Coolum Kite Festival Downwinder 3rd-4th October

Some Novelty Kites
Some Novelty Kites
This weekend I competed in the 5th annual Coolum Kite Festival Downwinder race. The 15 kilometre open ocean race is part of the Coolum Kite Festival which draws thousands of people from around Australia. It’s always a cool event and it was great to chill on the beach with friends and watch the massive novelty kites in the air. There was every type of kite imaginable; from stingray kites to teddy bear kites.
During the 2008 race, I was on the other side of the world competing in Chile for the PKRA, so this year it was great to once again do the race.
The start of the race was pretty hectic. Over 40 kiters lined the shoreline and as the start horn sounded, there was a mad flurry of kites all over the place and their respective kiters jousting for an initial lead. It was pretty comical, it took me two goes to actually get up on my board and start the tack down the beach, and by the time I sorted myself out I was amongst the middle of the pack.
The wind was about 12-14 knots and I slowly caught up to the front of the pack. It was great to be out on the open ocean with all the other racers and it was pretty funny racing against my friends and local kiters.
As I came in to the beach to finish, I tried to make a smooth transition from standing on my board to running up the beach, but over judged my speed and noobed up completely on the beach and crashed my kite. I ended up finishing 3rd which I was pretty stoked about for the kite size I had. The 15 km race took about 25 minutes so the pace was pretty good for the wind.

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