Rippin' The Rio Regatta 2016: testing the spectators' view | Photo: Guacarazzi

Johnny Heineken has claimed the Rippin' The Rio Regatta 2016, held at Sherman Island, in California.

The hydrofoil kiteboarding regatta in the Delta attracted 16 racers to the Sacramento River. The two-lap windward/leeward course of one nautical mile (from top to bottom) was organized by Rob Dean.

The exhibition event showcases the potential for racing in venues where spectators can nearly touch riders. The organizers want to add the Rio Vista spot to the Hydrofoil Pro Tour.

"Racing on the river was a new challenge. It was fast, there were lots of maneuvers required, and the setting was very cool," noted Rogelio Basave, a kite racer, and a member of the Mexican kiteboarding community.

"Imagine a racecourse that spectators could see from all sides. They can walk up and down and all around, like watching a golf tournament. Now that would be cool!" added Rob Dean.

It was hard to define the Rippin' The Rio Regatta 2016 champion. Heineken, Riccardo Leccese, Joey Pasquali, and Nico Landauer had a tight battle for the top spot but it Johnny who came out on top.

"Really fun racing with Rikki, Joey, and Nico. It was cool to have so many lead changes and race winners. It's gonna be a fun season. The 17-meter is insane when paired with a foil by Mike," expressed Heineken.

Daniela Moroz won the Women's and Junior divisions; Nico Landauer was the fastest Master (35-44), and Sonny Swords conquered the Grand Master (45-54).