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Photo: Tina Lang

 

The first annual La Ventana WindFest in Baja, Mexico kicked off its 3-day event yesterday with a massive 5-mile downwinder followed by an afternoon filled with racing, which drew participation from foilers , twintip riders, surfboard riders, and windsurfers. Despite the uncertain forecast, the wind came up and gave the competitors a long steady day of races.

The downwinder had 22 participants from all categories starting from a beach known as the “Hot Springs” and ended in La Ventana’s “South Beach.” The fastest time was from John Von Tesmar who made it downwind in under 14 minutes on his foil-board. The leader of the twintips was a local 17-year old named Louise Diego Geraldo Chavez. Fritz Otiker came in first for the surfboard riders, and Wyatt Miller led the windsurfers.

During the afternoon, two courses were set up; one upwind course for foilers and 70 cm raceboards, and the other a short slalom style course for all other categories. Three heats of races were completed for each class – foils/70cm, twintips, and surfboards. The windsurfers were crushing it and completed 6 races.

At the end of the day, Jaime Ancira Valverde, from Playa del Carmen, came out on top for the twintip Fast Track races, Marty Dovick was leading the surfboard riders, and Tyson Poor came out on top for the windsurfers. Gabor Vagi finished the day as the leader among the Course Races on his foil board.

Day 2 of the event had just enough wind to squeeze in 2 heats of course races for the foil riders, but not enough to get the other riders into the water. For the second day in a row, Gabor Vagi came out on top to lead the foil racers.

Esteemed race director Robbie Dean came up from Los Barriles to direct the races for the 2015 La Ventana WindFest. Robbie has led world-class regattas such as Big Boat Rolex, and is an active member on the Board of the AKA and IKA organizations, he has directed kite races such as the Nationals and the Gold Cup.

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Robbie Dean going over the rules of each of the disciplines with competitors Photo: Tina Lang

La Ventana WindFest is the first big event to be held in the town for a couple of years, and unlike invitationals, La Ventana WindFest is focused on drawing the participation of the community, all wind sport styles, all ages, as well as locals. Organizer Xantos Villegas says, “We have such a great community here in La Ventana. The vision of La Ventana WindFest is to bring all of us together to have fun, support each other, and encourage future generations to join the wind and water related sports.” Villegas also saw WindFest as a way to support and promote the local businesses and hope to see it grow over the next several years.

Tomorrow is the last day of the event. The wind forecast looks ideal for the last few events which will include more Fast Tracks and Course racing for the first half of the day and a Big Air Competition, to be judged by former Red Bull pro, Kenji Jones. The event will close with the 2nd annual Proyecto X Party, and have several bands, including the local favorite, the Mexican Weirdoh’s.