North Kites team rider Kirsty Jones has pulled an impressive result out of the bag coming third overall at the Master of the Ocean - holding her own against the other male and female competitors. Here's what Kirsty had to to say:
" The Master if the Ocean is a triathlon of riding waves, where the competitor competes in windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing over a number of days and then whoever advances the most in each discipline wins the title of Master of the Ocean.
It's the only event of its kind in the world and for me it's the competition I most enjoy as it takes me back to my roots and first passion of windsurfing and gives me a chance to surf, windsurf and kite all in the same day, reminding me of the great feeling each sport brings. Another unique aspect to this event is the opportunity it gives women to compete against the men as the heats are mixed.
In each discipline there are some of the best guys in the world competing, but it's the most all round competitor who Masters the ocean best in all 3 that wins the title.
As there are some exceptional riders who can do just one or two of the sports there is a separate qualifying competition that allows the winner in each sport to enter the main event and have a chance to win the Master.
There is also then a separate winner/Master for each discipline for those who don't want to go for the overall Master. This allowed us to see some of the most impressive action I've ever seen in kiting, windsurfing and surfing all at the same spot as some of the best riders in the world competed in their individual sports.
Also putting on an impressive show and competing in the 'Kite Master' section was fellow Animal, North and ION team rider Tom Court who had also just arrived in Dom Rep after a month toughening up back on the Isle of Wight. Tom ripped it up in his heats as usual but went a bit too hard too early and had an impressive crash allowing one of the Dominican hot shots to advance higher up the ladder. The local Dominican kiter's are some of the very best in the world therefore any kiting heat with them was going to be as tough as it gets but still Tom managed to get 7th in the Kite Masters.
For me it was a tough challenge to advance higher in the heats than Carolina as both of us battled against the men to try and advance to the next round but eventually I managed to advance a bit more in my kitesurfing and windsurfing heats than Carolina meaning I would take the Women's Master of the Ocean title.
My next challenge was to try and get as far as possible in the windsurfing that I was still in, as I now stood a chance of actually getting a good ranking against the men.
It was such a great feeling to windsurf again but it was also the discipline I was most nervous about, as I have only windsurfed once since I started kiting 7 years ago and that was during the Master of the Ocean in 2005.
I was really glad of the 1 hour practise I had windsurfing the day before the comp as I was having difficulty remembering essential basic points let alone how to wave ride or jump!
I felt so excited having the boom and sail back in my hands and the totally different feeling it generated compared to kitesurfing. I forgot about competing and just enjoyed riding again. Luckily in my heat things started flowing back and despite being very rusty and feeling very weak in the arms I managed to get through 2 heats against the men. The excitement got a bit much for me and during the last few minutes of the losers final I got washed by a wave over the shallow reef with the board and sail on top of me! This reminded me how tough windsurfing can be and for sure I will appreciate the kite more next time I go out!
What I didn't realise until the prize giving was my good overall ranking in each discipline had now earned me 3rd place on the podium against the men.
I'd like to say a big thank you and well done to the organiser / founder Marcus Boehm for making such a such special event happen and for all the hard work and organising that went intro this event. Also a big thank you to the event sponsors, judges, competitors, DJ's, spectators, and the Ocean, wind and waves for giving us what we need and love.
A huge thank you also to my own sponsors Animal, North and ION for giving me the opportunity to compete, travel and ride with the best equipment there is.
Thanks also to Club Mistral and Vela and sorry for the damages to your windsurf equipment!"
Find out more about Kirsty Jones Rider Profile
Find out more about Tom Courts Rider Profile
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