Welcome to the KPWT Santa Cruz Ocean Spirit Wave Masters 2009 Grand Slam!
Yes! A day with great conditions! Skipper’s meeting was called at 11am and all the riders looked excited about the chance to have some fun on the water and complete the single elimination!
Wind was good and increasing throughout the day, swell size was great and building all day reaching 3 meters with some big faces to work with!
Competition started in front of the main judge tower, directly in front of the main beach area at 13h45. The spectators on the beach, who came to see the World Champions compete, looked to be enjoying every bit of the competition. The second round heats for men needed to be completed before the women got their chance to show what they are made of.
And boy did they have some work to do throughout the day as the swell got bigger and bigger.
The first semi final between Abel Lago (SPA, RRD) and Will Bennet (UK, CABRINHA), who rode strapless, was a great show, with both riders performing some big turns, both top and bottom and cracking the lip with everything they have!
Abel progressed to the final to face the young superstar Jesse Richman (HAW, CABRINHA) who had an exciting heat against Jan Marcos Riveras (DOM REP, STARKITES) in front of the 15 000 spectators who had now been drawn to the shoreline to witness the spectacle, which was today KITESURFING!
Carlos Delicado: “I think that was one of the best heats I have ever seen in my life!”
Unfortunately for Jan Marcos, he injured his knee during the heat and cannot compete any further today.
In the women’s heats, Kari Schibevaag (NOR, OZONE) faced Kirsty Jones (UK, FLEXIFOIL) who both looked excited to take on the big conditions this afternoon!
Kari: “Wow, it is actually quite scary out there, but what a super competition!”
The final was set and Jesse Richman rose to the occasion showing absolutely no fear for the big waves! Abel had a tough time when his lines crossed and had to re-launch his kite on the beach.
So the winner for the men’s Ocean Spirit Wave Masters single elimination 2009 was Jesse Richman and the women’s, Kirsty Jones!
At 7pm it was time to take advantage of the conditions and run the double elimination rounds. They were not completed but we managed to get through a few rounds which can hopefully be completed tomorrow if conditions permit.