also the La Ventana community. This year the event raised more than $18,000 us dollars to help the local schools.