La Ventana awoke beneath a desert field of cacti with the smell of homemade quiches filling the venue. Playa Central overlooks the mirrored water of the bay on this unusually still morning. Not a cloud in the sky and still, the wind remained absent. One thing is for sure, life is better when the wind blows. 46 competitors from 23 countries awoke to a a breakfast of coffee, bite size cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit salad and beans & rice (as requested), all the kite fuel and carb essentials needed for a powerful day on the water. The support by the riders, for the riders has been huge and is what made this turnout possible. Prior to the skipper’s meeting, the sound of foil tuning fills the room as Rob Dean, Hydrofoil Pro Tour race director for 3rd time at this 1st tour stop in La Ventana, goes over the day’s plans. Horns blow, flags are up to begin a very light race for the yellow who sailed in 7-8 knots. For the blue, the wind blew up to 9 knots for the first two races. The first set completed but the wind turned light during yellow Race 3. The Race Committee signaled AP over H at the finish of yellow Race 3 and sent all ashore.
AP was displayed ashore for about 10 min and the wind came up again. While waiting in the required for a 20 min window (reference Sailing Instruction 5.2) the wind was blowing nicely and by the end– still 6-7 knots so it was a race. Foil racers enjoyed the bay to themselves, a rare occurrence that has been steady for past days training – a foilers heaven. Riders just have to watch out for those “manta rays and whales getting in the way of your upwind angle”, says Elena Kalinina who rides for ELF from Russia, “and the jumping fish,” added Astrid Bernz from Switzerland.
Maxime Nocher on F-one and Riccardo Andrea Leccese on Ozone had close battles finishing Race 1 and 3, as did Nico Landauer and Florian Trittel in Race 1 & 2. Day 1 is in the bag with an uneven amount of races for each group. “The Final Series Racing should be started only after all fleets have completed at least three races. That way we can secure enough races to “constitute a regatta”, said Dean.
With the forecast is looking light for the week, kites are still in the air and riders are foiling away from shore as they head for the start line. Stay tuned for more news on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour.