Location- Swansea Bay Swansea South Wales
Kitesurf Freestyle KITEIVAL 09 ROUND 1
Event Sponsor- The City and County of Swansea Council
Co-Event Sponsor- Gower Kiteriders, Flexifoil , North
Tour Sponsors- Red Bull, Deadman, Buff, King of Watersports
Disciplines- Kitesurf, Kitelandboard, Kitebuggy Freestyle and Kitesurf Course Racing
Results after 3 days of non stop wind and 97 competitors:
1 - Toby Raw
2 - Sam Light
3 - Ali Barratt
1 - Hannah Whitely
2 - Nicki Rudd
3 - Sarah Silvester
1 - Tom Butler
2 - Sam Moore
3 - Ben Todd
1 - Megan Griffiths
2 - Sukie Robertson
3 - Sherly Confue
1 - Pete Whitely
2 - Matthew Davies
3 - Marc Rowley
1 - Dan Morrice
2 - Dan Sweeney
3 - Oli Bridge
Course Racing Kitesurf
1 Steph Bridge
2 Andy Gratwick
3 Denzil Williams
4 Steve Stubbs
5 Callum Edge
6 Darren Pompey
7 Jason Mc Caffery
8 James Longmuir
9= Rob Darling
9= Dom Moore
11= Neil Harper
11= Nicky Rudd
13= Alex Laird
13= Matt Smith
13= Peter Whiteley
16 James Edwards
17 Steve Mews
1st: Lewis Wilby
2nd: AJ Philipsen
3rd: Nick Austin
1st: James Langton
2nd Greg Chilton
4th = Robbie Shire Maidment, Ted Polkey , Jack Daykin
1st Will McKeen
2nd Neil Oakden
3rd Frazier Cohen
Thanks to everyone involved .
More information at: www.bksa.com
Sunday kicked off….. well after that night it was a slow start, with tired faces at the riders briefing, the pressure was on all the junior riders as all the other categories had finished and the juniors was the only class to be finished.
The pressure was on and after the briefing all the kids scrambled to find out where all our parents had gone to get the van keys and get our kit ready.
The wind was looking good, cross onshore around 15 knots and picking up. I set up my 6-8-10-12 switchblade ready for the changing winds. It wasn’t long before the water packed with groms pulling there new tricks warming up for the day. I took it easy but I had to justify myself that I could nail all my new tricks as I know you can loose tricks as fast as you learn them. But I was chuffed I stomped all that I think I need to get as far as I could.
It was a while before the heats were ready to go, most guys were on 9m kites where I was on my ten and as per usual I found myself in the first heat and I took a last minute decision to take my 8m just before my heat.
HOOONKKKKKKKKKK as slow as I thought it was taking for the team to organize them self’s it was the start of my heat, I was all set ready upwind of the judging area. I waited a good 40 seconds to see a clear path where I could get a clear run away from the other lads and score some points. I few kiteloops, rotations, blind sides later it was the end of my heat, I was pretty happy with it and hopefully it was enough to move on up. I knew Oli Bridge had been ripping so he was one to look out for. I had a few butt checks on tricks many down to being in straps for the first time in a while as the dark side of kitesurfing had taken me over but thankfully it was enough and I moved on up to the semi finals.
I managed to watch a few eats of the other young'uns and they were ripping the Bridge brothers and George Shoulder were definitely a favorite for the comp.
The Semi finals was a lot different for me as the wind had picked up a lot and it was getting quite gusty. So I took my 6m Cabrinha Switchblade and the heat was pretty similar to the singles, it was jammed with more kiteloops and I took a few funs up the beach to get out of the crowd and to get back in the judges view, the last minute mark was a good one for me and I had lots of ideas of what to go for, sebnd pass went though my head and the last thing I remember is hooooning downwind, finding a flat spot and going for it, I was pretty powered and the lack of concentration and planning saw me miss the bar and have a pretty good crash. But it was a great heat, it was exactly the heat that reminds me why I compete, with the adrenaline and having the chance to show what you’re made of.
The weather was pretty rubbish, with on and off showers and it was pretty hard keeping warm.
The finals crept up real quick and the wind and weather took a massive change, a big front came in and the wind went south westerly the sun came out and I had big disavow from Saturday as the wind went super strong. We could tell the wind had picked up due to a few course racers being blown in totally overpowered on 10m kites.
