The winds were light on the morning of day 3 of the 2018 La Ventana Classic and the SUP racing got off to an early 7:15am start. After loading up the pangas, the racers cruised over to Cerralvo Island to start the Island Crossing. Enjoying the marine and wildlife along the way, all athletes made the crossing in well under 3 hours with Macrae Wylde coming in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, Jon Walsh ten minutes later at 2 hours and 25 minutes and Dave Beddows following just after at 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Early in the afternoon the wind began to fill in enough to run foil course racing. Foil kites of all colors flew across the water in front of Hot Springs Beach and the pack of foilers wound up and down the beach as they raced around set buoys. Connor Bainbridge was on fire, winning the first two races, and although he received a DSQ in race 6, he came back with a vengeance to win race 7. This put him in a first place lead for the day, followed by Ejder Ginyol and Xantos Villejos.
In between events, local children took to the stage and entertained the crowd with a variety of dance performances.
1:30pm marked the Slow Race, the first mountain bike race of the Classic. A unique event, the Slow Race consisted of a cornered off rectangle at the event site broken into 6 lanes. A costume was required of all participants and the rules were set: last person to the finish line wins; no backward peddling, no stopping, no putting one’s feet down. Decked out in silver onzies, pink wigs, chicken hats and more, bicyclists lined up at the starting line with the goal of going slow. Daniel Martinez went the slowest, crossing the finish line last while Antonia Padilla finished 2nd to last and Joe Ruscito was just ahead of them, crossing the finish line third to last.
The wind picked up in afternoon and the kiting was on. The first heat of Sportsmen Freestyle quickly changed from a six to a four man heat when two competitors wrapped kites at the beginning keeping them occupied throughout the heat while Dave Beddows showed off with darkslide and Markus Garofalo pulled a one-footer. Next up, Ella Johnson, Justi Vonada, Trish Ordoveza and Rachel Callahan went strapless for the Women’s Strapless Freestyle event.
After Freestyle it was on to Slalom. After two figure eight laps around the buoys out in front of Hot Springs Beach, Marcus Garofalo crossed the finish line first for Sportsmen heat 4 and Jeff Raney took first for Sportsmen heat 5. After the Sportsmen’s heats, two Men’s Competitor heats stacked full of big names duked it out on the water. With so many kites in one place at the starting line, it looked as though they were bound to wrap as athletes took to the water but both heats had clean starts and intense action all the way though to the finish. In heat 1, Eric Rienstra crossed the finish line before Louis Diego Geraldo and Evan Netsch and in heat 2, it was Reed Brady who finished first followed by Miguel Tamayo and Matt Elsasser. In the last event of the day Justi Vonada crossed the finish line first to beat out the rest of the women in the Women’s Competitor heat.
As the day came to an end, the top freestyle riders took advantage of the holding winds and after simultaneously chugging beers, headed out on the water for an expression session before the raffle began and competitors and spectators alike headed over to the dance party at Marlin Azul.
Photos by Noles Dennhardt and Jason Hudson
Schedule Update: Saturday, January 20th
10:00am Skipper’s Meeting for Enduro Mountain Bike
10:30am Skipper’s Meeting for Foil Course Racing
1:00pm Skipper’s Meeting for Slalom
1:15pm Skipper’s Meeting for Freestyle
5:30pm Mexi Food Fiesta at Baja Joe’s
7:30pm Kilometro Band rocks Baja Joe’s