This was one of the first few times that kiteboarding was included in the Sailing World Cup. So, in late April, amidst a tough second semester of my second year of high school, I traveled to the south of France to compete. We had a wide range of conditions, from 10 knots on one day to a strong mistral of 30+ knots on another day. I finished 12th overall in the fleet and 1st in women’s.
Every year, my family travels to Los Barriles, Baja California Sur, Mexico, to celebrate Christmas and New Years. The conditions are always amazing, with beautiful water and warm winds, great friends to hang out with, and good food. Check out this year’s video below!
2016 was by far one of the craziest years of my life.
In January, I began the year in Mexico during winter break. Check out this post for a full recap of those two weeks of training. Back at school, I had my first week of high school final exams.
In February, I turned 15.
In March, I traveled back to Mexico for the first stop of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour, finishing second in the women’s division. Read about that event here
In April, a couple weeks after the Pro Tour, I went to Maui with my mom for spring break. There, we kited, relaxed, ate, and kited some more. I also met up with Adam Withington while we were there, and he gave me a tour of the University of Hawaii Maui campus. Watch the video here and see the pictures here. Back home, the first Bluerush Thursday Night Kiteracing Series race night was during that month.
In May, I focused on school, as the second week of final exams were coming up in the first week in June. After that, I was done with school for the summer. In late June, I got a face-ful of the trailing edge of the mast on my foil, and ended one day with some stitches on my nose and a week of not touching water.
In July, Nico Parlier came to the bay and we trained almost every day of the month. We also spent a weekend in Lake Tahoe, where we practiced our light wind skills by kiting on the lake. Watch our edit here.
August was another busy month. At the beginning, I did the second stop of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour here in San Francisco. It was great to show the out-of-towners what the bay is all about. Read and see some pictures and other media here.
A couple days later, my mom, Nico and I all flew to Mauritius for the third stop of the tour. There were amazing conditions and stunning scenery in Mauritius. Check out the media from that event through this link. Right after Mauritius, I flew back home to San Francisco and started school the next day. Summer had gone in the blink of an eye.
But a highlight was still yet to come. In September, I traveled to China with my dad for the 2016 IKA Formula Kite World Championships. After six days of super light wind conditions, I was proud to be bringing the world title home to the bay.
In October, I got back to school and swimming. It was nice to be able to relax a little bit after the world championships.
In late November, I traveled to Perth, Western Australia, for the final stop of the 2016 Hydrofoil Pro Tour. We had amazing conditions and a great event, and were even able to do some touring around the spot. Check out event recap here and watch my video here.
After Perth, I was home for only a few weeks in December before I flew out for the annual family Baja trip for winter break. I was able to train a lot in Mexico with Rikki, Johnny, and Nico Landauer. It was also a nice trip that didn’t involve competing, just hanging out and having fun with my friends and family. Watch the video here
As I said, 2016 was a pretty crazy year, and it makes me beyond excited to see what 2017 holds.
This stop was the biggest of the tour with 56 riders competing representing 17 countries, including 6 women from 5 countries. We had a lighter breeze of around 10 knots earlier in the week and then it really picked up at the end with gusts going over 30 knots. I used a 7m, 9m, 10m, 11m, and 15m over the four-day event. They were all Ozone R1 V2’s with the exception of the 11m R1 V3 prototype. While we had varied wind speeds, the water was very flat throughout the week. I am beyond satisfied with the performance of my Mike’sLab foil and board and all of my kites.
I finished 18th overall, 4th under 18, and 1st in women’s. On the tour, I finished 10th overall, 2nd under 18, and 1st in women’s. I couldn’t be happier with my finishes from this year and am excited to improve more next year.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this tour and for making it possible. I speak for all the riders when I say we are very lucky to be able to compete at some of the best racing venues in the world and are grateful for the immense support we’ve received over the course of this year. I am really looking forward to next year on the tour!
When I first heard about Mauritius, I was thinking “It doesn’t even sound like a real place,” with its seemingly imaginary turquoise water, blue skies, white-sand beaches, and green landscape; not to mention the consistent, daily 15-20 knot breeze and almost flat lagoon.
The Hydrofoil Pro Tour stop on the island happened to perfectly fit in with my school schedule; the event finished on the Saturday before school started. It was the best way to end summer vacation.
Nico Parlier and I had been training for over a month in the bay in preparation for the second and third stops of the tour. We kited almost every day until racing began. We flew out for Mauritius a few days after the SF event.
My mom, Nico, and I arrived in Mauritius on August 12th. It took about 30 hours to get there: 16 from SFO to Dubai, an 8-hour layover in Dubai, then another 6 hours to Mauritius. But once we were there (with all 5 oversized bags and 1 luggage!), it was all good – even the 11-hour time difference didn’t matter!
In between training sessions, we were able to do a couple touristy trips. We visited the local market, and also climbed to the summit of Lion Mountain, the main mountain that overlooks the racing venue.
Every day we were there, there was a super consistent 15-20 knot breeze, as promised by the forecast and by the local riders. Throughout the four days of racing, I used a 9m, 11m, and 13m, in addition to a 7m during training.
I have been really impressed with the new R1 V2’s performance. The kites allow me to have much better angles both upwind and downwind than on the R1. They are also much more stable and I never have to worry about the wingtips collapsing. The kites have a much wider range – I found that I could handle a bigger kite in more wind and a smaller kite in less wind. I also feel that they absorb gusts much better, which is something I especially felt racing at Crissy Field.
I finished 19th overall out of 41 riders, 9th in youth (under 21), 2nd in juniors’ (under 18), and 1st in women’s. I had a lot of fun racing against the best girls in the world at a venue outside of North America.
Thank you to all the event organizers for making this event happen. Thanks to Robby Dean and Jessica Barhydt and to the supporting race committee for their hard work on and off the course. Also thank you to the incredible media team for taking some awesome photos and video footage. It was an amazing event that I really hope will happen next year.
Thank you to my sponsors – Ozone, Mike’sLab, Ronstan, and the St Francis Sailing Foundation.
Last but not least, thank you to my parents for letting me go on this amazing trip.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, including the World Championships in China in a few weeks.
Training Day Report – http://hydrofoilprotour.info/news/mauritius-training-day/
Day 1 Drone Video – http://hydrofoilprotour.info/news/maritius-race-day1-drones/
Day 4 Report – http://hydrofoilprotour.info/news/maritius-race-final-day/
Final Results – http://hydrofoilprotour.info/results/mru/
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/hydrofoilprotour/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
I spent five days in Maui over spring break with my mom. It was kind of a last minute trip – but one I will remember forever. We were able to kite every day, and became good friends with the local kiters. From going up to watch the sunrise at the Haleakala volcano, to having coffee at the local shop in Haiku, to shooting with the world famous Michael Petrikov by Kanaha Beach Park, to getting a tour of the University of Hawaii Maui campus from Adam Withington, we did some touristy and local activities. I hope to go back there soon. So, in the meantime, enjoy some pictures and four minutes of my five days on Maui
You can find the video here.
Every year since I was born, my parents and I have gone to Los Barriles, BCS, to celebrate Christmas and New Years with friends by the Sea De Cortez. I’ve never experienced Christmas at home in the bay area, because Los Barriles has become my home for Christmas. This was my 15th year in Baja for Christmas and New Years, and here’s a look at what daily life was like.
Watch No Bad Days here.