Posts Tagged ‘kiteboarding’
Whether or not foiling kiteboards make it to the Tokyo 2020 Games, long time US sailboarder Steve Bodner is doing his best to get to the top of the heap in the fastest-developing sailing discipline in history. Here’s his update (and watch the sort-of video accompaniment here):
Progress, it doesn’t come easy or fast but when you least expect it. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to come at all despite everything you’d hoped for. The important thing, is to keep moving forward.
I’ve been on the kite foil now for just over 18 months, jump starting into the new discipline just after having learned how to kite a year before that. The transition to foiling wasn’t swift, but now that I’ve got some time on the water, things are becoming easier. It’s an amazing feeling, a total game changer from the previous 30 years of sailing and windsurfing. I’ve gone from barely kiting to getting most of my sessions on the foil. It took me most of last year to learn how to foil and most of this year learning to go downwind comfortably. The sport remains awesome yet humbling in so many ways. I can foil in most conditions from 10-24 knots. However, all that changes when you line up on the race course, especially in San Francisco.
This past August, the Hydrofoil Pro Tour came back to San Francisco for the second time. Last year I entered knowing that it would be a huge learning curve just trying to get around the course, and I barely made it. I found my weaknesses and made huge strides over last year going downwind. This year, the middle of the fleet is now where the top of the fleet was last year (making most of their transitions), and the top guys are now going around the course 20-30% faster with the improved gear. It’s a fast-moving discipline and an even faster moving fleet. I was just one of two guys still using tube kites. Its no excuse for still not being able to tack but this is a sport where you need to devote time to improve your skills and keep up with the equipment just to make it around the course, a difficult proposition for anyone coming up through the fleet.
I still can’t make a tack. My gybes, while getting better, still end up like some story of roadrunner cartoon running off a cliff and falling into the abyss. All that recovery time puts me back in the fleet and outside the time limit for an official score. I know it’s just a matter of time ’till it comes, but all the meanwhile, getting DNF’s in the score sheet is getting pretty depressing. I keep reminding myself it’s all about the journey. As I look back at my windsurf racing career, there was a lot of time spent in the back of the fleet at international regattas getting up to speed and gaining experience. I was never the fastest or the most talented but I stuck with it the longest and the persistence eventually paid off. Now that I’m in a similar position, it’s hard to see the progress when you’ve tasted success. Full story over at my blog.
Onward & upward,
August 25th, 2016 by admin
SA’s favorite free flying kiteboarder is back to her old antics with another gorgeous video of a gorgeous girl doing things 99.9% of can only dream about. For quite a few different reasons Hannah Whiteley is always in our dreams, and that VW truck she’s pimpin’ ain’t bad either.
This one is fresh from the editing desk of the talented Andre Magarao from a Brazil shoot.
June 1st, 2016 by admin
Charleston’s Fort 2 Battery Race was bigger, badder, faster, and nastier than ever, though you wouldn’t know it from the ballerina-like gybe in this great Penalty Box Productions teaser from the race. Enjoy (and share!) the quick edit above, and keep an eye out for a feature from The Rev Petey next month. For the full video of the morning Beach Walk, go here. For the full shaky-cam video of the Fort2Battery Race, here.
Here’s the after-action report from F2B founder and organizer Tim Fitzgerald. (and for more from Petey on the upcoming monster Melges 24 Worlds, check out Petey’s third ‘View From The Chair.’
“10 seconds to start…Here I go!”
There’s a couple catamarans hooked up and I can see we may be getting acquainted. No thought on my part of Port and Starboard, just simply that at 25 knots, it’ll be wise of me to miss them one way or another. I’m crossing, until I hit a hole in the offshore breeze…and now I’m trying to stay on the foil.
3 seconds to impact, and now its too late to stop before I’m in their path.. But it’s my friend Jeff. “He wouldn’t run me over,” I think. On second thought, yes, he would. He’d wear my kite on the top of his mast like a trophy animal pelt.
2 seconds to impact, and now I’m way too slow to cross. so I cross the first cat, and it’s an e-brake bail to explode the water and stop before T-boning the second boat. I look up through the spray to see two masts fly past either side of my kite lines. “Holy shit.”
