Junior Race Clinic on the Bay with Coach and Olympian Michael Gebhardt

Over the course of three days, four juniors had a race clinic with Michael Gebhardt at Crissy Field in mid July.  The juniors: Nicolai Sponholtz, Sebastian Sponholtz, Haydn Fischer, and me.  This was our third clinic with Gebi.  Last year we were still transitioning to foiling and discussing kite-handling techniques. This year we focused on the more individual aspects of racing – gear tuning, body position and technique, strategy on the course, maneuvers, and of course nutrition from coach Gebi.

In the morning on the first day, we looked at our lines and figured out ways we could adjust them to better fit our own preferences and ways of riding.  We looked at bar sizes, line lengths, cleat adjustments, and all the other little things having to do with the bars.  After a lunch at Super Duper Burger in San Francisco, we got on the water in typical Crissy conditions (23+ mph, gusty, choppy) and tried to line up with each other for the rest of the afternoon. We were exhausted after that.

Morning of day two, sore from the previous day, we sanded our foils and went more in depth into what that tiny scratch might cause or how the natural oil on our hands can lead to some minor disruptions when riding.  Our morning session consisted of some practice starts and races on the water right in front of the St Francis Yacht Club.  After doing many starts in a couple hours, we went back in to the beach for a lunch break at the club.  Not too long after, we went back out and lined up with each other to compare speed, angle, body position, and other techniques, and stayed out on the water almost until sunset.

The final day began with some light stretches and some final gear tuning.  Then, we went out and kited almost all day.

Thank you so much to Gebi for coming all the way from the Dominican Republic to coach us.  We’ve learned so much from you over the past couple of years and we will continue to over the next several seasons.  There is no one in the world that can teach, talk, and ride better in kiteboarding than Michael Gebhardt.  To find out more about the Gebi lifestyle, visit these links:
Uncharted Kite Sessions, DR
Gebhardt Performance Riding Facebook Page
Natural Health Mentoring Facebook Page

Also a big thanks to StFYC and the StFSF for sponsoring the clinic and helping the junior team out every step of the way.  Thanks to you, we are the only team of its kind in the world right now.

A huge thank you goes to the parents that made the clinic happen – you guys rock: Thomas and Giselle Sponholtz, Tom and Cindy Fischer, and of course my amazing parents Vlad and Linda Moroz!

Can’t wait for next year’s clinic!

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