The wind is back on in Los Barriles and its been a busy two days packed with racing, slalom, and freestyle competitions followed by amazing meals and live music.
Organized by the Rotary Club Los Barriles Club Este, Thursday got off to a late start with the wind picking up enough early afternoon in mid teens for competition director Wiley Nisbet to get racing off the ground. Divisions included elite (pro) men (4 races) and women (1 race), masters 3), and open men (1) and women (2). As the wind built, Wiley managed to crank out all races like clockwork in all divisions setting up Saturday for slalom and freestyle action.
Friday evening, participants and the community gathered to enjoy a silent auction and delicious Mexican buffet courtesy of Buena Vista Hotel Beach Resort followed by dancing under the stars to a live reggae band. Founded by Jesus”Chuy’ Valdez in 1976 and now run by his sons, the hospitable, family run property sits atop a natural underground river of hot springs which flow into the Sea of Cortez providing the hotel and its guests hot, therapeutic and 100% pure water for the huge spa, pool with swim up bar and rooms.
Saturday got off to an early start with the wind kicking in by 10a. A total of 21 races were run in slalom with elite (pro) men and women, masters, amateur men and women and windsurfer divisions competing. All slalom races were completed by 3p and and Emcee Grom, in charge of the freestyle event, called his rider’s meeting with a 3:30p start for the first heat.
As the wind was ramping down, organizers sent the elite women out to test the waters. After about 15 minutes, the wind cranked up enough with the women all giving the thumbs up that they were good to go. The men then took to the water as the wind and enthusiasm from the crowd ramped up even more. Over 1000 people lined the shoreline and got to see the much anticipated freestyle riders thrown down S bend to blind, kite loop S mobes and more, drawing applause and shout outs from the crowd. After the men’s first heat, the women took to the water again but the wind was marginal. It will be decided on Sunday if the women’s final heat will rerun or not. All final winners of all competitions and divisions will be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday night.
The partying continued Thursday as Lighthouse Pizza and Vago’s closed down the entire Plaza Pueblo to host dinner, drinks and a live rock band. Best team rider Rachel Callahan, a women of many talents who is competing and helping to emcee the event, and Dylan Murphy delighted the audience with fire dancing.
Sunday’s competition line up consists of SUP racing, more course racing, the Lord of the Wind Race, men’s/women’s freestyle finals and hang time. Airush, Best, Cabrinha, Core, North and Slingshot will be doing demos of their 2014 gear from 12p to 4p at the south end of the event in front of Exotikite and upwind of Baja Kiteboarding. The forecast is excellent for an action packed day at the final day of Lord of the Wind and KiteXpo. The closing night party will be at the Los Barriles Park and Amphitheater starting at 6p. Another amazing Mexican buffet will be catered by Buena Vista Beach Resort (tickets $20 USD), followed by the awards ceremony and Los Barriles most popular rock band band, Flatdog.