The third stop of the PKA (Philippine Kiteboarding Tour) is held on Boracay. In the forecast is a lot of wind, strong wind and well, in the details: some rain. Since we are on Cuyo, we decided to go there before the strong wind, thinking about our last boat-trip experience with 50 knots and big waves… (This time the boat – trip took only 12 hours instead of the 22 hours from the last time). Another tricycle, bus, tricycle and another short boat trip later we made it to Boracay.
The forecast wouldn`t be a forecast if it changed. From strong winds and rain to no wind at all…. That`s also the main story of the competition. Out of the three days we managed to get one day of wind. One day of wind in all variations, an all in 1-day: no wind, light wind, different directions, until stormy weather with rain or to be more precise: a lot of rain!
The first two days of the competition, we have been waiting for wind which unfortunately never came. We had good hope the second day, I even brought my 15m to the event side It might be enough for a light wind racing day. But no, just not enough. Less enough to do some coconut beach games at the second day and a fun- SUP competition on the first day. The last day, the wind forecast looked strong (oke, again with some rain). So an early skippers-meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, to make to most out of the last day (everything in 1 day: Race-Hangtime-Freestyle).
6:30, Monday morning: present at the beach for the skippers-meeting. There is some wind, although not enough for a competition yet. With the knowledge that it is supposed to be windy and the we would do everything today, we start setting up the big kites. The wind came a bit late, but strong enough to start with the twintip-racing. Sometimes the wind seemed to pick up and sometimes it seems to drop again. Giving everybody a hard time to decide which kite to take. Since I don`t want to be in 30 knots with a 15M foil kite …… Scared that it suddenly picks up I take the 12m, a good choice that moment, making my way upwind to the starting boat. Off course (I almost want to say as usual…) the wind dropped before the girls fleet started, think we were all underpowered at this point. The start was a bit crowded and a challenge since Boracay is a popular kiting place and the downwind slalom takes 3 quarter of the spot…. I was stuck between the starting boat and some beginners, the only choice was to wait for the signal and gooooo…..rounding the first mark was fine, but after that it gets exciting… if I would make it to the mark or was ending up downwind. The wind became less and less, Luckily I made it to the finish line with downlooping and kitelooping my kite (and praying for the wind not to drop even more). Also thanks to the borrowed bigger board and the owner of the board. At the moment we finished the first race, I made the decision to take the 15m agaaaaaaaaaaaain (I don’t like praying, to get to the finish line). Thanks for the passing by help ( perfect timing) helping me untangling the bar/lines just in time. The 15m saved my race again and together with the big board it was perfect! I made a good start and stayed the whole race in the first position (all was downlooping that 15m a little scary sometimes, the moments the wind was stronger). Happy to make it first to the finish line without missing any marks this time
Next up: hangtime. Looking at the forecast the hangtime would be great, but in real life .. it was big kite hangtime agaaaaaaaaaain. Not enough for the 12m and with a borrowed 14m I tried it, big air with the big kites is not really my thing …yet or it will never be… let`s find out in the future.
After some rain again, the wind picking up and dropping, some sheltering for the rain -storm, it`s time for the freestyle. Half of the day is still left to complete the freestyle ladder. Off course it started to rain and storm first, before we could start with the first heats. After the rain, the first heats are still light wind freestyle heats. Since we were short in time and the weather was not completely on our side we had to continue somehow. From no wind to stormy weather and rain, a lot of rain. Trying to finish at much as possible.
My first heat started with a 12m, which became too big on the end of the heat, couldn`t hold on to the bar making an unhooked kiteloop the last minute . All the weather changes made it hard for everybody, after some hiding in the tents and rain jackets (I learned from last year) it was time for my next heat. Overpowered with the 8m… (and we were even thinking about a 12m in the beginning, later pumping our smallest kites – 6m …). Overpowered in between the rain trying to unhook… but with a lot of fun!! Unfortunately, after the quarter finals we did run out of daylight, it started to rain again and again, the wind was picking up a lot. The organization had to make the decision to finish the event here, that’s all they / we could do on one day … Good job and results in every discipline. And all (literally all!) kites wet on the beach… time to pack in the rain storm and find the way back in the dark
After this long day, due to the rain the prize giving and the costume party “anything but clothes” are held together ( which explains my deflate had on the picture’s ). Together with my travel buddies from cuyo we worked together for a costume – completely in style, recycling the old kite into clothes. A high five to the people helping us with the kite and fixing the costume. We had a great time!
This evening ended up with three first places: first in race, first in freestyle and a first place for our costume as Queens of the costume party!! With all these results it was time for a nice sleep and another travel adventure at one of the next days……before I planned to leave the Philippines the first of March. I had a great time competing with everybody. Keep up to good work both competitors and organization!! Once again the PKA – tour showed that competing is not always against each other… …
Video – proof of the freestyle > on it’s way..
by the PKA media team:
Zander Servando: Arkimagine Multimedia Studios
Michael Eijansantos : My life on board