Here in Sylt, July 1st came in with a bang in the kiteboard racing department at the 2011 World Championships. I don’t know about the other riders out there but today offered up some of the most challenging racing conditions I have ever competed in!
6-8 foot breaking waves and swell that was all over the place accompanied a 30+ knot breeze. In these conditions the race committee could not even anchor their start boats which motored in place all day long always in fear of getting rolled. The race committee deserves a huge UP for even getting 4 races off in these conditions. Those guys have been working their asses off. The windward mark has been virtually impossible to see but they ganged a few marks together and finding it was a bit better than the day prior. It looks like tomorrow is supposed to blow 35 knots with 9 foot waves so racing is in serious question as the sailing instructions stated that we would not race in sustained 25 knot conditions. We shall see…
The Ozone/ Mikes Lab team really put forth big efforts and I personally applaud anyone who was even out there battling. Johnny rode three races on the 7m and smashed it with four bullets. Fast and consistent was his game and it swamped the competition. He maintains first place at this point by quite a bit. Ah, to be young again… Adam sailed great and ended with a 2,3,2,2 on the day and solidly defended his position in second place. Adam Vance had some good races and had a good shot at a third in the last race but understood the weather mark and sagged. He however has great speed when the power is on.
Andy again had some great starts and really good races but had had a couple of mishaps that sidelined him for the last race and compromised his day. I was on my 9 meter all day long wound out of my mind simply trying to survive choking off the kite and getting around the course feeling like a granny. I guess a lot of other people were feeling the same way as I was able to maintain all single digit finishes keeping me in the top ten but dropping one place to 9th and not being able to close the gap with Maxime the french kid I was gunning for. Congrats to all on a well earned SOLID day.
Mike Zajicek was replacing the whole Ozone beach crew catching and launching kites all day. Thanks a million Mike! Luckily Mike was also on hand to do a pro tape up job on Adams board where he crushed the nose rounding the weather mark looping going from 0 to 40 in .5 seconds. That first loop at the weather mark was almost suicidal every time and then came the swell rising and falling from from beneath you….GNARLY.
We are currently hanging out in out in our room pretty wrecked from the day and I don’t even think the great German beer is going to get us out the door before our heads hit our pillows. Well at least that is true for Andy, Johnny, and me. As usual, who knows where Adam is, he never seems to run out of gas! More soon and thanks for all the support, we are trying to make everyone and America proud.