La Ventana Classic 

For the Crossing Race 119 racers entered this year’s event. 18 pangas sponsored by local business Ventana Windsports (Esteban) and captained by our seasoned local fishermen transported the competitors to the waters of Los Viejos at Cerralvo Island.

Due to fluky winds the crossing was pushed back two days and was finally held on Saturday. On race day we had 36 entrants in the sportsmen class and 75 in the competitor’s class.

As everyone waited for the La Ventana wind to fill in a treasure hunt was held where maps were distributed with clues in English and Spanish and racers had to ask advice from panga captains and dig to find great prizes.. 30 prizes were donated by the top kite manufacturers including a brand new kite from Sol Kiteboarding in CA.

Two rabbit starts were held the first with a 10 minute countdown and the second with a 5 minute countdown….The starts were very exciting with varying strategies, and although there were many kites and windsurfers gunning for the gap between the buoy and boat at the same time, only two kites bumped and fell and both riders re launched to finish the race.

The wind was building nicely before the race but just before the start a lull came over the island. Mid channel things improved, and on the La Ventana side the wind finally filled in to include the turning buoy with an estimated 18-20 knots.Three windsurfers swept the top places while kiters on race boards and surfboards were close behind.

The course was 10.75 miles long and 1st place finisher Macrae Wylde a sponsored Sailworks rider crossed the finish line in a mere 25 minutes and 10 seconds with a 7.2 m sail.

With his GPS tracking his progress, he logged a top speed of 29.3 knots. He was not the first to the turning buoy however but sailed closer to shore than the leaders and jibed his way into covering the competition and pulling ahead.

The fastest kiter was Sean Farley, a Mexican pro from North followed by Shawn Richman riding for Wainman , Jim Bison of New Wind Kiting, French Pro Etienne Lhote of F-One, Hawaiian Pro Jessie Richman of Cabrinha, and Brendon Richards of Caution from Santa Cruz.

The first woman to finish the crossing was kiter Marie Leclerc from Baja Joes as she won for the fourth year in a row zipping across the Cerralvo Channel in 26th place overall.
She was followed by Cynthia Brown of La Ventana's own Baja Board Riders and Paula Sonnenburg of FreakDog Kites.

4 kiters were picked up by the pangas for wrapped lines and one for a lost board. One kiter landed at the beach north of El Sargento and walked to the finish.

All in all it was a safe race and an incredible spectacle to watch. The skies were filled with color as the racers charged across the channel and then around a near shore buoy on the shores of La Ventana in the name of raising money for our local schools and having fun.

And thanks to our pangueros, every single one arrived safely back in La Ventana.


LV CLASSIC CROSSING WINNERS – top 20 men and 8 women qualified for course racing finals

Mens Division (kite unless noted)
1.Macrae Wylde– Windsurfer 25:10
2.Lyn Preuit - Windsurfer 25:29
3.Mark Dix - Windsurfer 25:43
4.Sean Farley 25:45
5.Shawn Richman 25:47
6.Jim Bison 25:51
7.Etienne Lhote
8.Jessie Richman
9.Brendon Richards
10.Jeff Burton .
11.Frank Wittke
12.Bryan Metcalf – Perez - Windsurfer
13.Peter Schiebel
14.Alex Spear - Windsurfer
15.Mark Bavis
16.Mark Bosta
17.Eric Reimer
18.Patrick Rebstock
19.Mo Hart
20.Paul Schiebel

Women’s Division (kite unless noted)
1.Marie Leclerc 28:35
2.Cynthia Brown 30:29
3.Paula Sonnenburg 31:21
4. Britney Todd
5. Shannon Gormley
6. Ella Johnson
7. Christine Rogers – windsurfer
8. Laura Maher

SPORTSMEN DIVISION
1. Norm Beddows
2. Luc Gauthier
3. Peter Talmage

COURSE RACING FINALS
It was a simple short course that included 1 or 2 laps with an upwind, reach, and a downwind mark. The wind was light with the 3 races being held in 12-16 knots—All racers started together and three races in total were run –the first was 1 lap and the remaining two were two laps.

The two laps showcased the advantages of board designs as windsurfers battled against kiters on race boards and surfboards. Riders had 16 m kites and Windsurfers used 9 and 11 meter sails with high volume boards.

Kites looped their way through the downwind runs with an advantage while windsurfers pointed highest on the upwind legs. .

In the first race Macrae Wylde, a winter local in Los Barriles, edged out Sean Farley by pumping the last 100 yards to the finish through a hole as Sean was closing fast. For the women, race one was closely taken by Paula Sonnenberg in 9th place overall over Cynthia Brown who came in 10th overall.

Race 2 was won by Jessie Richman who squeaked by the competition by pinching so hard to make the windward mark that he did a board off, rolled around the buoy, and then replaced his board and kept going down wind – clearly demonstrating the adapted rule that buoy contact without grabbing was permitted.

In race two, the womens winner was Cynthia this time in 10th overall once again. Paula rallied back after a collision with her lines and a windsurfer and took 2nd for the women and 13th place overall.

As conditions began to further lighten, race 3 saw Jesse Richman and Sean Farley pump through the dead spots to take first and second. By the end of race three conditions were so light that very few kiters could even finish when their kites couldn’t relaunch. There were no women scored in race three as none of them could finish due to lack of wind.

With two bullets, Jesse Richman took the overall victory with a total score of 6 points while windsurfer Macrae Wylde got second place with 7 points and Sean Farley came in third with a total of 9 points.

The womens winner Cynthia Brown had 49 points, while Paula took second with 51 points, and third place was a tie in points between Marie Leclerc and Brittney Todd from Mokies but Brittney took it as she had the lowest place in a single race. The top three women all winter in La Ventana and are kiters.

Men’s Overall Winners for the La Ventana Classic

1. Jessie Richman
2. Macrae Wylde - windsurfer
3. Sean Farley
4. Mark Dix - windsurfer
5. Lyn Preuit - windsurfer
6. Jim Bison
7. Shawn Richman
8. Mark Bosta
9. Peter Schiebel
10. Paul Schiebel
11. Patrick Rebstock
12. Eric Reimer

Women’s Overall Winners for the La Ventana Classic
1. Cynthia Brown
2. Paula Sonnenburg
3. Brittney Todd
4. Marie Leclerc

Old School Trick Contest
Judges Captain Kirk, Marina, and Arnaud announced that Mexican rules applied and handshakes with mordidas were encouraged. 30 men and 8 women signed up to compete in the Old Skool Trick contest held on Friday , January 23. Kiters, windsurfers, locals and spectators lined the beach in both directions for as far as the eye could see in anticipation of the big air show from pro’s like Dimitri Maramenides, Jessie Richman, Etienne Lhote, Shawn Richman, along with a host of riders from throughout North America looking to represent their local riding areas and show off their best Old Skool moves.

The wind was fluctuating but finally around 2:30p, it kicked in and maintained at 15mph, the bare minimum needed to pull off the contest. Shawn Richman dazzled the crowd with his big air and his ability to fluidly string together 4 moves in one. Jesse Richman got the crowd fired up and dizzy as he did 6 continuous 360s in the air and Dimitri seemed to walk on water as he rode his board backwards like a skateboard. Unfortunately the wind died and due to light conditions we were unable to finish this event.

The prize money was given back to the schools and 2 awards given to ALL STAR volunteer Kevin IRIE DOG Murray and the Bolstad family for their great energy.

SOURCE: Palapas Ventana