As the clouds cleared and the wind picked up in the morning, the competitors made their way to the beach to register for the Open International Freestyle competition. Between Open International Freestyle heats, the Amateur Freestyle finals were also on the schedule. With gusty wind for most of the afternoon, the riders were in for a challenge to claim one of the limited spots on the podium.
The judging panel included recognizable names like Chuck Waterson, Craig Cunningham, Aaron Hadlow, and Sam Medysky. With such a high caliber of riders watching their every move, the competitors knew they had to give it their all to impress.
After a 2nd place finish in the Canadian National Freestyle event, Cabrinha team rider Lucas Arsenault was fighting hard for the 1st place podium spot in the Open Internationals. In the finals, he had to fend off fellow countryman (and winner of the 2019 Canadian National Championship) Jack Rieder along with the American visitors (Chris Bobryk and Eric Rienstra) to claim that top spot.
On the ladies side, Lauren Holman rode another exceptional heat. Even after a challenging crash, she was easily able to clinch her 1st place podium spot ahead of fellow Canadians Marie-Eve Maynard and Crystal Veness.
The Junior podium saw some familiar faces including Jordan Tulk, Nicolas Farrar, and 1st place finisher Shaymus Finlay. Shaymus was able to match his win in the Canadian National Championships with a Junior Open International Freestyle title.
In the Masters division, first timer Loren Parfitt blew away his local friends with a solid performance including unhooked tricks and kite loops. He managed to beat local favourite Brett Wilson, but couldn’t quite knock the reigning champion Mark Koenig out of 1st place.
After the Open International Freestyle event wrapped up, the first few rounds of the Kiter-Cross were conducted. Kiter-Cross is a fun, fast-paced event that sees a group of riders racing through a course of buoys, jumping an inflatable flamingo, and flying through the finish line right in front of the audience.
In previous years, this event has led to the most entertainment – and the most kite tangles – of any other event in Kite Clash. Today’s Kiter-Cross saw more than 30 riders competing to qualify for the final races scheduled this Sunday.
The dedicated team of volunteers worked tirelessly to keep the event organized, the riders stoked, and to keep the launching and landing zone operating efficiently. On the water, the Squamish Windsports Society was ready and waiting on jet-skis in case of a major ‘kite-mare’ among the competitors. The SWS had their hands full, where spectators bore witness to several tangles that took down some of the top competitors, including 2017 winner Lewis Crathern.
After a massive day out on the water, competitors headed over to the after-party location of Norman Rudy’s to unwind with a drink in hand to the tunes spun by DJ Kwest.
Kite Clash 7 will continue on Sunday for the 4th and final day of competition including the Big Air event and the final rounds of the Kiter-Cross.
Amateur Men’s Podium:
1. Corey Coons
2. Rick Renaud
3. Brett Wilson
Amateur Women’s Podium:
1. Kalena Nielsen
2. Alex Waterson
3. Rachelle Lamothe
Juniors International Open Freestyle Podium:
1. Shaymus Finlay
2. Nicolas Farrar
3. Jordan Tulk
Masters International Open Freestyle Podium:
1. Mark Koenig
2. Loren Parfitt
3. Philipp Schonger
Womens International Open Freestyle Podium:
1. Lauren Holman
2. Marie-Eve Maynard
3. Crystal Veness
Mens International Open Freestyle Podium:
1. Lucas Arsenault
2. Jack Rieder
3. Chris Bobryk