Time to get going again. Over there I think I see a moth. It’s hard to tell because he’s far away. A few seconds pass and now we’re not far away at all. We’re both lit up like a Christmas tree in a big puff, heading for a 40mph pileup.
And again…3 seconds to impact.
I heat up to go behind just before a huge blast hits me and takes me downwind toward my handshake with the mothie, who is also at vaporizing top speed and planning to cross ahead. 2 seconds…I’m heading right at him. If I bail in front, I’m fish food, so I lean back and heat up, which makes me go FASTER. It’s that awful feeling you get in a keelboat when it’s too late to duck and you know it’s going to get ugly.
I close my eyes a split second before my board makes contact with my good friend Pat’s Mach 2 moth with both of us at over 25 knots – though it feels like Mach 2. We clear each other by inches.
I had survived the first minute of my 2016 Fort 2 Battery. Let it be known that the good advice of “sail in clear air and open space” applies to Fort 2 Battery races also.
It began without warning. The first attackers landed at Fort Sumter in under 6 minutes with reinforcements pouring ashore in under 8. In just 15 minutes they had taken the Fort. It was glorious and it changed everything.
The third running of the Charleston Fort 2 Battery was run in reverse because of the west wind coming off the city at a chilly 20-30 knots. With the sun out, this was the kiteboarder’s version of a Chamber of Commerce day. Charleston’s Holy City Helicopters team was in the air with Sammy Hodges and Mac Dickson hanging out of the bird with long lenses astutely affixed to the competitors. From the air they witnessed a “reverse invasion” of Fort Sumter, when dozens of kite boarders landed on the beach near the Fort to wait for a ride home. You know it’s survival conditions when the competitors can’t even sail home after the race!
With the big breeze and favorable current, the hard work was getting to the upwind start but the race was all down-hill. Mr. Clean threw down the challenge in the morning letting the live audience on Sailing Anarchy know that records could fall. He was spot on, and the overall course record was cut to 5:52 by Foilboarder Zack Marks, who broke his own record in winning the race. Local kite hotshot Davey Blair also cut 7 seconds from Tucker Mason’s record to bring it to 7:12 which was even faster than the winning time in the first edition of the race. Victor Diaz de Leon cut the moth time to 6:41 while defeating George Peet by an insane five one-thousanths of a second to take second overall and win the Moth race.
When you talked to the racers, one theme was common. Among a bunch of adrenaline junkies who love to fly 40 feet in the air on a kite, and break speed records on flying boats, “I was pretty scared” could be heard over and over. The conditions were at the top end which kept the big cats on shore and ended some Moth Pilots’ days early with cartwheeling wrecks.
The high-octane format of the Fort 2 Battery is as addictive as it is exciting, and with over 36,000 people watching the pre-race Beach Walk and F2B Sprint on SA’s Facebook page, we think we’ve really stumbled on something the public loves! At James Island YC, dozens of fishermen and motor-boat owners were tailgating like Clemson Tigers football fans, and the innovating club’s only questions were “how do we make this even better?” Sweetwater Brewing and Charleston Distilling Co. helped, keeping things lively at the beach bonfire and dance party well into Saturday night.
The rest of the weekend featured more wacky stuff – three days of Kite vs. Moth free-for-all course racing – which had never been done in the world. The verdict seems to be ‘it’s everything you’d think it could be.’ Terrifying but exhilarating for the racers and spectators. Amazingly, despite the big, puffy breeze, we didn’t see a single collision or even a tangled-up kite.
It is fitting that this super high performance everyman’s revolution has grown quickly in Charleston, specifically at Fort Sumter, where our last domestic revolution started…let’s hope that this one is less messy. See you next year!
Mack Dickson photos.
- Tags: battery, charleston, charleston race week, f2b, Foiling, fort 2 Battery, kiteboarding, moths, tim fitzgerald
April 13th, 2016 by admin
ISAF World Sailing has happily continued with their attempt at “Word Domination”, attacking the first two events on the International Federation of Kiteboarding Organization calendar as “Prohibited” for one reason only: The IFKO are choosing to use their own rules, not ISAF’s. Under the RRS, World Sailing believes it has the right to completely ban any competitor at these IFKO events from ANY future racing on the water. This ban would include all junior boarders at the now-’prohibited’ Junior Freestyle World Cup.
