Do You Recognize These Faces?
Probably not…when they are on the race course you have only seen their backs. They are the faces of three of the World’s top Kite Course Racers; Johnny Heineken, Adam Koch, and Bryan Lake. They train in the San Francisco Bay Area (Sherman Island and Crissy Field) and use the Cabrinha Race Series to hone their competitive skills.
So, on August 4 they took to the water along with 27 other racers to tune up for the Canadian National Championships the following day in Squamish. During the Cabrinha Races that night, they were 1,2, and 3 with Heineken taking a bullet in all four races (4 points), with Lake 2nd with 10 points (3,2,3,2) and Adam 3rd with 11 points (2,4,2,3). Erika Heineken was 9th overall and the top women while Eric Due was the top production fleet rider with a 6th overall.
FYI: First place at the Canadian Nationals went to Johnny Heineken, with Adam Koch eking out a second over Lake who was third. Lake finished 2nd in the last four races of the event. Erika Heineken took top honors for the women.
Then the eleventh night of the 2011 Cabrinha Race Series was held on August 18 with 27 riders at the start line. Heineken and Koch were off to Germany for a PKRA event which left Lake as the favorite…and Bryan did not disappoint…he basically owned the night with three bullets (3 points) with no one even close. Wasson was second with 6 points (2,2,2), and Stefaans completed the podium with 11 points (3,5,3) and a third. Again it was Erika the top women with a seventh overall, and Von Tesmar the top in the production fleet and eighth overall.
At the start of the first race, Headington, Gomes and Don Yokum tangled. It appeared to this observer that Headington who was leeward of Yokum flew his kite into Don’s lines and both kites then flew into Gomes who was leeward of Headington. Yokum went for an unexpected air. I think Gomes has a protest on file.
In the third race there was another tangle…actually I think two separate events but in the same area. There was a hole at the boat end of the start line. It appeared to this observer that Tom Gore dove his kite to get somepower and tangled with Cameron Biehl. Then Bruce Johnson and Allen Chung tangled with each other taking down Headington, and then Eric Due was taken down while trying to avoid and escape the carnage. I think Eric has a protest on file and should he prevail and gets redress which I believe he should, he will end up with 17 points (4,7,6) and finish fourth overall for the evening. Despite being taken out twice, yes, Cameron’s kite was taken down, then he had to retrieve his board from a four kite entanglement, and then was hit on the head while in the water by another kite, he was able to relaunch his kite and finish the race…nice work Cameron.
FYI: Back to the German PKRA event… the boys had a rough start; Adam ran aground just before the finish and watched two racers pass him…he finished third, and Heineken’s fins found a trash bag on the course and finished fifth (maybe sixth). By the end of day two, Adam lead the field until the last day, while Heineken fought his way back to second and overtook Adam on the last day for the Championship. Again the USA swept the podium with a first and second…USA only had two riders.
So, while Heineken and Adam Koch were off winning in Europe, Lake remained in San Francisco and breezed to an easy win in the Cabrinha Race Series and then added an easy win in the prestigious Ronstan Bridge 2 Bridge, toppling all kiters (kiters were also second/Wasson and third/Richards), Aussie 18 Skiffs, Formula windsurfers, a 49er and a Weta Tri.
This Thursday, September 1, will mark the 12th and second to last night of racing.
A summary of the season standings:
Gold /Open Fleet: looks like Wasson on top followed by Lake, Stefaans, Headington, Due, Richards, Von Tesmar, Brown, Andrew Koch, Segura and Gore
Womens Fleet: looks like Boriana takes a ONE point lead over Erika into the last two races
Production Fleet: looks like Due, VonTesmar and Herscher
Silver Fleet: looks like Growney, Herscher, Morris, Levi and Geleynese will have the inside track to the top 3 spots, with several others on their heels.
Still a lot of racing left, so come out and partake or observe…always fun. The last night of the 2011 Cabrinha Race Series will be September 15 and we’ll have another FREE raffle for the participants following the racing.
The Cabrinha Race Series is sponsored by Cabrinha, Ozone Travel, and Captain Kirk’s and hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.