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10th Annual Miami Kite Masters event gets the Groms

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With a forecast of 15-20 knots, beautiful blue skies, and the most pristine flat water you can imagine, riders from near and far flew into Miami last weekend to take part in the Miami Kiteboarding Masters Event at Crandon Park.

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Officially in its 10th year, the Masters event is the oldest kitesurfing competition in Florida and attracts some big names, like defending champion “Mowgli” Brandon Bowe from the beautiful Cayman Islands and Kiteboarding Ambassadors like Shannon Best, Kent Marinkovic, and Toby Braeuer. This year’s competition also yielded one of strongest line-ups of youth riders ever;  the future generation of our sport is coming up. Be sure to remember names like James McGrath, Andy Umana, Roman Rose, Jacob Olivier, and Joseph Prieto. 

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The day started off with the freestyle portion of the event. The first two heats alone, demonstrated the tremendous level of talent that turned up for competition. Standouts like Andre Bacic “M&M”, Nicolas Biaggi, Leif Christian Given, and Kellen Hall were pushing the field with very technical tricks. As the finals drew near, riders like Drew Christianson, Niklas Reymann, and Chris Bobryk were on fire with consistent, stylish tricks. Another rivalry arose between Brandon Bowe and myself. It was a battle for the Freestyle win. Bowe with his training in the Caymans swinging from trees paid off, and he walked home with the win.

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The women took to the water with style, class, and beauty. Eventually, it was the consistent riding of Cabrinha rider Melissa Gil that claimed top spot. Second and third was a close battle between Jamie Fields and Svetlana Carroll.

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In the master’s category the Legend and “mayor” Rich Gardener swept the podium in Freestyle and BorderX race. I interviewed the Legend and asked him what it takes to be the best. His simple answer? “Multiple knee braces, ankle braces, elbow raps, Starbucks and going to bed the night before at 7:30.”

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The Boarder X competition was a hit with riders maneuvering around buoys and jumping obstacles, with tangles, crashes, and incredibly close finishes.  In this category, I managed to stay out of trouble and find myself taking home the win.

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All in all, a wonderful event with perfect conditions. Thanks to Christophe Ribot, Brandon Green, Miami Kiteboarding and all the organizers for hosting a great event!  I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Event Wrap-Up by Damien LeRoy.  Photos by Fidel López with 305kitesurf and Rimas Kinka.

Final Results 2014 Miami Kite Masters:

Men Freestyle Pro:
Brandon Bowe (Cabrinha)
Damien LeRoy (Cabrinha)
Chris Bobryk (Best)

Men Boarder X Pro:
Damien LeRoy (Cabrinha)
Martin   (Naish)
Brian Kamilar  (Cabrinha)

Women Freestyle Pro:
Melissa Gil  (Cabrinha)
Jamie Fields (North)
Svetlana Carroll

Men Masters Freestyle:
Rich Gardner (Cabrinha)

Men Masters Boarder X:
Rich Gardner  (Cabrinha)

Youth Freestyle:
Andy Umana   (Cabrinha)
James McGrath (Cabrinha)
Roman Rose (Cabrinha)
Jacob Olivier (Cabrinha)

 

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