Brought to you by the Halyards Hotel
Main Cash sponsors: Wipronet, Peter Lynn
Small Cash Sponsors: Absa, Cannon Rocks Home builders, Seef properties, Cannon Rocks Holiday Resort, Chunky Muesli, Audi,
Suppliers: Thule, Rack ‘n Road, XS-Sports, Cannon Tool Hire, Mystic South Africa, Kenton Travel, R-Evole, Yes Clothing, Honda Marine, Kitesports.
After a hard few months of preparation for the 2014 Cannon Rocks Kiteboarding Classic, the weather report looked perfect for an amazing event to take place. All the bits and pieces that “dress up” the otherwise very quiet Cannon Rocks beach where in place. On the morning of 2nd of January the grand stand and the tent went up, and riders started arriving in time for our Launch party which took place in the evening at the main Kitebeach inside the Halyards Tent in Cannon Rocks. Formalities like registration and opening speeches left everyone eager to see what day 1 would bring. Thanks for the food and drinks Halyards Hotel Day 1 Day 1 started with mist and a light breeze kicking in. However by 3pm there was enough wind to start running slalom races and get things going. This was perfect timing with the tide coming in and covering the rocks. We were able to run all slalom races successfully. The word spread quickly that the wind was up and soon the beach was filled with spectators who had traveled from surrounding areas to come and be part of the vibe. Both Amateurs and pros enjoyed the near perfect conditions…
Oswald Smith dominated the men pro division. The Amateur race was neck a neck with a surprise win by William Tyson.
Day 2 Prediction for day 2 were looking awesome, and once again Cannon Rocks did not disappoint! The only thing that got in the way was the low tide. Head Judge decided to run the wave riding division first with riders having to make their way over the flat rocks to get to the waves at the back. The heats were closely contented with some disappointments but also some surprise results.
In The Ladies, young Simone Swanepoel displayed some really good riding to edge ahead of Michelle Smith. With the action taking place right at the back line and with strengthening winds, the judges had to keep a focused eye on the action. By the time the men’s final was up, the riding was of the highest level and the judges’ job a difficult one. Oswald smith and Josh Emanuel seemed to pick the bigger better waves of the final whilst Anthony Berzack had long but smaller rides. Oswald Smith managed to squeeze in front of Josh Emanuel (who got a nice little cover up) with some very powerful riding. But it was a really tight affair!
With strengthening winds it was decided to changes to the rest of the program. The scheduled called for freestyle heats, but the wind had gotten strong, and with the event not being competition driven, it was decided that a hang time comp was to be run in its place. This format gave a chance to riders of all levels to go out there and have fun. But first it was decided to run a ladies expression session. Simone Swanepoel displayed some really aggressive riding but with the strong wind battled to land her tricks. Michelle on the other hand with her local knowledge and a 5m Swell demo Kite from Peter Lynn, managed to land all her tricks. This gave her the edge she needed to come out on top. The amateurs then took to the water with some spectacular jumps in the first few minutes. Conditions were just getting better and better.
The intermediate riders went out and put on much of the same show with some radical airs but also the most spectacular wipe out of the contest. A skidding cartwheeling summersaulting crash by Stef Begere from Port Elizabeth who got the R 500 cash best wipe out prize from XS-Sports. By the time the pros went out, the wind was at its strongest and the crowds on the beach were in awe. Many of them enjoying the free Hotspot set up by Wipronet and sharing the images with their friends ( a first for Cannon Rocks). With jumps averaging 8 seconds it was decided to have a 3 man final with Josh Emanuel, Oswald Smith, Oscar Armstrong battling it out for placing. The longest jump of the contest was recorded in that heat with a 10.06 second which secured the top spot for Oswald Smith.
The heat finished with much excitement on the beach. Sadly Joshua who was still out there entertaining the large crowd that had gathered on the beach had an accident during a mega loop and crashed heavily snapping his board and also breaking the tibia Plateau (Head of the Tibia leg bone). Riders rushed to his help and he was transported to the Port Alfred Hospital. The contest was stopped after that unfortunate event and Organizers called for a skippers meeting at 10 am the next morning. We wish Joshua a full recovery in the briefest of times so we can have him back in the water where he belongs.
Day 3 started with too little wind to do anything, and with the Week – End ending and all results secured, Prize Giving was held at 3pm. In true Cannon Rocks style the wind did come through at 14h00 and most riders attended the closing ceremony in their wetsuits eager to get back to the water.
So another Cannon Rocks Classic has past us, and once again it was smothered in that warm friendly vibe that has been part of it from the start. Special Thank you to Tania Romagnoli, Henry Smith, Melissa Smith, Natasha Haller, Kevin and Lana Cummings, Piet van Rooyen, Kayla Macnamara, Mandy Thacker, and all the other people who helped out along the way in whatever small way.