It had come, the final, me vs Danny Morrice and Oli Bridge, I had my thoughts of the disadvantages for Oli as he was pretty young and I was going to have a hard time holding down my 6m let alone this wee man on his 7m! Danny had been riding good thoughout the comp and the higher wind was his strong point, watching his riding though the lighter winds he had a hard time keeping up with some of the unhooked moves the young riders were throwing down. The heat started off with some big airs, and I decided to begin my heat big with a kiteloop, I knew it would be a quite a big one dew to being so powered, but it was a big frontal yank but I managed to regain control and stomp the landing. I was mainly concentrating on having fun and not worrying about the big unhooked moves as it was super windy. But one thing I will learn on is drifting off downwind, I couldn’t hold my ground as I was super stacked on my 6m. I didn’t watch the other two much but Oli bridge unfortunately crashed out early in the heat and Danny stayed upwind stacking up the points, last minute of my heat I went for a blind judge, which ended in missing the bar, which I knew would happen, but I wanted to end the heat with something.
I had ideas of the positions we were in, and I had won second, Oli in third and Daniel in 1st. So a well done to all the riders. We will see at Hunstanton how things go! I’m hoping for some flat water and perfect 8m weather!
Overall it was a perfect start to 2009 for all the riders and the BKSA. So I would like to thank all the BKSA team, competitors and my sponsors for their support, Cabrinha, NPX and Monster.
I hope to se everyone at Hunstanton!
Event Summary by Dan Sweeney:
So after a successful year of what competitions I was able to attend I had the opportunity to compete once again throughout 2009.
I decided to compete in the junior division for this year due to my age at 15 years old and to open up opportunities for 2010. After a super cold English winter while others got away to places such as South Africa I was still confident I could chase my dream and get a consistent result though 2009 and for fill my true potential.
I had a Spanish exam on the Friday of the competition when the pros where competing so this wasn’t a problem, so I headed up to Swansea around midday on Friday to arrive in Wales around 5pm. A few fuel stops later and breaks we were in Swansea, it was quite a built up industrial area but it seemed nice even though it was freezing and raining!
Once we had arrived it was the heats of the loser final and there wasn’t much action going on, with numb fingers and toes and gusty unreliable wind was taking its toll on most of the riders. We didn’t spend much time on the beach as it was soo cold so we headed back to the RedBull tent where a BBQ was going ahead.
It ended as a pretty late night for most people as it was Dom Moores birthday! So I know Craig from Blue Juice Multimedia was planning on a early night but he didn’t get back until 2am!!Saturday kicked off with a riders briefing for all riders and the wind was already hitting around 40mph gusts. Most guys were fully up for competing in the nuclear conditions but funnily enough it was the guys who had been training in South Africa all winter!
It was quite apparent the junior event wouldn’t be running in the conditions due to the younger guys not having a small enough kite and for safety reasons. But most of us chilled out though out the day and watched the finals of the Pro men and the Amateur men and ladies.
I headed out around 11am for a quick session to test out the conditions and I was on a 3.5 Cabrinha Convert, it was the smallest kite I had ever been on and it defiantly proved the wind strength of the day. I had a bit of a cruise and did a little warm up just enough to be ready for Sunday for the juniors.
Sam Moore put up a great fight in the conditions along with Lewis Davies but though out the day Tom Butler stood out to the judges with consistent moves.
I think most riders were happy with the conditions through the day although there were some disputes down to the actions of the judges, but that’s al part of competing.
The day seemed to go super fast and I think most people had a great time, the spectators loved the big airs and kiteloops, but I think Rick Jensen bought a whole new style to the BKSA comp, he is a well known wakestyle rider, and he decided to ride bindings though out the comp and showed a whole new level of speed, power and skill.
Towards the mark of the end of Saturday the wind seemed to ease off and I went for a session where I was joined by Will Bennet who is current waves UK champ and Lewis Crathern and Aaron hadlow who we all know. They put up a great show for everyone and to show what was totally possible, from massive megaloop passes, to strapless waveriding.
The evening was great with a buffet set up by a local bar which took us a good half an hour to find. And for most of the riders, competing was over and they could have a good night.Look out for my video for the start of 2009 in early July, filled with latest tricks and my trip to Barbados.