Racing Continues in the Riviera Maya
The stage was set for the second official day of competition in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, today as racers met at 10am to be briefed on the day’s events and forecast. The conditions looked promising and the competition began shortly thereafter, with the first race taking advantage of winds between 9 and 13 knots. This first race proved to be quite exciting in its last moments, as the leading John Heineken (USA) mistakenly missed his last mark before reaching the finish line, forcing him to turn back around, allowing Bryan Lake (USA) to take the first place finish in the second race of the competition.
The races that followed were also defined by close finishes and constantly changing placements, with the stand-out leaders – John Heineken, Bryan Lake, and Adam Koch (USA) – continually swapping places, gaining ground on one another and then falling a place or two behind. Commenting on the conditions of the area, Koch revealed that weeds are a huge issue with racing here, jokingly stating, “I may have nightmares about weeds tonight.” Such an issue were weeds in fact, that he said avoiding them became a major part of racing strategy today, as the glare from the sun on the water would often times disguise the patches of weeds, leading unknowing riders straight into the wrong areas.
Aside from this increased aspect of difficulty, the competitors exceled in the moments that required it the most. Katja Roose from the Netherlands rode very consistently throughout the day, with a strong and powered approach. Brazilian rider, Ricardo Leccese also stood out, consistently placing in the top four of every race. Lake, who has trained alongside Koch and Heineken for the better part of this past year was very pleased with his performance as well, and observed that it was a perfect day for racing, with everyone riding powered and pushing through strong downwind tacks. With a growing smile throughout the day, Lake’s affinity for the sport was by no means hidden to those on the beach.
Overall, the second day here at the MINI Kiteboard World Tour proved to be an exhilarating and full affair. The well-designed course allowed an abundance of movement throughout each race, while slightly shifting wind and strong currents brought about interesting challenges and new variables for every rider.
Eventually, the sun’s descent in the sky became more apparent as Sebastian Garat and Alberto Rondina entertained the beachside audience with an unofficial session for the evening– the faint and far-off image of Cozumel serving as a backdrop, and the racers absolved of their duties for the day.
The third day of racing is scheduled to begin early tomorrow, with the Freestyle Pro event set to finally take place as well. In addition, the slalom course will likely be made available to riders who wish to go head to head in the name of fun. They will be provided with identical boards to make things interesting.