A slight drop in temperature on the eve of Day 2 as the kiters left the Baja Joe’s Burger Party and went to sleep with an almost full moon. Gold fleet holding their positions hard with Maxime Nocher in the lead of the fleet with Axel Mazella close behind him, but not close enough. Riccardo Leccese and Nico Landauer battled behind the French for 3rd position. On Day 3 the battle and positions of top riders remained similar to the previously described, but by the end Leccese was the man standing in 3rd position, 4th Landauer and Olly Bridge gaining Florian Trittel on 5th position thanks to a 2nd place he got during the final race of the day. Placement for these top 5 positions is anyone’s guess and if Nocher, now riding for Monaco, keeps up his non stop bullets he will again live up to his champion reputation. Day 3 was up and down with wind slow to arrive and took time to build itself up to “sailable” conditions.
Rob Dean opted for an early call to the event-site in order to make the most out of the day. It was 3 hours until the Race Committee made their second signal of the day. AP flag came down ashore at 1250h, but the wind died down again 10 minutes later. After a 90 minute delay, the wind shifted 50 degrees and racing resumed, La Ventana thermal wind came through and provided.
One thing that is noticeable in this tournament and it is the youngster racers with Mazella and Bridge standing in top 5 positions leading in to final Day 4, and Toni Vodisek from Slovania making it in to top 10 for the time being. However, the most celebrated accomplishment at this tournament is Elena Kalinina, who has placed herself in the gold fleet, which is the first time ever for this to happen on any hydrofoil tour. Being that she is already the unofficial 1st place of the Women’s division for this Round 1 stop, a major celebration is to be had after the final day of races. And from the looks of Theo Lhostis and Riley Gibbs performance, they will break ceiling and enter the top 20 in no time. Amazing to see what this sport technology is doing for speed. Almost no wind required.
Dean pulled it all together again, with two gold races and two silver races that started and finished in good order. In the final silver race the wind died at the very end. About 8 kites dropped in the water and some competitors victoriously swam across the finish line! (while in contact with their “boat” of course). This was an ordeal since it lead to a discussion and debate surrounding the rules that apply in this case. These are the kinds of conversations had over beers and belly laughs that will set precedent to what is decided for future races in the hydrofoil class.