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Old 03-01-2009, 08:29 PM
Steve-O's Avatar
Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: largo
Posts: 1,043
Default Kitemasters 2009 Race stories

Couldn't have asked for a better day on the water today to have an extreme downwind race. I was pleasently surprised to see my father at the event. It was the first time he got to see this sport in the 4 years I have been doing it. Having him there to watch all the kites in the air took his breath away. He couldn't believe how far we were going and the conditions that we were doing it in. Thanks dad for coming.

I was also very touched by Jayson's speech at the pre-race party. When he spoke, you could have heard a pin drop. You could feel the amount of frustration and joy he has gone through with his daughter and the love he had for the folks at All Children's Hospital. I was very proud to be a part of this race and this fundraising effort to support such a good cause. I am sure like most hospitals they are feeling the strain of a bad economy. Jayson we love you and are happy for you and your family on the miracle of life that God has blessed you with.

As I was crusing downwind, I got a chance to ride with Jayson for a few moments as he was passing me up. He was all smiles and having a blast. Going back to my father he asked what the race was for. I told him it was a charity event to raise money for All Children's. The look on his face was priceless and I knew he was very proud of me and the others that took part.

In a world that is so troubled and full of corruption and hate, it was an honor today to ride with all of you for such a great cause. The vibe was epic. The stoke was high. And I just want to thank all the volunteers that made this thing happen. It seems that with races there is always an issue with the weather and if it is going to happen or not. It seems since last Wednesday we were pretty certain it was going to go. I think the wind gods were looking down upon us today and said let there be wind. Let there be wind on a weekend. Let it be on a Sunday. Let it be right after the party. Let the rain stop at 9:30. Let it be NW. And let it be the biggest wind and wave swell of the season.

Good things happen to good people.

Last edited by Steve-O; 03-01-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:36 AM
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CrazyChris CrazyChris is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Venice Florida
Posts: 3
Thumbs up Love my tampa bay kite peeps

MAN... I JUST LOVE MY TAMPA BAY KITE FAMILY! We keep growing and growing...

I'm looking forward to the day when we see little RALEY tearing it up on the Bay with Daddy Jay.




Great story Steve-O! Glad your dad made it out. My Dad still has not seen me kite in the 4 years I've been in the sport. So that is cool man!

Way Cool!

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Old 03-03-2009, 09:43 AM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: largo
Posts: 1,043

Man I was hoping to hear some good stories about the race.

My first race was eventful back in 07

4.5 hours to complete
Full on self rescue from 1/2 mile offshore
Beach greeting by the fire department
I think some news helipcoptors got some shots of the whole thing

No one has anything fun and interesting to tell???? C'mon lay it out there!!!!!!
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:15 AM
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Todd RT Todd RT is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pinellas
Posts: 253

I started kiting in May 07. Great instructor by the way!

Last year, I wasn't confident enough with my riding skills to take on the challenge of the TBKM event.

This year I was ready to take the challenge.

I gotta be honest, when I saw the forecast Sat night, and the conditions in the Gulf... I thought "damn I hope I can finish this". I've NEVER done a downwinder, NEVER riden a kite in the gulf in 30+ mph conditions, NEVER been in a race. But I was "in it to finish"

I helped Mike H. launch his 12m SB3 and was able to hand him his board as he was dragged downwind. (BTW... CONGRATS MAN!) Then I launched my 10m and made it successfully thru the break. I chose to ride on the outside of the break in the massive seas. I lost by board twice, found it!! Actually have kitecam pics of myself as the board was seperated!!

LOL! As I rounded the bend, I wished I had a 12m kite rigged.. oh well.

I'm completely STOKED to have finished my first downwinder, and completed the most challenging physical event of my life.

Now I'm ready to do it again, and next year I'll be IN IT TO WIN IT BABY!

EDIT: Anyone know stats about how many registered racers/# or racers that launched vs # of racers that finished?
"I LOVE the smell of WIND in the morning... Smells like..... KITING!!"

"The biggest drawback of kiteboarding is the adverse effects it has on getting anything else done."

Last edited by Todd RT; 03-04-2009 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:38 PM
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Erick Erick is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa Florida
Posts: 336
Thumbs up

First of all congratulations to Mike “Rambo” Hall for turning on the afterburners at the beginning of the race until the finish line, I’m so glad that a local kept the trophy in the house. Also a huge “Mission accomplished” to Chris Moore and all the sponsors and organizers, the event was a complete success.

I was really stoked to be a part of “The Rayley Grace Race” and support “The All Children’s Hospital”.

My story begins probably half the course of the race, when one of my foot straps came off unscrew and remember saying to myself “I’m done! F@ck!!!” I tried to continue with one foot strap on but knowing the area and the condition involved I knew it was going to be an impossible mission to finish it. I tried to continue but I felt so many times that I just decided to head down towards the beach and flag my kite down. Later went out to search for my board that I eventually found probably half a mile downwind of where I landed.

After that I just thought about taking the trolley and meet all the riders at the Tradewinds Resort. However, I knew I was going to be disappointed specially, after all the anticipation I had for the race.

I know little “Rayley” fought for her life and didn’t give up and so she inspired me to change my mind about taking the trolley. So I knock at some doors and found some guys that let me borrow a screwdriver and screw in my strap. At that time I was a man on a mission to finish the race no matter how long it would take me so then I untangled my lines, re-rigged my kite and I was back in action. All that took me more than 1 ½ hours but I didn’t care anymore my goal was to finish and so I did.

I know that without the ordeal I could have done much better but the satisfaction of finishing the race was just way more gratifying due to the adversity I faced.

I want to thank “Rayley Grace” for remind it me “Not to give up!!”

I hope all riders had a great time. See you until the next one!
Champions use adversity like a kite uses the wind;
rising against it, they soar to new heights.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:13 PM
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C. Moore C. Moore is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: North Tampa
Posts: 753

I'm still in Chicago. It's cold here!!!

Upon my return I will post times and place with other stats on the race. Thanks to all those who have given us praises and criticism..

I had a blast!!

"We don't stop kitesurfing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop kitesurfing."
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:01 PM
kiteUSF kiteUSF is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 90
Default Epic Day!

Couldn't have said it better Steve-O. The race party was great and the good vibes just kept going through to the epic race conditions on Sunday. The start was sick! With the wind almost straight on shore it was great screaming down the shore in the skim. The people that made it down to the beach that day definitely got a show! I was loving it, yelling and giving fist pumps to all of them! One hotel near the start had at least 15 people out on their balconies watching in amazement. I love sharing the stoke, whether its with a fellow rider or someone who is watching our sport for the first time. Way to go Chris, Jay, and everyone who made the event possible.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:12 PM
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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."
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:11 PM
CrazyJay CrazyJay is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 390

Hello Everyone! I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who made this event possible. Major THANKS to Chris and Tammy Moore for doing all the grueling legwork and to Watersports West fopr hosting another killer preparty. Congrats to Mikey Hall for killin it this year!
The Lord was definitely looking down on the TampaBay KiteMasters this year. Our 4th year was by far our most successful. We had a great party Saturday night and were blessed with 25-30 knot winds all day Sunday. Thanks to everyone who came out and made this event special.
We set a new World Record for the largest downwind kiteboarding race. We had 102 kiters start the race. This smashes our record last year of 67. Way to go guys.

I just want to thank everyone again for helping my family support All Childrens Hospital. I can't wait until little Rayley can come out and ride with the locals. It will be cool to show her all the pics and vids of the event held in her name.

Thank you all again.
The Orkins' - Jayson Julie Reef and Rayley
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