We had all decided to leave a few days early to explore the South Island’s East coast before competing at the Ozone kite boarding nationals at Christchurch.
Before we went down we stopped off at Awatere river mouth for a stand up paddle surf, Kiakora for a few nights stay and a surf around the corner at Mangamaunu which was EPIC.
During our stay at Kiakora we filled the no- surf or wind by sperm whale and dolphin watching. We headed straight to Christchurch for Wednesday evening for the riders briefing.
The forecast for Thursday wasn’t looking too promising. We had a window where the competition could only be run in that time scale because of the tides.
We had every size of C4 ranging from a 7m to 12m + 17m Zephyr, we were all well prepared for any conditions.
Late afternoon the wind blew through enough for the Zephyr. Being the first out on the water meant that there were other kites going up soon enough as the other riders got keen. They managed to run a few heats of juniors before the water dried up.
Friday was the day. The forecast was looking wicked so the first possible start was brought forward to try and crack through all the different categories. The Opens were up first, this was Alex’s category. He stormed through his first heat riding hard which was quite impressive, landing s-bends, blind judges, s-mobes, f-16, raily to blind and KL3’s. It was awesome. In his first heat Alex came second.
His second heat was a little more challenging. As the tide was still coming in, the water got very choppy. Riding at Foxton Beach 24/7 means that it’s rare that we ever ride when it’s choppy. The estuary is a perfect spot when its blowing NW as it blows over the sandbar making it mirror flat the other side. Alex came third in this heat up against Marc Jacobs. He then went into the doubles.
After a few heats of the men’s open, it was my turn. I was up against a new rider Tici and former NZ women’s title owner Su Kay. Whilst getting ready, it looked good out there, not too choppy. The wind was a little gusty as it was coming more northerly but nothing I haven’t experienced before. I took out the 2014 10m C4. I felt pretty happy with this heat, getting back into competing wasn’t too bad considering I have had a year off from the BKSA tour, it was fun. I won my first heat which put me straight into the final.
Both Alex and I had to wait a little while for our next heats, so we chilled out and watched Olly Brunton & the other Ozone riders compete.
Alex’s third heat was much better, the wind had picked up so he went down to a 9m from a 12m C4. Alex competed well landing everything he did in his first heat and came first.
I was competing straight after and took out the 8m C4, I was surprised how much it picked up, being over powered on a small kite meant the conditions to compete in were a bit more challenging. After this super final competing against Su, it was the final. I had dropped down to the 7m C4 which was perfect for the conditions! After competing they kept the results hush until the prize giving on Saturday night. During the comps I had landed kiteloop railys, raily to blind, raily to toe and s-bends.
Unfortunately there was no longer any water in the estuary for Alex to finish competing, so the event was finished for the day.
Saturday’s conditions weren’t great for competing; the wind was blowing southerly which was offshore. While we were all waiting for it to improve, the slider and winch came out.
In the end the competition got cancelled for the rest of the day and the weekend as prize giving was that night.
The prize giving kicked off with announcing the women’s results, Tici with third, Su with second and me with first! Stoked.
Alex won a tandem paraglide prize out of a spot prize draw which he was chuffed to bits with!
After a great event, a long drive back with a rough ferry crossing in-between we are now at sunny Foxton Beach! Home
Photos: Steve McCormack
Read original article: Ozone News:NZ 2014 Ozone Freestyle Nationals report by Danielle Durrant