Organizers and competitors gathered at McGee Beach in Corpus Christi, TX, for the final day of the 2010 IKA World Kite Racing Championship not knowing what to expect.
With a sketchy forecast that could go either way, organizers waited for the wind to settle so they could set a race course while competitors had a mixed bag of emotions — those on top would hold their top placements if the weather did not cooperate while others were chomping at the bit to race in hopes of advancing their positions.
At around 1p, it looked like the onshore winds would win with wind coming in around 5 knots at the start line near the race committee boat. Light white caps started to build and competitors began putting kites up in the air to test the conditions. Damien Leroy (Cabrinha/USA) tried valiantly to get off the beach but could get not get outside of the groins to open water. The wind then died and switched to a side offshore direction.
The side offshore winds built up and Jesse Richman (Cabrinha/USA) took to the water to test the conditions, riding out to the start line and around the course checking for the winds consistency. Conditions again looked promising as other competitors joined him on the water in anticipation of the first race of the day. Unfortunately, the winds were inconsistent and five kites went down in the middle of the bay. Organizers waited another 30 minutes to see if the wind would even out but eventually called the race at 4p.
All participants gathered at the Executive Surf Club for the awards dinner and party. Organizer Nils Stolzechner of NJS Custom Boards and General Manager of the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi outlined the tremendous effort that was needed to make this event happen after the originating sponsors of the event had to pull out due to liability and insurance issues just two months before the event. Nils thanked the race committee lead by Mark Foster and his team, members of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club for their support, along with the Corpus Christi Vistitors and Conference Bureau, Ozone Kites and Live2Kite as industry sponsors who stepped up to the plate and offered cash donations to support the event. Nils and emcee Neil Hutchinson then recognized the top 10 men and top three women and presented them with their winnings. The evening was followed with a live band and celebration of Neil’s 40th birthday, a great ending to a tremendous event that may be the stepping stone to getting kiteboarding into the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Many thanks to the 40 top athletes from 14 different countries that made it to Texas despite of the problems produced by the flight chaos in Europe for their participation in the event along with supporting sponsors including Ozone, Live2Kite, NJS Custom Board Designs, Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Kiteboarder Magazine, Ultra Nectar, Budweiser, Corpus Christi Marina, Curtis Fins, Reef, Texas State Aquarium, and LVN Contractors.
Top 10 men:
Top Three Women:
Full results and points available at http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=2696
Pictures are available from Thirdcoastphoto at http://thirdcoastphoto.com/kite2010/
Report by Marina Chang / The Kiteboarder