Congratulations to the Exotikite crew for pioneering what we all believe to be the first downwinder accomplished from La Ventana to Los Barriles! Below is a reprint of the adventure courtesy of Megan O’Leary of Exotikite in Los Barriles.
Ian, Mac, and Taylor all made it the 40+ miles from the Hot Springs in La Ventana to the ExotiKite School in Los Barriles. The day started at 6am when Mac and Ian met Josh, from Pursuit Anglers at the beach to help launch his boat.
We decided early on, that since this downwinder, to our knowledge, had not been done before, we would need a chase boat. Josh, graciously, volunteered for the job. They got the boat in without any problems and Josh and Mac headed north to La Ventana.
Ian picked up James (the shuttle driver), Seth Warren (internationally acclaimed documentary film maker and photographer), and Taylor (ExotiKite crew).
They made their way to La Ventana with a stop in San Bartolo for breakfast. The car arrived at the Hot Springs around 9:20 am and the boat had not yet arrived. It was an hour later when the chase boat pulled up to the beach making the trip upwind from Los Barriles just shy of 4 hours.
The swell was big on the outside so they had to go very slowly, and almost flipped the boat motoring up a huge swell!
The crew rigged (Ian 9m North Rebel and strapless 5’8″ Whip, Taylor 10m Evo and 5’6″ Whip, Mac 9m Evo and 5’5″ Whip) and were on the water at 11am. As they passed the point in La Ventana a whale breached 50 yards away from Mac and Ian.
They rode the flat water on the downwind side of the point for a bit and then headed out to sea to make a diagonal reach from the point to Las Tinas. This open water portion of the journey took almost 2 hours. The wind was light and fluky and they were working the kites much of the time just to maintain a plane.
The best wind was from Punta Pescadero down to ExotiKite Kiteboarding. The guys rode the swell and enjoyed that portion of the trip the best. The were greeted with cheers from those that caught wind of the adventure when they hit the beach at 2:30pm.
I asked Tay if he would do it again, to which he replied “from El Cardinal down, absolutely!”. I didn’t notice it then, but when looking at the pictures I saw that all three of them were riding strapless for the entire 3.5 hours! Pretty impressive (we agree!).