The second day of the 2019 La Ventana Classic began with wind already on the horizon. 10:30am signaled the skippers meeting for of the kitefoil races in which 24 foil racers put up their foil kites and hit the water. Colorful foils filled the sky as their frictionless boards rounded buoys and sped around a standard windward leeward course with F-One's Connor Bainbridge leading the pack at most times during the three races completed.
Mid foil races, the SUP mini-downwinder took off at the sound of the siren. Running from land and jumping on their boards, 5 stand up paddleboarders rounded the buoy in front of the judges stand at the Hot Springs and then headed in a straight shot to Palapas Ventana. With an international crew of athletes, Macrae Wyle from Hood River, Oregon paddled in first, followed by Mr. Pipeline himself, Gerry Lopez. For the women, Tyrae Mahan from Tucson, Arizona came in first, Brazilian Luciana Burger came second and Jackson Hole, Wyoming's Betsy Rudigoz paddled in third. After crossing the finish line at Palapas Ventana, athletes loaded up their SUPs and headed back up to the Hot Springs for their second mini-downwinder which they decided to turn into a downwind paddle clinic where Gerry and Macrae taught downwind skills to the other competitors, a measure taken to ensure everyone checked out and was ready to do Saturday's long-distance Las Cruces run safely and with confidence.
Patagonia's Worn Wear crew was on hand all day to repair clothing and wetsuits while local students danced and sang on stage.
The afternoon was dedicated to slalom racing with three heats for the Competitor's division and two heats for both the Sportsmen and Women. Local legends and past participants filled the ranks with names including Mac Skaggs, Luis Diego, Reed Brady, Rachel Callahan, Kris Kinn and Justi Vonada.
Kiters who completed the slalom race would automatically qualify for today's Crossing. Kites went up on the beach and athletes were required to start on dry sand before the siren blared and they booked it to the water, battling it out in a boardercross fashion around a figure 8 course. With athletes butting kites at the starting line, spectators saw plenty of kite wraps and line tangles.
Round one competitors had a clean start, while Sportsmen round one had some tangles at the takeoff. During Competitors round two, five kites wrapped on the beach at the takeoff and announcer Grom Gormley noted that this might be the biggest tangle in LVC history. Women's round two also started in a tangle with all three women's Competitors wrapping kites in what looked like total carnage while the two Sportswomen bolted around the buoys. The heats were hot, heavy and hectic but by the end of the afternoon, all athletes had qualified for the next day's Crossing event.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Friday, January 18th
Note: All skipper’s meetings take place at the main event site at Hot Springs Beach.
*For spectators: condition dependant but discipline should start within the hour of the skipper's meeting.
8:00am - The Crossing - Kite and Windsurf (Competitors and Sportsmen) meet at Las Palmas to load pangas.
10:30am - Foil Criss Cross Skipper's Meeting
10:30am - SUP meet for 2 mini downwinders
FREESTYLE DIRECTLY AFTER THE CROSSING
5:30pm-7pm - VIP Sponsors Only Dinner @ Palapas Ventana
7:30-11pm - Dance Party @ Marlin Azul with DJ Guacamole and Fuzzy Fritz