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Old 02-10-2006, 02:43 AM
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Default TAMPA BAY BOARDERCROSS RACE!!! --> PART I


Kent assisted by Raul prepare to hit it in the first ever boarder cross kiteboarding event in Florida. It came down at North Beach, Mullet Key (Ft. DeSoto Park), Tampa, FL on February 4, 2006. Big thanks to Jayson, Neil, all the volunteers, sponsors and RIDERS for making this historic race a great success. This is the first competition over this way since November 3, 2001 when the first kitesurfing comp. in Florida went off in St. Pete! It was worth the wait.



Conditions were challenging, high wind and even waves.









The concept prepared by Neil was straight forward. An oblate course of various tacks including a high speed downwind run along the shore. Some guys would have to tack upwind to make the turn before that point however. Guys would have a Grand Prix start from the sand along the shore and go to it as the looped the course twice. Photos from the bordercross and free riding sessions appear in the following account.


The hard setup work begins in earnest



Strong wind, waves and current caused most of the marks to move off of station throughout the event.



Red Bull's here!



Andrea and Pete hike in, from Ft. Lauderdale



Eagle, a local instructor running Tampa Bay Kiteboarding, kiteboarding paramedic and event organizer cons in the rib for support service during the event. He is due to have a WAY TO GO! account written up for past life saving actions.



Neil and Kent work to get things ready to go



Jayson's lovely wife working to make this event a success






Randy geared up for weather gets ready to go



It was a day of contrasts as a powerful cold front passed over. In the morning, some evil looking clouds swept over. Looking north from the marina in St. Pete.



The radar is starting to clear as the front passes from Tampa Bay. The line of clouds shown above appears in this radar image. Such a powerful front contributed to the loss of a kiteboarder in the NE recently. You want to make SURE the radar is clear of inbound squall bands before putting up a kite as these guys did for the event.


Event organizer Jayson was treated to a tree falling over his roof the night BEFORE the frontal squall line arrived which in turn yanked a power pole and lines into his hot tub. Fortunately, he had just decamped from the tub a short time before. Good luck with the cleanup Jayson, hope it moves quickly.

Torrential rains and high squall winds the afternoon the day before the event contributed to some significant flooding, a roof collaspe and wind damage. There was a slow startup for the event the next morning, deliberately to make sure the powerful squalls at the frontal boundary had moved past to the southeast before the kites went up. By the afternoon the clouds had gone and were replaced by a surreal frontal high with blue skies and WIND.



Even after the squall line passed wind was strong. Riders were usually pretty conservative in kite selection (lots of 7 and 8 m kites) and riding (TRYING to stay on the water and avoiding tricks that might slow them down during heats).



CLICK FOR FULL SIZE IMAGE
The event



Melissa riding for JN Kiteboarding sets up



Kinda powered out there



Randy gets an assist from Shawn during launch. This was a common practice throughout the day given the stronger winds.



Mike Hall heads out



How do you know if you are rigged too big? Uh, well ...
This 185 lb. fellow was out on a 3 m SS open cell foil at one point and ripping along just fine! I didn't catch your name, thanks for the assisted launch and landing.



A new "board off" trick, a fairly extreme one. QUESTION: Does anyone know who this is? I would like to find out how the re-entry to the surface went (OUCH!).


Pete tears it up



Damien floats along






Riders getting ready for the starting horn



They're off!



Making to the downwind turn to the west



Riding upwind to the north



Rounding the upwind marker at the northern extreme of the course



Kent rocketing along the downwind leg to whip around the southern inshore mark to loop the course again



Company flew by. Don't let choppers get too close to your kite, particularly while moving at 150 mph! It was actually pretty far away in this shot.




Bill Parker throws one



Andrea head out



Damien from Ft. Lauderdale edges hard in strong conditions






Event organizer Jayson dons his special wetsuit for the cold conditions (none) and speaks with another fellow in an OR drysuit?!






Looking good



Steve Sadler heads out with a lid!



Bill's having fun now



So is Jayson



Andrea assists Maria





Stay tuned, more images from this event including the FINAL HEAT are coming up soon. Funky photos of the top riders going off in a surreal frontal high, more hard riding shots from the day, the wrap ceremony AND from the Downwinder Bay Race.


NOTE: If there are misidentified or worse, unidentified riders in the photos or other useful information please post your input.

More to come in PART II ...
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:21 PM
slingshot05 slingshot05 is offline
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Awesome pictures!!!

wish it wasn't to much wind for me (130lb only 15 y/o) i would have won!! :lol: jp

unknown riders.....

picture 41 that is Shawn helping Randy launch
picture 22 is Mike Hall
picture 42 is Steve Sadler
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot05
Awesome pictures!!!

wish it wasn't to much wind for me (130lb only 15 y/o) i would have won!! :lol: jp

unknown riders.....

picture 41 that is Shawn helping Randy launch
picture 22 is Mike Hall
picture 42 is Steve Sadler

Thanks and I really appreciate the help with the names! Just to confirm, Mike Hall was the guy in the white helmet?

Do you have close cut blond hair? If so, I think I have a photo of you to put into Part II. What is your name or if I have the ID wrong, what do you look like so I can hunt a photo up. I shot quite a few. Part II should be pretty interesting.
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:29 AM
slingshot05 slingshot05 is offline
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wow, mixed up my numbers a little bit sorry.
i counted down from the top picture,
picture number 21 is shawn helping randy launch
picture number 22 is mike hall, he's wearing no helmet
picture number 42 is steve sadler with the white helmet

yeah i have short blonde hair. i was the kid launching the kite that randy was flying in that picture.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:38 PM
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I got to meet the west coast riders in Miami this week end and let me tell you, what a bunch of great guy's that ride hard.

Can this be a big rival going down with west coast against east coast, Alex wins their contest and Billy wins the Miami one. That was great, I like it.

Best part is they all hang out ride and party all night long wish I could.

Respect to the west coast you all ride hard and are a super cool gang.
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