On day one of the freshly sanctioned IKA 2016 Lord of the Wind competitors congregated at the Exotikite event site for the 9am briefing with foil racing beginning promptly at 11. Official announcer, Grom Gormley, narrated the day, giving a play-by-play of each heat and explaining all the intricacies of the event to the audience.
With races averaging 15 minutes each, the riders were consistent in their finishing places throughout the day. In the majority of the day’s races, F-One’s Joey Pasquali led the pack followed by Airush’s Julien Kerner, Nico Landauer, Zack Marks and Adam Withington. Unfortunately, Kerner’s unusual start during race 4 backfired and dropped him down to fifth for that race, but he was able to maintain his standing and ended up 2nd overall for the day.
Slalom began at 2:30 with the men’s pro prelims taking the water on 11 to 13m kites, and were followed by the men’s open class semis. Local hero, Mac Scaggs, was the crowd favorite for the men’s pro class but it was the women who stole the show. Lumping both the women’s open and pro division together, four girls made it to the semi finals where in a photo finish, Min Kim, riding on a twintip, beat last year’s Lady of the Wind, Cynthia “Cynbad” Brown, who rode a race board, by .1 of a second! Talk about a close race!
The standout competitor of the day was 17-year-old Camille Salvinien from France who competed in both Foil and Slalom racing. Camille told us that the field was super competitive and hoped that it would bring her riding to a higher level and explained how her stresses were relieved by the fun and relaxed vibe of the event. Pro division foil racing will continue tomorrow followed by the freestyle pro division in the afternoon.