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The forecast held true and the 2017 La Ventana Classic kicked off with some nuking wind. Grey skies quickly cleared to blue and the 25mph wind stayed steady throughout the day ”” a perfect way to get the event underway. The Kitexpo opened with the latest 2017 gear from  Airush, Blade, Cabrinha/NP, F-One/Manera, Liquid Force,  Naish, Slingshot and Star Kites and North(demoing weekend only).

As if demoing the newest gear isn’t fun enough, the party really got started when the LVC party bus rolled down to the Hot Springs packed full of costume-laden, beer loving merrymakers ready to try their hand at the Party Island Downwind Poker Run. thekellerwhale_JasonHudson_IMG_6428MC Grom Gormley orchestrated the event while each team blew up and rigged their single kite which would pull their Liquid Force branded party island float six miles downwind to Baja Joe’s. During their downwind voyage, each team had to stop at 5 pre-set buoys and cut a floating plastic bottle filled with a single playing card. These would make up the 5 cards in each team’s poker hand at the end of the day. thekellerwhale_JasonHudson_JKH_0569

A safety boat followed, picking up shipmates who had fallen overboard and making sure that no kiter was left without a beer in hand — for safety’s sake of course. thekellerwhale_JasonHudson_JKH_0593

The party continued as the sun weathered and windblown poker players stumbled off their floats at their final destination, Baja Joe’s. With beer in one hand and card-filled bottles in the other, they awaited the night’s party to test their luck and play their final hand. thekellerwhale_JasonHudson_IMG_6500

The night got going as partiers munched on post session tacos and boogied down to reggae at Joe’s Garage. MC Grom Gormley took the mic and explained the rules of the game to an eager crowd. thekellerwhale_JasonHudson_IMG_6469

The six float captains gathered on stage to open their card filled bottles and play their hands against one another. It was the team with a winning hand of 2 aces that excitedly accepted their trophy, signed their names and stapled their cards to it where it will be hung in Baja Joe’s as a reminder and motivator for LVC downwind poker players for years to come.