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Old 03-27-2006, 07:42 AM
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Default KiteWorld 2003 (UK)

Velocity Games (VG ’03), ripped through Corpus Christi and Kiteboarding, like a Texas twister and neither may be the same again. This unique event has moved kiteboarding up and ON to even higher levels of demanding, technical competition.

Riders from all over collided in intense competition over the waters of Corpus Christi bay and had a BLAST! Spectators ate up this unique charged spectacle one memorable weekend in May. Top riders like Martin Vari, Andre Phillips, Jaime Herraiz, David Tyburski, Mauricio Abreu, Jeff Tobias and many more came to throw down moves and fly! Nine Pro women redefined “intense competition” as they slammed off of the kicker and slider to dazzle the crowd and goad each other on to MORE! Hot, well known women riders like Julie Gilbert, Laurel Eastman, Anke Kirchner, Dana Pinto, Bri Chmel and many others slammed to it and flew off in style. In total, 69 Pro and Amateur competitors threw moves and dazzled the crowd during this epic event.

Some thoughts from a few of the competitors follow. Martin Vari of Cabrinha, World Champion, never planned to be a Pro kiteboarder, he focused on having fun, trying new things and it just fell into place. Martin still trains that way, he goes for the FUN. Martin predicts competitions will become “INSANE” with intricate, larger kickers and sliders. Martin tossed off a jump and LANDED on top of the slider at this event. He also attempted a DOUBLE handle pass. Martin leads a pack of a truly amazing watermen in a chase for the gold, but really for the FUN!

Andre Phillip of Cabrinha, is rising to near the top of competitions one hot move at a time. Andre’s advises new competitors to go for style, make it look good and easy but mainly just have FUN! Andre coming from wakeboarding, always wanted to hit sliders and kickers from his start in kiteboarding, he says that there is NO stopping the sport now!

Jaime Herraiz of North felt that the weekend of VG ’03 wrote a new page for kiteboarding. Jaime sees the sport going more extreme and shattering boundaries as opposed to perfection. He says the sport has no limits! Jaime described hitting the kicker as pure adrenaline! He sees kite leash use as a MUST for effective competition in future sessions. It is hard to style and soar, WITHOUT your kite!

Elliot Leboe of Cabrinha got into kiteboarding with Lou Waiman in early 1998 with a communal 5 m kite. They wanted to wakeboard without the significant hassles of operating a boat in Maui. Needless to say, they and kiteboarding, scored BIG on that idea! Elliot was impressed by the level of intensity in the final heats of the competition. Riders were just throwing difficult moves DOWN in rapid fire. Elliot feels all the unhooked wakestyle tricks were in play are BECAUSE of kite leashes. According to Elliot, your kite is like your boat when you are working on wakestyle moves. So you let go of your boat and chase it down the coast, hoping that it doesn’t kill anyone! You then run back up the beach and try to remember the trick you were working on perhaps hours before. The “half leashes” in use in the competition are NOT safety leashes where the rider is concerned, as they leave the kite only partially depowered and still flying. He sees kite leashes reducing the amount of time required to learn handle pass moves. Elliot predicts future competitions with multiple sliders, kickers, quarter and half pipes and more technical flat water tricks. Elliot’s advice to competitors is “get into it to have fun, don’t gage yourself against others.”

Julie Gilbert of Cabrinha, was dragged into a briar patch by a trainer kite while learning the sport under her now husband and pro rider, Chris Gilbert back in 1998 on Maui. She was totally hooked on the sport, cuts, bruises and all from that point on. Julie’s advice for women interested in kiteboarding, “Go for it!” You NEED to want to do it for yourself and not at the prodding of others however. Get lessons from a Pro instructor, not from your husband or S.O. if you can help it. “Women can be so good at kiteboarding.” They don’t try to muscle past mother nature as guys are sometimes prone to do. Women use finesse and skill. Julie initially decided not to hit the kicker and slider, fortunately she later changed her mind. Now she only wishes she attacked them earlier, she loves these wind park toys!

Anke Kirschner of North, is an incredible athlete and all of 53 kg! She proves what women can achieve with finesse and skill. Anke is a former Cable Wakeboard World Champion and also won the recent big wave kiteboarding competition at Waddell Creek, California. She approaches the sport with little fear, commits totally to the wave, kicker, whatever and pulls it OFF!

Chuck Patterson is no stranger to kiteboarding competition and started riding about six years ago with Lou, Flash and Mauricio in Maui. Chuck comes from some intense stock with a pro windsurfer/extreme downhill skier for a mom and a nuclear physicist for a father. Between shredding sessions on the water, Chuck does movie stunt work in Hollywood. He felt that kiteboarding really took off at this event and even greater things are to come.

So, that is a look at the Velocity Games and the kiteboarders who brought their all to the competition and built a great deal more. Kiteboarding is flying even higher, so catch the wave and RIDE ON!

Pro riders results for VG ’03 follow:

1st - Martin Vari, Cabrinha
2nd - Andre Phillip, Cabrinha
3rd - Jaime Herraiz, North
4th - Sky Solbach, Gaastra Kiteboarding

1st - Dana Pinto, Caution
2nd - Julie Gilbert, Cabrinha
3rd - Anke Kirschner, North
4th - Laura Eastman, Wipika
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transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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