View Single Post
Old 03-04-2009, 08:12 PM
C. Moore's Avatar
C. Moore C. Moore is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: North Tampa
Posts: 753
Talking Where do I start

Where do I start? How about a month ago.

Back in late January I was at a poker night with Jay, Dustin, CJ, and Tammy. We started discussing the next race since we had many requests for another. Jayson mentioned it would mean a lot to him to have this year’s race dedicated to Rayley with all she has been through. I then contacted John at Water Sports West to help me get the ball rolling on this year’s race. We decided to not to limit ourselves on one direction so it could happen either in the gulf or bay, depending on the wind. We had to choose the date for the pre-race party and possible race date. I chose Feb 28th and March 1st because I was heading out of town for a meeting and there always seems to be wind when you’re out of town. I’m sure others can relate. I didn’t want a repeat of last year where we waited to get the right wind direction. John, Steve, and Steve-O worked on getting sponsors and figuring out what to do as far as food and entertainment. I contacted All Children's Hospital to let them know what we would be doing for them. They said great and posted our race info on their website. I wish they would have been a little more involved.

Now I have to get the website rolling again and start advertising through forums and Facebook. I know the website is crap, but next year I will start developing a better one with Dustin Sleichter’s help. It is an enduring task to get everyone’s name spelled correctly and have the sponsors logo sized just right. It’s a lot of work, but worth every second. Now I have to order jersey’s and get them ready for screening with an updated logo, thanks Fritz.

Jump ahead to the kickoff party day:

Saturday I headed to my office to get some things together for the race and then on to WSW to assist in getting everything setup for the big party. When I arrived I couldn't believe how much food Steve's wife Mary cooked. Mary had been cooking for 3 days and spent as many days going to the grocery store. I think we had at least 100 people at the shop that night. Lots of good vibes and butterflies from our fist time contenders. We raffled off all of the gear and included goodie bags for those that bought $10.00 worth of raffle tickets. My wife Tammy and John did a great job putting those together and made sure we had enough to go around. Around 11:00pm, people were leaving and getting ready for the next day. Tammy and I left with Tonya and Mike Hall to Billy's to start getting prepared for the race, I had at least 50 registrations to enter on my spreadsheet, so we could check people in at the race line. I think we got to bed around 2:00am...

Race Day:
I woke up around 6:30 to start printing out my sign in sheets and I checked the forecast. The wind was still blowing out of the South West gusting to 25. I was confident that it would start switching around 9:00. The radar was showing a large squall and a second one behind it starting to push through. I am still confident the rain will clear and the winds will be nuking by 9:30. I arrived at the park at 8:50 and the parking lot was getting full with riders and one rider was out boosting huge airs (Mike Hall). I was still getting organized with paper work and double checking that I had everything needed to get riders checked in and I started to draw names for the starting positions. My sister Heather was a big help with this. I felt bad for her when I told all the riders needed to check in with her. Within seconds, a mob formed around her and (Chaz’s Mom) Mrs. Lawrence. They did an awesome job at getting all riders checked in. The skies were clearing and I announced we would go for start at 11:00, which was an hour away. Winds have now shifted and were blowing 25 to 30 out of the North West.

By 10:30 some kites were flying and others were still being setup. I caught Billy starting to mentally prepare himself for the race. This is the time where I made the mistake of not having a watch with me. We had at least 100 Kitesurfers on the beach and at least 50 of them up in the air anxiously waiting next to the shore line for the horn to blow. I saw many kites bumping into each other and with the winds as gusty as they were, it was just a matter of time before something bad could have happened. I made a judgment call to proceed a little earlier with my count down. I ran around screaming into the bull horn “10 minute warning” and what I thought was 5 minutes, I screamed out again “5 minutes” I know now that only 2 minutes had passed, it just seemed longer because of the danger of having that many kites bumping into each other. When I gave the “1 minute warning”, I now know it was 9 minutes before 11:00. I was still doing the countdown and when I sounded the horn to signal go I heard lots of people screaming at me that they weren’t ready. For that I am truly sorry but on the flip side it was amazing to see that many kites leaving Sand Key heading towards the Trade Winds Resort. I only saw one kite tangle on the beach. I think someone launched their kite and didn’t realize someone had laid their lines across theirs and when they launched their kite it took the other kite with it. I’m glad that they got the situation under control quickly or it could have been disastrous.

After everyone had left I gathered my gear and had my sister launch me so I can make the run myself and enjoy the conditions we were given. I had my GPS on and it documented my whole run. I have attached the file in case anyone wants to view it in Google Earth. I thought about making a video of the track and post it to youtube, but I don’t have that kind of time at the moment. I did lose my board a few times as you can tell by the tracks. Thanks Dustin for watching out for me by coming in to grab my board for me.

Others not mentioned above but deserve a thank you to for helping is PJ, Taryn, Tonya, CJ, Amber, and Kevin.

Congrats goes out to Mike Hall for winning the race. He will be assisting in presenting the check to All Children’s Hospital.

That’s about it from my side of the story. Thanks to all that participated, a huge thanks to Water Sports West and a big thanks to my wife Tammy for keeping me sane.

Here is the link for my GPS track durring the race and you can import it in with Google Earth, it would pretty cool if someone can get into a Youtube video.
"We don't stop kitesurfing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop kitesurfing."
Reply With Quote