Final day- Return of El Norte
The classic El Norte finally arrived on day 4 providing strong winds and solid racing.
For the first time all week, the races were able to start on time with all riders at the start. The first 3 races were held back to back, averaging about 13 mins in duration.
Athletes rode out in the exciting conditions they had been waiting for, riding mostly 11m kites. With a change in conditions came a slight change in rankings. Olly Bridge , Guy Bridge (Flysurfer) and Axel Mazella (Enata) lead the pack respectively for all three morning races. Daniella Moroz swept the win for the ladies, giving over half the fleet a run for their money.
As the wind began to pick up, the top mark kept shifting, keeping the assistance boats quite busy. After race 3, the race committee called an hour break during which riders refueled.
As the athletes set up for a final race, we encountered some technical issues. The committee boat began to take on water over the bow due to the increasingly high winds up to 30 knots and building swell. As the crew worked hard on bringing a new boat out, the wind continued to howl making launching and landing difficult at times.
The final race came into place during which the wind continued to ramp up. This tested the racers ability to hold down their powerful kites, all while dodging various kiteboarders that inevitably crossed through the course. Olly Bridge lead the way for a win, followed this time by Axel Mazella who was able to finally overtake Guy Bridge with equal points but claiming 2nd overall due to earning two bullets.
The hopes of running one more race quickly dwindled. With much consideration the day was called to an end with respect for our competitors safety.
These past few days were no easy feat for our riders, but they proved to show strength and ability in both light and strong conditions.
Another big thank you to our sponsors, and a congratulations to the athletes for completing the first event of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour 2018!
Words by Ella Johnson