Waterbourne 2019, Wellington NZ
The Ozone team headed to Wellington last week to take part in Waterbourne festival on the shores of Eastbourne. Despite the rain and the lack of event organisation, it was great to see some of New Zealand's greats get together in Watersports and music! Plus Wellington sure knows how to bring the wind! Here's a recap of the events thanks to our guy Ché Ray from KitesurfNZ...
It was touch and go on the first day with 10-12 knots at Eastbourne, the Big Air event was officially called off. But the small crew of kiters were keen and committed so decided to move to an alternate venue to have some fun with an Expression Session. A great opportunity for young rider Malachi Ray (14yrs) to ride with his heroes, in particular Marc Jacobs. And for all other riders it was a chance to ride with Kitesurfing royalty. It wasn’t hard to see why Marc was a formidable competitor at the Redbull King of the Air 2019.
J-Shapes Antoine Jaubert was also a spectacle to see with his Ozone Enduro V2, demonstrating the versatility of a foil at Petone beach, along with some kiting wizardry by appearing to outsmart the wind itself!
The Ocean Clash, the main event of the weekend is both a logistical and competitive challenge with paddle boarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing all in a single event. Local Wellington kiters were clearly aware that the chartered course around the back of Somes Island in Wellington Harbour would result in slack lines and a kite on the water, when subject to such a huge wind shadow. The wind-shadow that's three times the height of the island up wind, would be safer than the wind-shadow downwind, seven times the height of the island. For this reason the course required an explicit split and windsurfers insisted on the original chartered and historical course around the back. Kitesurfer's were consequently given two handicaps. Some would be starting nearly a kilometer further upwind and would start 15 minutes after other competitors.
After a sketchy start and kiters being prepped too early, most kiters ended up back on the beach in a Le Mans styled start. Matt Sawyer took full advantage of his rolling water start and headed off to the Somes Island marker with Matt Taggart who timed his start well, clearing the beach and kiters quickly. Graham Baker took full opportunity of his surfboard to hold and claim third position. Further back in the pack Alex Normandeau, Ryan Hunt and Ché Ray battled for fourth position as they raced to the Somes Island marker. The downwind stretch after the first marker allowed for an open reach spreading the kiting pack into clearly defined positions.
At Somes the kiters passed the first Stand Up Paddleboarder. The windsurfers were no where in sight as the kiters landed at the Petone wharf, completing the 9 km downwinder in just 13 mins smashing the course record! Potentially too quick for the event organisers, as Sawyer and Taggart were disappointed to find no one at the finish line!
Matt Sawyer, Ozone - 13:00 - Edge V9
Matt Taggart, Ozone - 13:10 - Reo V5
Graham Baker - 15:20 (surfboard)
Ché Ray, Ozone - 15:35 - Enduro V2
All riding the Torque V1 with the Ozone Connect water harness
Lots of smiling faces at the finish line! Well done to the Ozone team for sending it as always.
L to R : Matt Taggart 2nd, Matt sawyer 1st, Graham Baker 3rd
Check out the video below of some of the action on the beach thanks to our friend Nick Kapica.
Despite the lack of event vibe at the finish line, the celebrations luckily upgraded to a beach party on Saturday night with live performances from P-digsss and Boo Seeka.