That’s right, folks: World Sailing actually believes it has the right to ban a 12 year old kid from racing his Opti for years solely because the kid entered a freestyle kiteboarding competition. Or they can ban you from racing the Sydney Hobart on a cruiser because you did backflips on your kiteboard at the kitesurf world series. Seriously!
There’s plenty of background on this issue in the story we ran in February, but the long and the short of it is this: Under the laws of MANY countries in which it functions, legal experts agree that World Sailing is prohibited from disciplining sailors for competing in events that contravene the bizarre prohibition against non-RRS events using the word “World” in their titles. The claimed reason? “Eliminating confusion” amongst sailors and the public about what is a ‘World’ level event. The real reason? ISAF sells the use of the word for thousands and thousands of dollars. The bigger reason? ISAF absolutely MUST control the introduction of kiting to the Olympics or they lose millions.
Those same experts said that they can’t find any other sport that claims this type of control over a common word, in some cases because they were told by their lawyers long ago that it wouldn’t fly. But because yacht races are largely run by Yacht Clubs rather than transparent, publicly accountable organizations, the status quo has endured. Don’t rock the boat, old boy.
Read the World Sailing press release if you want to see just how out of hand ISAF has gotten. They are actually threatening junior sailors with a ban on all racing activities solely because these kids want to go freeriding at a cool event.
As we’ve said before, we encourage IFKO competitors to stay strong and continue to buck the bullshit artists trying to extort and threaten them into submission. And of course you need to send us any and all correspondence you receive from ISAF World Sailing or the IKA on this issue. Only sunlight can cure this infection.
March 30th, 2016 by admin
As seems more and more common lately when it comes to ISAF and the regulation of the sport, the more you dig, the uglier it gets, and so it has gone with our reporting on the International Federation of Kitesports Organizations and its battle for survival against the might of World Sailing and its delegate, the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA).
IFKO was formed by French and Portuguese kite associations to specifically address the governance of the 90% of kiteboarding that wasn’t neatly sucked up by ISAF and the IKA under the guise of ‘sail racing’, and with kiting on the agenda when the IOC has their big meeting in Rio this summer, never has control of kiteboarding been more important than now.
We find the reason for IKFO’s creation compelling, and they’re saying all the right things in public, so we asked them to bring us up to speed on the situation. Sofia Guerreiro, IKFO’s Director General, responded, and rather than losing her written flavor, we largely left her response ‘as is’:
Yes, IFKO is a real and official organization! Legally registered on the Notary, on the Justice Ministry, with a number of registrations, with sport statutes and all parameters created by the rules of the World of Sports under the direct guidelines of SportAccord. IFKO intends to give Kitesports its own self-determination as an independent Sport! We are kiteriders, we are not sailors or tennis players. We have our own culture, identity and our own athletes!
Last week’s IKA press release and statement, like any other in the past, is their style move. They have no legal authority, but they try to push people into believing it and fake it. IFKO simply applied like any other new sport for recognition at SportAccord. After SportAccord’s analysis of our process and legitimacy, we decided to open a platform to start the recognition process. Now ISAF and IKA will have to deal with it and with what they have done in the past!
In 2012, ISAF’s AGM registered one single discipline “IKA Formula Kite” in a self-named “Kiteboarding Committee”. None of the other 17 kiting disciplines were registered, and therefore SportAccord recognized the legitimacy of IFKO to apply for recognition of a new sport, bringing together members of those other 17 disciplines and achieving the Full Membership thereafter.
