Ashley Garwood >> Essex Kite Fest BSKA Round 1
Essex kite fest 2012, rider Ash Garwood gives you a low down of the event.
2012 saw the first year of Essex Kite Fest held at Essex Kite Park, sponsored by Ozone kites. The kite park is a brilliant location boasting clean winds, flat terrain, ramps and rails. It is also my local spot.
Before the event, the members and myself frantically prepared the kite park for the event, putting up the marquee, re-conditioning the ramps and making the world aware of the event. Pre-event I got some last ditch training in, to prepare my riding, smashing out standard board-off variations to big loops and handle passes, which left me feeling good for the weekend ahead.
The 12-hour forecast for the event looked good with no rain Friday, Saturday or Sunday and wind all weekend. With no competition on the Friday, myself, fellow team mate Jack Elston, and Lewis Wilby headed out for a session in some gusty south westerlies on our 9m kites - I was using the Ozone C4, perfect for these conditions allowing me to confidently perform my tricks boasting some huge air’s and board off variations. The day ended with a little shower followed by chilled vibes and a BBQ.
I woke Saturday to blustery 20-40mph conditions. I decided to represent and get out my 9m Ozone C4 and test the conditions. After about 20-30 minuets fellow competitors and myself decided that today’s conditions were un-suitable for competition, as they wouldn’t allow us to perform our best and not giving a fair result. So instead of competition we had an unofficial race with both buggys and landboards. The buggy riders set off first on a technical course set up by comp director Richard Gowers, after some blood, sweat and tears (literally), Josh Hough claimed victory, leaving only the landboards to race. I tentatively put up my 9m as by this point in the day the wind had picked up considerably. After ignoring my instincts I decided to just go full power, the race kicked off with me, Emanuel, Will, Carl and Pascle setting off. I immediately realised that I was over-powered, struggling to get up-wind with the rest of the field gaining up-wind momentum much easier. After some hard edging and big gusts I finished the course 2nd from last with Emanuel Norman finishing in 1st place. The day ended with friends and drinks chilling in the club house with all the kite park crew.
On competition day, I woke to yet more blustery conditions and set out to meet Richard and the other competitors for a rider briefing. I was set to compete in the first heat against, Lolo Bsd and Abe, with fellow Ozone rider Jack competing against Emanuel. In my heat the conditions were difficult resulting with me ending up down-wind in the corner of the field away from the crowd and judges. I managed to pull off a handle pass, board off variations and 9-blind’s. Unfortunately this was not quite enough against Lolo, who just managed to get ahead sending me into the next heat with another chance of getting to the final. This left Jack with Emanuel for the first heat with him falling into the corner away from the judges like myself leaving the ramps/rails up wind clear for Emanuel. At the end of the heat Emanuel went through to the final, boasting some huge 720 dangle passes and consistent style. This left myself, Jack and Abe in the losers final, for a place in the final 3. With conditions still up and down, I set out on my 11m C4 keeping up-wind to impress the crowd and judges, landing board-off variations, multiple rotations and some handle passes. At the end of the heat. I managed to come in ahead of both Abe and Jack winning the heat putting me into the final.
The final round came, with judges Lewis, Floyde and Jay at the ready, myself Lolo and Emanuel set off. I managed to borrow Jacks 12m C4 for this round, giving a little bit more power for those all-important tricks. Boosting some big rotations, kite loops and handle passes, I gave a good show but unfortunately not quite enough to get ahead of Lolo and Emanuel. Although a little disappointed, I was happy with a good 3rd place in the comps, setting me up for a good start to the year.
Over all results
Overall Amateur Buggy Results
1. Adam Toms
2. Richard Dent
3. Josh Hough
Overall Amateur Landboard Results
1. Pascal Schmidt
2. Chris Walker
3. Carl Kirton
Overall Pro Landboard Results
1. Emmanuel Normal
2. Laurent Guyot
3. Ash Garwood
A bit battered and bruised with fellow members, we reflected on the event being the first of its kind at the kite park. It was just amazing we got international support from Germany and France, with riders young and old coming to the event. We look forward with excitement for 2013, with funds from all the events we hold, going towards the upkeep of rent and ramps.
Big up Ozone for sponsoring the event and myself, along with Trampa and all the peeps at Essex kite park.
www.flyozone.com www.trampaboards.com www.essexkitepark.com