Day 2 - Ocean Clash & Big Air Kitesurfing
With a forecast to dream of, athletes arrived at Petone Beach, ready for an early start as they prepared for a long day at the beach. The Ocean Clash started the day, providing an ideal platform for windsurfers, kitesurfers and paddle boarders to take on the elements, where only one water sport would be claimed champion!
As the trees began to grown, spectators waited to see how everything would unfold. Paddle boarders were the first to set sail, with a handicap of 35minutes, hoping to take advantage of the growing wind to ensure they had any chance of winning the race. Things kicked off as expected where the rolling swells began to increase as the dark clouds filled the sky.
With all the eager windsurfers and kitesurfers waiting to start this infamous New Zealand race, the wind continued to increase with gusts of over 50knots recorded. With only minutes before everyone started, the sea became white as gusts became more frequent and conditions became more challenging.
Those who wanted to brave the race headed out and demonstrated their skills whilst the majority of riders headed back to land as winds became to extreme.
After all the talk before the race, the humble paddle boarders won the Ocean clash by an astounding 5minutes, followed by kitesurfers and windsurfers. Trevor Tunnington lead the race from the beginning, where Jeremy Stephenson (SUP) and Matt Taggart (Kite) followed close behind.
Once all athletes had reached the shore, everyone regrouped at Eastbourne to get set for the next part of the event... the Kite Big Air and Slalom Windsurfing.
The shoreline filled with spectators as New Zealands biggest water sports event took shape and demonstrated how diverse the viewing was. Marc Jacobs put on a show where his world class skills set the bench mark very high. With jumps of over 25m and crazy kite loops, there was nothing stoping the national champion.
The fight for the womens title was very close, where Ticiana Fetterman had a great battle with 12year old Eve Skewes who demonstrated she is the girl of the kiting future. With board offs and kite loops each demonstrated their full skill set but young Skewes was pipped at the post with Fetterman showing her experience under pressure.