- IFKO does not recognize IKA authority anywhere, nor will we engage in bad vibe discussions with this private company
- IFKO recognizes ISAF as the IF of the sport: Sailing;
- IFKO is the IF of the sport: Kitesports;
- Last AGM of ISAF was in 2012;
- Only IFs AGMs are official stages, so any decision taken, meetings or whatsoever taken in the middle are internal affairs (we do not have to respect it or even read it);
- ISAF legal reach of actions is written in 2012 AGM minutes, where the only discipline registered was “IKA-Formula-kite”;
- IKA is an undefined structure of ISAF, not recognized by SportAccord or IOC;
- IKA company can only work under official decisions settled at last ISAF AGM 2012; saying different is not legal.
- IKA and ISAF would be right to complain if IFKO used the Racing Rules of Sailing or any other property of ISAF, and/or if IKFO organized ‘IKA-Formula Kite’ competitions as registered by IKA. IKFO does not do either of these things.
- IKFO does not care if IKA tries to make Formula-Kite in the Olympics. IKFO has 17 disciplines of kitesports to develop and will focus on that.
- “IKA”, the legal figure “association” with the name “international kiteboarding association” does not exist, this name doesn’t legally exist;
- IKA said in their “AGM” openly that they are a private company registered in Gibraltar with the name “Kitesports LTD”;
- Private companies have owners, and share holders, do not have “associates”;
- Private companies are made for money self profits objectives and therefore will not have the kiteriders’ interests as their first objective. Profit motives can help explain the motivation behind IKA’s threats to riders and judges and IKA’s goals over the past four years.
- We cannot find any legal contract between Ika and Isaf in the public minutes of Isaf. Is it secret? Who signed it? What does it says? Does it exist?
- IFKO will not use World Saling Rules, officials or whatsoever sailing stuff – that was something decontextualised and absurd said by new WS/Isaf CEO ;
- IFKO uses Kite rules, Kite directors, Kite identity dynamics, and our own sport identity to our competitions;
- IFKO does not ban Athletes that is blackmail, VERY wrong and ANTI-SPORT;
- SO IKA/ISAF IS BANNING ATHLETES OF COMPETITIONS THEY DO NOT HAVE LEGAL RIGHT TO ORGANIZE!
- Our process of recognition of a new sport was accepted by SportAccord and now is opened to receive our reports to build it;
- IFKO just gets “recognition” after a proper stage of building (World Championships, WADA compliance, youth anti-doping seminars, actions of equality for women, actions for disabled Athletes, etc.);
- It is supposed we organize Worldchampionships because SportAccord demands reports of it, to submit evaluation if are being properly organized by Olympic movement standards;
- We have guidelines to prepare the process already with standards to Kitesports be able of recognition by IOC.
- IFKO will not officially answer IKA’s threatening letter, IFKO has no duties to this private company;
- Our letter to the ISAF CEO is ready and may be public soon,
- Actually, if ISAF continues to threaten our riders and judges, it will help our argument to SportAccord.
- We believe IKA is engaging in fear tactics, trying to scare athletes at the moment of registration not do it, because they could have fear of IKA’s procedures. The spread of fear is unacceptable.
- IKA strategies to our community always were, are, and will be lies, fear, threat, blackmail and abuse…and the most incredible is that community is believing it for years. IKFO does not accept it, and supports the end of secrets and back room deals. Sport should be transparent, with decisions made democratically between representative national associations.
It´s time to for IKA to prove that it: 1st -exists?, 2nd- have any authority in what?, 3rd- has legal connection/contract with ISAF, made when? Who signed it? What was signed for us all? Where are these papers that should be public documents? Are they hidden or do they even exist?
Why during these 5 to 8 years the Kite community had no access to public documents decided by IKA?
Even more irregular: if ISAF bans Riders from other sport competitions, why is selling “special statutes” to others (and not only for WKT) to organize competitions??
ISAF seems to “sell” world championships: to WKT, to IKA and someone told us there is a 3rd client soon. Amazing. (it does not matter if they are going to court with each other, important is to sell and pretend you have the authority to sell it)
(By the way ISAF is also a private company and not a non-for-profit association, as SportAccord membership demands and demanded to IFKO).
All this is why the Portuguese and the French associations joined energies: to give Kitesports a fair chance inside Sport correct values to be regulated by itself and not to be submitted to this subversion and disorder that damage athletes and sport.
