BORDER RUN2 KITEBOARDS! - The first ‘summertime’ Border Run2 had 6 kiteboard entries and as usual, to get more sailors out on the water, Border Run2 organizers created a unique way to start them. Race committee officials gave them a start at 11:20 but if the wind was not strong enough for these wind thirsty machines they allowed them to take their own start time. So here is kiteboarder Artie Mean’s accounting of the first ocean racing kiteboards to officially start in a yacht club santioned event in Southern Ca:
Five out of the six kites started off the Belmont pier at 1:45pm (see video of the start above) with 15 knots of wind in the Border Run2. As we forecasted the breeze to lighten at the finish, we were all on our biggest gear and definitely powered up off the line! I won the boat end and had a 2 boat drag race with Gabor to leeward, racing alongside at 19-22 knots of boat speed. By Seal Beach, I had squeaked out a small lead with Gabor behind and to leeward and Boris close on my track astern.
15 minutes after the start we were already at sunset beach (5 miles down the track) , where the breeze had dropped slightly, but the drag race continued with boatspeeds still in the 17-20 knot range. With the dying breeze, Gabor & Boris both started to make significant gains.
As we approached the Huntington pier, someone decided to turn the wind machine off. Windspeeds dropped from 14 to 10, with boatspeeds dropping to 12knots. 5 minutes later, the wind was down to 5 knots and our race started to go bad. By this time Gabor had re-taken the lead, showing his epic light air speed; while Boris and I were side by side trying to keep enough power in the big chop. Around 2:15, with less than 5 knots of wind left, the kites started dropping out of the sky.
With too little wind to relaunch our wet kites, the fleet started cleaning up their lines and jumping into the chase boat; except for Gabor who was leading and fixed on finishing the Border Run. With too little wind to fly a kite, Gabor was demonstrating the kite self rescue technique, with his kite on the water drifting downwind towards the finish at 2 knots. But by 3:30 with almost no wind and 2.2 miles to go, Gabor also pulled the plug and jumped in the tender.
While we didn’t complete the whole course, the Kite fleet had a great run from Belmont to Huntington and with a little help from the weather gods, we hope to try the course again next year.
The end of the race for Gabor as the wind got lighter just 2.2 miles from the finish.