Olly and I arrived in Mexico on the 5th march in time to prepare for the first event of the year the Hydrofoil Pro Tour in La Ventana, Mexico. Arriving a week or so before the event gave us good time to prepare and get used to the new Flysurfer prototype race kites which we were both going to be riding for the event. This time gave Olly and I more time to get used to the foils which we were going to be riding during the event. Olly had a new Mikes lab which he had tested the week before in San Fransisco and for myself was the serial Mikes Lab Bullet 3, which i had only used a handful of times before going to Mexico.
During this time I was also able to get used to the wind and the incredible thermal effect in the area. The wind funnels through a gap between an offshore island and the main land, which when the sun was out tended to pick up throughout the day and then slowly dropped off after 3 o’clock. This breeze tended to pick up to around 20 to 25 knots on a pretty standard day so we quickly got used to these strong conditions during this time.
14th march, first day of the event
Going into the event the wind forecast was not good, with a few cloudy days and a strange onshore breeze forecasted for a few of the days during the event these kind of conditions gave the chance of the thermal wind coming in very low so for the first three days we had a very gentle onshore breeze. The first day was incredibly challenging with the easterly onshore breeze coming in quite strong to begin with then as the day went on this breeze died away slowly, so for the the first race we were went out on 18m kites and were powered up nicely, the first race was a bit of a challenge for both of us with us getting to the racing scene wants again but were able to in the end fight back Olly finished the race in 2nd and I in 4th in this race Axel Mazella, winning this first race of the day. the second race went better for us with a Bridge first and second with Olly sailing a strong race to finish in 1st. This was the last race of the day with the wind dropping to nothing after these races were completed and no more races were completed.
The second day was incredibly frustrating for all involved with a good north wind forecasted it was set to be a good day but with clouds in the sky from early on it became apparent it wasn’t going to be a standard day. The breeze filled in from the east but was lighter so this time we started out on 20.5m kites, things didn’t go to plan for anyone with a general recall as too many people were over the line. The next race was even lighter and there wasn’t enough wind to finish bringing an end to a frustrating day.
The third day was again light but a little bit more consistent with Olly leading the 55 riders for the first three races and myself behind him in second for all of them. The fourth race was another sketchy affair with incredibly light holey winds made for incredibly challenging conditions with myself going of the start line on port tack and the rest of the field on starboard I found a bit more pressure and clean air and was able to get round the windward mark in first with Olly in second. The bottom and downwind gate then became a real issue for myself messing the layline up so i was not able to go round the favoured side of the gate so then had to round the other side and flew into a no wind zone this left me swimming in the end and only earning me a DNF where Olly went on to win the race. This was incredibly difficult to take for me with having such a good lead then to fail to finish was very frustrating.
The fourth and final day was as usual a tightly contested one with Olly coming into the day in first with a good clear lead and myself coming in 3 points behind second placed Axel Mazella. With a second discard going to be earned on this day it was all to play for and with a solid north thermal wind forecasted it was set to be an incredibly competitive contest. 6 races were planned for this day but obviously it was all wind reliant, we started off on 15m kites and quickly became overpowered. We started well though with a solid one for both of us with a one, two finish with Olly just crossing the line before me. We then both down sized to 13m kites for the next 2 races which felt good and was much easier to handle around the course and gave us good performance with two more, one, two finishes with Olly just squeezing in front of me on both of them. The wind picked up another 10 knots going into the afternoon where it was time to take our 9m kites, the wind was around 25 knots now and there was no sign of any decrease in strength. So by the start of the race there was a lot on! Olly was again able to take another bullet in this race with myself coming in 3rd and Axel in second. The race committee then deemed the conditions as too dangerous and so called the competition off for the day and that finished the event with Olly winning the event comfortably, I was then tied with Axel on the same points but he had more first place finishes than me so was second and I was 3rd.
So the event was over and we were both satisfied with how we had done and are now looking forward to the race season ahead, the performance of our equipment was, something we were also very happy about and especially our new Flysurfer kites which are incredibly exciting for the future.Lets just say my trip home was not the easiest, stuck in Mexico city Airport for 24 hours after missing my first flight due to immigration issues, but got home eventually. Mexico was a great start to the year thanks to Flysurfer Kiteboarding, Fatface, Cat Rugged Phones, Volvo cars and Lip sunglasses for the your support!!