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Heineken's Savor The Pacific Pilsner

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  • Heineken's Savor The Pacific Pilsner

    SF Bay Locals and current World Champs Johnny and Erika Heineken traveled north last week to Sqaumish Spit (north of Vancouver) on the Squamish River to sail in the 2013
    West Coast Open Kiteboard Racing Championship, sponsored by Pacific Pilsner.

    One of my favorite times of the year is my annual pilgrimage to British Columbia for the Canadian National Championship. If you’ve never been to Squamish, put it on your list! The only way to the launch site, aka The Spit, is to rumble down a gravel road, and as you emerge from the trees you feel like you’ve gone back in time 200 years. Rushing rivers flow on each side and you can’t help but keep your eyes peeled for a bear salmon fishing (still no bear sightings – just a bunch of seals munching on salmon as you try to avoid them on your kiteboard).

    The Race Committee and volunteers ran a flawless event. We had four races each day starting at noon, which meant by 3:30 we were decompressing and enjoying the freestylers showing off below the Spit. Days 1 and 2 were windier with most riders on 7 to 10 meter kites. The morning of Day 3 brought dark clouds to the north which made for some calmer winds and flatter water, but by the afternoon it was gusting into the mid-twenties.

    With Johnny and Bryan Lake solidly in the 1, 2 positions respectively, the real battle was fought for third place between two of my favorite Canadian Ozone team riders – Stefano Rista and Kyle Touhey. On the water, Stefano was able to fend off his buddy (only by 1.3 points) to become the 2-time Canadian National Champion. Whereas off the water Kyle proved to be the Canadian party champion and not let us visitors sleep too much…

    Racing was spectacularly close between the top 8 guys, and then my pack of 5 was also switching up finishes each race. So many photo finishes and gains made on the last tack! Highlights: Seeing Matt Taggart finish with 2, 2, 3, 7 on the last day after 11 stitches (ankle + fins = no bueno) and a serious party the night before… Seeing Adam Vance practicing his freestyle moves on the twintip for literally 2 hours after racing all day, and then getting back on his raceboard. And being pretty freaking impressed all top-10 riders are on MikesLab boards and 9 of 10 are on Ozone kites. Now we just gotta see more Tectonics fins - they were first and second at this event!

    Extra props to Johnny for sailing pretty damn well this event. Pretty cool to win this event for the third time with him.
    Erika Heineken

    The Results were predictable, with Johnny taking bullet after bullet and another SF Local Bryan Lake taking duece after duece for a clear SF domination in the under 35 male grouping. Meanwhile Erika dominated the females and was 9th overall when mixed with her male counterparts, the best part is they all do it with style and class.

    You can follow Erika on her BLOG, one important note, she had her van stolen 12 days ago with all her gear in it. The van was recovered, but the gear was not. The list of missing items are:

    2 MikesLab raceboards (one custom and one Cobra)
    10 Ozone Edge 2013 kites – some are my custom SVB kites (SVB and HEINEKENRACING is stitched into them), others are the standard 2013 models, one is a logoed America’s Cup kite (only 4 were ever made)
    2 Ozone Catalysts 6m and 8m 2013
    1 Cabrinha twintip and 1 Cabrinha skillit surfboard

    If you hear or see anyone selling these items, get their information and pass along to the local police.

    All photos © Jim Hegan Photgraphy

    Last edited by Photoboy; 07-30-2013, 09:00 AM.
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