Tag Archives: baja

2016 Season Recap

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.Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.12.12 PM

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 hereScreen Shot 2017-01-23 at 12.29.16 PM

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.

 

Hydrofoil Pro Tour 2016 Round 1: La Ventana, BCS

I started off 2016 with my 3rd international regatta. From March 19-23, I attended the first stop of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour in La Ventana. I was excited to get back in the water after almost 3 months of no kiting (winter is the off-season for the Bay Area, if there is such a thing as an off-season), as my last session had been in early January when I was in Los Barriles for school’s 2-week winter break.

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Matt Taggart, Rikki Leccesse, Mike Zajicek, and me with the new Mike’sLab team t shirt!

A week before the event, Matt Taggart, Dominik Zimmerman, Mike Zajicek, Rikki Leccesse, my parents, and I had fun catching up over sushi at the Mike’sLab headquarters.

Because I did not want to miss more school than necessary, my dad and I flew into Cabo on Saturday, March 19, the day of check-in/registration. We arrived in La Ventana around 5 pm. The sun was still out, so I decided to go for a short foiling session to try and find my “sea legs” again. Let’s just say I didn’t find them…

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For me, the first day of the event was the worst I had ever raced. Because of the very light wind, I didn’t finish any races, and was last in women’s by the end of the day.

Luckily, day 2 was better, but not by much. I was able to climb up a few spots, but was still far off the podium and gold fleet. The third day, I focused on picking the right sized kites, sailing clean, and finishing every race (that last part was hard). The wind completely died on the last race for Silver Fleet, and I dropped my 13m Chrono V2 a few hundred yards away from the finish line, along with a bunch of other racers. In my mind, I was thinking, “I am not taking another DNF.” So, I swam through the finish line.

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The swimming podium: Cynbad, Gina, and me. We got free drinks for it! (I gave mine to dad.)

My local teammate Cynthia Brown and kiwi teammate Gina Hewson saw me, and decided to swim after me. Although we did not “finish” and had to retire that race, I had so much fun to swim with my teammates and friends with wet kites, and I even threw up a shaka for the drone that was filming us. Even with the extra points, I continued to move up the rankings.

Day 4 was by far my best day. The wind picked up, and I had consistent finishes: 5, 6, 4, 5 in silver fleet on a 15m R1 V2 prototype. I had been reluctant on taking such a big kite on short lines – a set up I am not used to at all. I was very impressed with the performance of the V2, and am stoked to get my hands on one (or two, or three…) for this racing season. I was never overpowered, even when it was blowing low to mid-teens.  The 15m R1V2, paired with my fast and dangerous Mike’sLab board and foil turned out to be the perfect set up for that day. I moved up several places, and managed to snag 2nd on the ladies’ podium.

Congrats to all the girls on some close racing. It’s always a blast to compete against my teammates, who have become not only my respected and sportsman competitors but great friends.

Also congratulations to Rikki, Matt, and Nico L. for their performances in gold fleet. I’m super stoked for you guys and am lucky to have you as teammates.

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The crew: Manuel Olivier, Jacob Olivier, Rikki Leccesse, Mike Zajicek, Nico Landauer, Dominik Zimmerman, Daniela Moroz, Gina Hewson, Chip Wasson, Matt Taggart. Thanks Kent for letting us invade your house again!

Thanks to my parents for letting me go on this trip and miss five days of school. Thanks to Playa Central, Robby Dean, Adam Withington, Marvin Baumeister, and everyone else who helped organize the event for making it so fun and an experience to remember.

Thank you to my incredible sponsors for their support: Ozone, Mike’sLab, Ronstan, Avasol, Manda, and Surreal.

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The ladies’ podium.

Some additional footage and links:

Final Gold & Silver Fleet Results

Ozone’s Write Up

Drone Video Footage

 

No Bad Days

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.