Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wind Festival 2015 Memories




The long-awaited 2015 Wind Festival [WF], organized by the Mexican Kiteboard Association [AMK by its acronym in Spanish], began on Friday, May 22nd, on the beaches of the Riviera Nayarit, where the wind blows from March through June of every year. The morning began quietly on the sands of BARACAY, one of the event sponsors, on a very hot day with a clear and distinct wind line on the horizon. Once the finishing touches on the event installation were done, we waited for the familiar breeze that makes it a perfect day, chatting with the SLINGSHOT team and admiring the new kite-mobile from TRON-X—both event sponsors—as well as the transformation of the beach by the Riviera Nayarit crew.

The AMK and the WF were grateful to Mother Nature when she kicked in and gave us a perfect breeze, blowing at 20+ knots for the entire three-day event. It was an excellent and highly anticipated event; we will certainly celebrate it again next year.

There was a lot of excitement going on behind the scenes as they started the Women's Freestyle competitions, where Raquel Arroyo won 1st place, followed by Germany’s Carolin Nueser in 2nd and Katya Stein, resident of Nuevo Vallarta, in 3rd.

Carlos Rosas, "El Venado," one of the founders of AMK and co-organizer of the WF, said it "was the best event to date in Mexico thanks in great part to the efforts and dedication of the members of the AMK, the support of our sponsors and, especially, to the wind that blew during the those three days, favoring us with 23 knots and gusts of up to 25 for the Freestyle categories.”

During our conversations with judges Riccardo Leccese and Rogelio Basave Camarena, known as “Cache,” they commented there was “a great level of talent” in the Freestyle Open and the Freestyle Pro competitions, and that 14-year-old Anthar Racca from Isla Blanca, Quintana Roo, was the top competitor. He excelled from the first day of the competition, taking 1st place and landing tricks including a Blind Judge 7, a double handle pass. Noé Molj from Holbox took 2nd place and Andrés Tapia, a Kite Zone rider from Guadalajara came in 3rd. The competitors awed the beachgoers in the Riviera Nayarit during the Freestyle finals with tricks including KGBs, Black mobes, Front mobes, Slim Chances, Kite Loop 3s, and Blind Judge 3s and 7s.

The 200 competitors were a spectacular sight with their bright red rash guards, courtesy of BAPU Beach Wear, owned by the Tapia brothers. On Saturday the 23rd, Vallarta Plus transported the competitors to the Marina Riviera Nayarit for the start of the traditional 10K Downwind. Cabildo Francisco Ortiz, also known as “Capitán Peligro” and the official narrator of the WF for the 6th consecutive year, commented that “Xantos Villegas won the Downwind race riding a kite foil, leading the fleet of over 200 competitors from La Cruz to Bucerías in a colorful and spectacular arrival to a beach filled with kites, bikinis and style.” Riccardo Andrea Leccese arrived in 2nd place, followed by Pedro Pablo González in 3rd place, Santiago Ramírez in 4th, Carlos Rosas in 5th, Andrés Santacruz in 6th, Adam Finer in 7th, Agustín Tapia in 8th and Anthony Legare in 9th and Noé Molj in 10th. 

Adam Finer won 1st place in the Slalom event. Bucería locals July Castellon, Ingrid Rojas and Delia Medina, who accompanied us in the audience, said they had heard about this event thanks to the social media efforts by local kiteboarding businesses dedicated to promoting this sport. Pedro Pablo González took 2nd place in Slalom and Juan Pedro Ashida placed 3rd.

Riccardo Leccese won the Big Air competition, with 2nd and 3rd places won by Pedro Pablo González and Anthar Racca, respectively. This category delights both spectators and participants alike, as the idea is to see who can jump the highest and keep the kite in the air the longest. Jaime Ancira Valverde won 1st place in the Freestyle Open Category, followed by Andrés Barrios in 2nd and Morales Wero in 3rd. 

The festival wrapped up with music and plenty of fun in the surf, with delicious Ceviche de 8 tostadas, Pepsi, Corona beer and Tequila Don Roberto. The sunset was amazing, dotted with kiters in the sky and everyone enjoying the lifestyle that this inspiring sport brings with it. Life is truly better when the wind blows. 

The competitors went home happy with swag bags from sponsors including MAYA, Gopost, Gear Mafia, Kitesurf Vacation, TRON-X and Slingshot. 

Check the video in the following link: https://youtu.be/4yxegPbhBRQ

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