Day two of the La Ventana Classic kicked off with an early standup paddling skipper’s meeting under the Baja sunrise. SUP competitors completed laps around a triangle shaped course to complete the SUP course racing division of the Classic.
The Kitexpo continued today with lighter winds in the morning, perfect for demoing and testing out the latest foil kites and boards. The morning’s light winds were ideal for foil course racing, with bigger kites almost doubling the wind speed with their velocity made good. The first start was chaotic with stragglers starting almost thirty seconds behind, but by the second race the fleet of 11 racers was tightly grouped when the starting gun fired. Nico Landauer led the pack with Adam Withington following close behind for the majority of the races. Nico took the day’s win followed by Adam and Ejder Ginyol. Foil course races will be held everyday for the rest of the event as foilers battle it out for the overall win.
The day’s festivities kicked off with kiting of a different nature. The sky was lit up with skydivers buzzing the LVC event site as MC Neil, Baja Joe and friends Monty and Billy aimed for a target hula-hoop just south of the event site. Earlier in the week, spectators placed bets to see who would land the closest to the hoop. Neil won out, landing less that 21ft from the hoop. After landing Neil exclaimed, “I’ve skydived all over the world but in La Ventana, there’s nothing like it! If you’ve ever thought about skydiving, you have to do it here!” Signups for tandem skydives continued throughout the day with proceeds benefiting the kids of La Ventana.
Local children and dancers filled the event stage midday to put on traditional Mariachi performances.
The SUP mini downwinder kicked off at 1:30 with a 4 mile course race from the Hot Springs Beach to Palapas Ventana. World class paddlers Anthony Vela and Jeremy Vaine of San Clemente took first and second respectively with Los Barrilles native Macrae Wyle coming in first. The standout paddler of the day was La Ventana local, Julio Ceasar Lucero, who paddled himself to the event site from town with a soft top and rope leash, but event organizers arranged for Julio to use an F-One demo board to compete in the downwinder. Julio finished the race with a giant smile and high-fived all his fellow competitors.
Because the wind was on the light side, organizers postponed the freestyle division until Friday. Instead, a strapless freestyle contest was held with Mac Scaggs, Evan Netsch, Nemo Taylor and Grom Gormley climbing out their semi-final heats to compete for the gold. In true La Ventana style, Tim Hatler insisted on a mandatory beer chug before the athletes could hit the water. Precision suffered, but tricks were landed and the crowd went wild during the 15 minute super final. Nemo wowed the crowd with a Jesus walk in the shallow water just off the beach, while Mac pumped up the crowd and landed a series of strapless backroll transitions. Evan nailed a frontroll with some styley variations while Grom delivered a stoke-filled bonanza of skimboard tricks.
In between heats Adam Withington dazzled the crowd with massive foilboard/foilkite airs, Eurostyle rodeos, mind blowing board off scissor-kick inversions, all the while landing each maneuver with immaculate finesse and precision.
For the night’s activities, the event site was lit up with a massive beach bonfire while band, BIPOLAR, took center stage.