Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ECWF Cape Cod Results and Kiri Video

We had a great East Coast Windsurfing Festival on Cape Cod the last weekend. 32 racers and 23 freestylers competed over two days - sunny and warm with light winds on day 1, and stronger offshore winds on day 2 with clouds and a few sprinkles of rain.
On Sunday afternoon, a new King and Queen of the Cape were crowned: Rich Simons and Pam Levy. Hail to the royal pair!
In racing, Mike Burns dominated the SUP/6.5 m division with 9 bullets (full results here). Jerry Evans won the 7.5 division with six 1st place finishes, two second places, and one third place - despite a broken outhaul in one heat. The open division saw several changes in leadership. John Brown started with 2 bullets, but when Myles Borash returned from the emergency room after minor toe surgery, he won 3 of the next four races. Gonzalo Giribet, the winner of the 1st ECWF Cape Cod racing in the open division, started slowly with a 7.5 m sail - he was testing his knees after knee surgery just 3 weeks ago. But when he discovered that the knee held up just fine, he returned with his 9.5 m race sail for day 2, and proceeded to leave Myles and everyone else on the race course far, far behind. In one race, he was so far ahead that we send him around the course again. He rounded most racers, coming on on 8th place for his second rounding of the course!

In freestyle, the level  in all three divisions (Men, Women, and Pros) was amazingly high. In the Pro division, Mike Burns was held back somewhat by recent injuries, but the Australian "Railride King" Pierre Coupal forced Kiri to show all his tricks to win the light wind heats.
Pierre on the original Windsurfer upside-down, fin first, clew first, next to Kiri 
On Sunday, the wind started light for a third heat in the Men's and Women's freestyle competition. In the subsequent Men's final, the heat was so close that it required a re-sail between Rich Simons and Niko Kley; Niko took the title with a flowing display of difficult tricks that included Duck Tacks, Back-2-Back, Ankle Biters, and Jawbreakers.

When the wind started to turn to the north, getting very light, we held the raffle for all event participants (who had to be present to win). Everyone when home with at least one item from our sponsors; top prices each worth $500 or more included an Ianovated winter wetsuit, a new Point-7 sail, and ABK camp voucher. Then it was off to three more races.

At this point, the offshore wind had increased to levels that allowed GPS Freeracing - but they also made our Pro level freestylers itch to get onto the water on the Lewis Bay side of Kalmus Beach, where the wind was more side-shore and thus more constant. Most windsurfers were too worn out to go back onto the water, but 4 windsurfers went out for a short 15 minute heat. Freestyler Martin Schauer posted the highest speed, but John Brown won the race by covering the highest distance.

Everyone left at the beach rushed over to the Lewis bay side to see the Pro level freestylers in action. The 2013 PWA Freestyle World Champion Kiri Thode was joined by Mike Burns, who was held back by an injury; local freestyler Nikita Piankov; and Chris Eldridge, who "officially" switched to wave sailing, but still has many cool moves up his sleeves. Nikita, Chris, and Mike put on a good show, but the only actual pro quickly demonstrated the difference between good amateur freestyle and top-level pro freestyle, showing many of the moves that allow him to win most of his PWA freestyle heats. A short video from this session is below; unfortunately, some of the biggest moves (e.g. a double Culo) are missing because Nina's camera batteries chose the worst possible moment to die. Enjoy!