FEELING like Goldilocks testing out the bears’
beds, kite surfers found one day “just right” flanked by a day of gale force
winds and another of barely any wind at all at the recent Halyards Cannon Rocks
Novices got to meet their heroes at the
four-day event, including Kite Surf Pro women’s world champion Jalou Langeree,
who handily won the pro wave riding and pro freestyle events at Cannon Rocks.
It was Langeree’s first visit to the
coastal village and she described the venue as “really lovely”.
POWER TRIO: Head judge Olaf van Tol, Kite
“I’ve only been here two days so it’s hard
to judge [it as a kite-surfing destination],” she said in an interview with
TotT on Saturday.
“[On Friday] we had big waves, but it was
messy as it was too windy. Today is pleasant. I would like to see it when it’s
perfect,” she said.
“When it gets good for us it’s never good
for spectators because they’re eating sand on the beach. That’s just how it
Organisers called off events on the first
day last Thursday as 55 knot winds made for impossible conditions.
But on the second day they were greeted by
a strong but manageable westerly wind and four metre swell.
“Friday was by far the best conditions,”
said head judge Olaf van Tol. “The first day was too much. You could kite but
not compete really.”
Organisers fit as much as they could into
the day, completing the freestyle section and moving on to the wave riding
“The quality of conditions at Cannon Rocks
is world-class,” said Van Tol. “I’ve seen quite a few beaches but the set up
here is great.
“For such a relatively unknown event you
have a nice field of competitors.”
By Saturday the wind had died down and competitors
waited on the beach for much of the day, with the younger kiters playing around
by launching off dunes and being towed by their friends.
It was also the first time at Cannon Rocks
for men’s pro freestyle kite-surfer Carl Ferreira, from Cape Town.
The 15-year-old, who is sponsored by Naish
Kite-boarding South Africa,
described the venue as “super-fine”.
He was glad to meet Langeree again, as
“I’ve always been a fan”, he said.
After the Cannon Rocks competition, he
headed to the Mobe Extreme Challenge in Langebaan and Tableview, which lasts
Due to some constraints placed on the pro
riders by another event, the Cannon Rocks prize giving was held on Saturday
evening to include as many participants as possible. The last day was dedicated
to an exhibition for the public.
GRABBING AIR: Cape Town kite-surfer
Organiser Cedric Vandenschrik said the
Halyards Cannon Rocks Kite-boarding Classic had taken one step closer to
becoming a fully fledged international event.
“The involvement of international judge
Olaf van Tol and some large sponsors like The Halyards, Peter Lynn, Dakine,
Red Bull and Ozone, as well as the support from local businesses, Cannon Rocks
Holiday Resort, Cannon Rocks Homebuilders and Pam Golding meant that we have
stepped into a new and higher category of event,” he said.
“The conditions were extremely favourable
for kiting even if the initial 100 to 130km/h windson the first day did
halt the competition for a few hours. All in all three days of wind out of four
is an organiser’s dream,” he said.
Men’s pro freestyle:
1 Oswald Smith
2 Colin Heckroodt
3 Oscar Armstrong
4 Carl Ferreira
Women’s pro freestyle:
1 Jalou Langeree
2 Michelle Smith
Men’s pro wave riding:
1 Colin Heckroodt
2 Oswald Smith
3 Josh Emanuel
4 Anthony Berzack
Women’s pro wave riding:
1 Jalou Langeree
2 Michelle Smith
3 Kristin Keppel
Special Ozone prize for most promising novice:
“Pimp My Kite” (intermediate) freestyle:
1 Jourits Linders
2 Bruce Hough
3 Bradley Ford
Men’s novice freestyle:
1 Neil Hayward
2 Ross Hassall
3 Smith Jordaan
Women’s novice freestyle
1 Natasha Haller
2 Kristine Keppel
3 Carmen Gee