The Cannon Rocks Kiteboarding Classic 2015 set itself up to be different from past edition in some ways. The partnering up with the South African Kitesurfing Association meant that the format would change slightly and that the stakes were slightly higher. However we were committed to having a warm fuzzy feeling at the end of the 3 days. We did’t get disappointed, once again, the result was a rocking event filled with great people.
In the two days leading up to the event, various participants started arriving in little Cannon Rocks. Some of them got lost, some took the long way, but everyone got there. No wind to hurry in, but a great little surf session before a get together at the Cannon Rocks Holiday resort for pre contest festivities.
Day one was a light wind forecast. Most of the morning was dedicated to setting up the contest area with flags and the Peter Lynn tent. The rest of the Port Elizabeth crew arrived just in time for the late registrations. It was a great beach day but not for kiting, the wind never broke through the 10 knot barrier.
Day 2 had a good East wind prediction. By 11 am, the first heats went up.
Thanks to Head judge Olaf van Tol’s organised system, we quickly completed many heats and got through to the Freestyle finals in the Men and Female Amateurs, Junior Pros, males Pros and Female Pros. The conditions stayed perfect the whole day. The easterly never got out of control (it can at that time of the year) and the tide also played along nicely leaving enough water for riders to throw down right in front of the judges tower.
Some of he heats were really close and required judge deliberation to choose a clear winner.
By 11 am the solar powered Genergy showers was supplying nice hot showers to the contestants.
By the end of day 2 possible winners for worst crash of the event had already been singled out…
The evening of day 2 was again spent around a fire with contestants sharing their stories and drinks. The evening was briefly interrupted by a Westerly gale announcing the next day’s situation.
Day 3 was firstly dedicated to wave riding. The conditions having done a 180 degree turn with wind from the opposite side, riders had to get used to the different tack and riding waves from right to left and also dealing with the current.
Being a pro division only, the wave riding heats were completed with ease and there was enough time to finish the contest with a Big air best trick contest for the Amateurs. This provided great entertainment for the spectators with spectacular crashes and also a clear winner for crash master award!
Prize giving was a fun friendly affair with all riders getting a lucky prize at the end of the day. Great to see all the wonderful prizes from Swing Kiteboarding making the riders super stocked.
Rocky, being the coolest beach dog ever got a special prize kindly donated by Cannon Rocks Homebuilders. But being the cool dog that he is, we had to convince him to take the yummy piece of biltong.
A massive thank you to our partner SAKA, who brought Price Check as their main sponsor.
A huge thank you to all the volunteers on the beach:
Natasha Haller: Assistant
Henry Smith: Beach Officer
Melissa Smith: Flag duty
Christo Zietsman: Media gatherer
Jon for the Jetski
And all the helpers: Hudson Cummings, Dane River Cox, Matt White, Steffanie, and all the others that contributed.
With new and re-kindled friendships, the tone of the event remained that of a festival affair rather than a contest.
Of course much competitive spirit was brought along, but never to the detriment of the amazing vibe permeating the ‘classic’ over the 4 days. Having rescheduled the event from January to October, we expected less spectators, however, surprisingly the beach was always full with a constant flow of curious onlookers and locals adding to the excitement.
It looks like this format is a successful one and promises great things for the future.
After a day of no wind, Cannon Rocks did it once more and delivered, out of nowhere, a final day of 25 knots conditions. One final magical ride for our visiting riders.
Due to some constraints placed on the pro riders by another event, the Prize giving was held on the evening of the 5th to include as many participants as possible. The last day was dedicated to exhibition for the public that visited our beaches in search of some kite action. Everyone got in on the action.
Some more gear was tested and friendship cemented, and the legendary status of Cannon Rocks confirmed to all present on that last day.
Here are the results:
Men’s pro Freestyle:
1. Oswald Smith
2. Colin Heckroodt
3. Oscar Armstrong
4. Carl Ferreira
Female’s Pro Freestyle:
1. Jalou Langeree
2. Michelle Smith
Men’s Pro Wave riding:
1. Colin Heckroodt
2. Oswald Smith
3. Josh Emanuel
4. Anthony Berzack
Female Pro Wave riding:
1. Jalou Langeree
2. Michelle Smith
3. Kristin Keppel
Special OZONE Price for most promising Novice:
Pimp My Kite (Intermediate) Freestyle:
1. Jourits Linders
2. Bruce Hough
3. Bradley Ford
Novice Men Freestyle:
1. Neil Hayward
2. Ross Hassall
3. Smith Jordaan
Ladies Novice Freestyle
1. Natasha Haller
2. Kristine Keppel
3. Carmen Gee
Full report coming up and more pics to be uploaded.
After a hair raising first day with 55 + Knots winds blowing us off the beach, We were greeted this morning by a strong but manageable Westerly wind and 4 meter swell running.
We immediately set out to finish the freestyle event and then moved on to the Wave Riding. Once again the Turn out at the beach was outstanding… The crowds just got bigger.
In the men’s Freestyle, 3 divisions were open with Pro, Novice, and an intermediate category called “Pimp My Kite”.
The Woman’s were broken up into pro and amateurs.
The Wave event was conducted in large surf in trying conditions for all participants. A strong current due to the large swell was present all day making it hard work to stay upwind, but with some exciting rides on the back swell…
Some guest judges were roped in for the amateur division providing entertainment on the grand stand
Henry Smith on the Honda Wave runner donated by Honda Marine Port Alfred provided outstanding back up to anyone in difficulty.
But for riders and mostly for the public, the big air, kite loop exhibitions will remain the highlight of the 2nd day at the Halyards Cannon Rocks Kiteboarding Classic.
Results will be announced at the prize giving.
The vibe on the beach is awesome and it’s not over yet…
See you on the beach with all kinds of activities lined up….