Kitesports wants to take the way Surf did, we all kiteriders should join in community and just follow the correct path other sports already did. IFKO is working against this sailing fake fear campaign that, even totally agreeing with IFKO, is keeping many national associations quiet and still.
Yes we have our wallet ready and a team of lawyers and sporting specialists. Now it’s up to the President.
February 5th, 2016 by admin
We probably spend more time watching kite chicks than we do any other sport, and with good reason; We don’t know any athletes who do a better job of sharing their exotic, exciting, bikini-filled lifestyle with millions of die-hard fans than girls like Hannah Whiteley and Anastasia Ashley. Since they’re all going after the same sponsors, they’ve brought their competitiveness to social media, and we’re all winners for it. This gorgeous shark’s eye view shot comes from Hannah’s Facebook page, which is worth a long, long look for any red-blooded man, lesbian, or fan of wind-powered sports.
As an avowed SA’er (and past Extreme Sailing Series guest racer), perennial top-ranked surfer Sally Fitzgibbon is always worth paying attention to, and if you’re a chick (or you’ve hatched one that needs a role model), here’s a really interesting interview by a surf journo chick as Sally gets set to try to break her streak and win the World Champs at the Maui Pro.
Title shout to one of the top 25 sports documentaries of all time.
November 23rd, 2015 by admin
This one came in from longtime anarchist and President of the Victoria Moth Class Richard Jackson. Nice one, Jacko – learn more about this excellent charity here.
I am writing you this short email to share something really cool with your readers. I was moth sailing off my home club at Mount Martha on Port Phillip Bay when a saw a massive fleet of kites coming down the bay. I went out a long way to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me and got in amongst 100+ kite boarders flying down from Rosebud to Port Melbourne! It was truly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done on a boat. I went with them until the beach I left from was almost a speck on the shore and decided the wife won’t want a call from Melbourne telling her to come get me.
When I got home, I found the Across The Bay For Cancer page [which is loaded with great pics and reports -ed] and saw this video; it’s amazingly compelling, a great cause, and the group is really accomplishing something special. I hope to great a moth fleet to involved next year, but in the meantime, enjoy the video.
- Tags: across the bay, cancer, charity, fundraiser, kiteboarding, melbourne, port phillip bay, victoria
February 13th, 2015 by admin
Half aerial-yoga, half acrobatic kiting, the latest exposition of slow-motion sailing from Pat Rynne and Waterlust. For something entirely different and ten times trippier from WL, clicky. Oh and thanks to Sperry for making this shit real.
February 11th, 2015 by admin
We’re always stoked when accomplished young women reveal they are SA fans; here’s a note we got this morning from delicious UK pro kiteboarder and model Hannah Whiteley. As, ummm, visual beings, we think the best place to follow Hannah is over on Instagram.
Hi, Mr. Clean! I love checking out your website, always something interesting on there.
I thought your readers might like to check out my new video ‘Extreme High Heel Kitesurfing’
I love trying different things and having fun with kiting, but I can promise you that kiting in high heels was a lot harder than I thought it would be! I still had a great time working on this project and trying something new, and showing that you don’t have to be a guy or a boyish girl to kitesurf! Kiting is for everyone and a beautiful passion. Try something new today and don’t be afraid to have fun and be different.
Thanks to videographer Andre Magarao and sponsors Best Kiteboarding, Chiemsee, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles & Prolimit. Song: Barking by Wally Gagel, Xandy Barry.
January 14th, 2015 by admin
We’re not sure why this is the first we’ve heard about it, but the folks at ASV Performance shared the news in a PR yesterday that their ‘rescue kites’ are OEM equipment on each of the Volvo 65s, and that they constitute “the biggest breakthrough in the kiteboarding industry…” It’s a bit weird to see this info, accompanied by the above credited shot from Ainhoa Sanchez/VOR but have nothing but silence from the folks at Volvo, who ordinarily seize on any opportunity for an interesting story angle that isn’t about toilets or toothbrushes.
But we dig kites, and seeing the test kite up there on the old Sanya, we wish the rule allowed them to fly ‘em!
October 31st, 2014 by admin