Early morning gray skies and a strong frontal flow greeted the 15 international racers that are keen on taking the bragging rights for the first annual Extreme San Diego Invitational. After a light day of wind and challenging conditions, many athletes that we spoke to were hungry to jump up the leader’s ratings knowing that they had three more days of racing ahead of them.
Before the morning races, we spoke with Nico Landauer on his involvement in helping organize this event, a future partnership with Extreme Sail and a possible qualifying tour.
After speaking with Nico we spotted Miss Daniela Moroz. If you’re not familiar with this young lady, you should be. Besides being the 2016 HydroFoil Pro Tour Overall Women’s Champion at the age of 15 as well as being the youngest person ever to win the US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award. She can hold her own against many of the top foilers in the world and is the only woman at this event racing against 14 other men.
Seeing rain clouds overhead and a few drops of water on the concrete parking lot behinds us, we managed to squeeze in one last interview knowing that one of two things would happen. Either the floodgates of rain would come down on us and they would delay the start of the races with the athletes scattering for cover in their cars or they would push ahead with the races on schedule sending the riders on a mad dash to launch their kites and head out to the starting gate.
As we finished the last interview, the radio squawked and informed the riders that they should get on the water. By the start of the first of the three morning races, whitecaps could be seen on the water from the Event Village. The young Frenchman Axel Mazell sprinted out to a commanding lead winning the first two out of three races and taking second place in the third. By the time the three afternoon races were over, he extended his lead even more by winning those as well. The American Riley Gibbs redeemed himself after placing seventh in yesterday’s race to do no worse than fourth in the morning races. In the afternoon, he placed second, eleventh and third in the last three races, moving him to second place in the standings.
Yesterday’s third place finisher Olly Bridge, battled the pack most of the day going from fifth place in the first, to third overall by day’s end. Toni Vodisek, the Slovenian, who had won on the first day, kept a steady pace on all of the day’s races. He only faltered once in the third race of the day, but that did not keep him from going any lower than fourth place once all the races were over.