ExPix carried out their first official duties of the year at Watergate Bay Cornwall. The press day provided the best images of the riders who attended as the wind for the rest of the event wasn't very strong or clean.
The weekend got off to a good start with the press call on Thursday. A good turn out from the pro fleet provided the press and film crews with plenty of action and interviews.
Friday however was a disappointing start after a much anticipated beginning to this years events and the memories of last years epic conditions no wind arrived and the event was postponed until Saturday.
Saturday started with clear skies and building surf but the wind was still not the best. N to NE which means cross offshore the cliffs created turbulence and the wind was very gusty and difficult for the pro fleet who were were first to sail.
After a riders meeting the fleet decided to carry on with the competition even though conditions were very difficult. The gusty winds provided one or two upsets and proved a big hindrance to the more technical riders whilst the old school moves became the staple for consistent scoring.
Sunday morning started promisingly as riders woke to plenty of pranks and joke on this April Fools Day, however the biggest joke was that the wind disappeared during the riders briefing. Several attempts to run the competition in various formats from full heats to a slope style best trick failed in the disappointing wind. At least they tried!
The presentation was held below the beach cafe at the Extreme Accademy where the Pro winners were presented officially with their results (see below).
However due to the bad conditions two more prize were given to people who caught the judges eye Becky the only female riding in the Ams for best wipe out ... after being dazed she still managed to get back up and try to carry on with her heat, and Dan Sweeny with a fantastic attempt at a slim chance which he just missed landing in the poor wind.
Both the mens and womens pro fleets were completed with one or two shocks on the podium.
Results so far
1) Lewis Crathern(Slingshot/JimmyLewis)
2) Ali Barrett(RRD /Lost Cause)
3) Mark Conolly(Flexifoil)
1) Andreya Wharry (Flexifoil)
2) Steph Bridge(North)
3) Helen Thompson ( North)
ExPix have again landed a major role in this a branch of the PKRA. The PKRA speed is an official competition to find the fastest men and women around the world and bring them together to race for the fastest speed.
The first event of the tour is at Port St Louis in France where the opening ceremony was held at the town hall.
After an epic journey from Manchester to the South of France .......in the van... which coped rather well with the 1000+ miles we attended the opening ceremony held at the Town Hall in Port St Louis. A gathering of around 40 competitors and joining them officials and dignitaries from the town came together to open the 2007 tour at port St Louis. The town is situated on the Rhone and first impressions would seem to suggest that this is an awesome place to speed kitesurf. With the river mouth entering the sea here there are big marsh areas with butter flat areas, ideal for speed kiting and there is also the possibility that the event can be moved from the main beach to another location very very close should the wind be from the wrong direction. This is unheard of in the world of speed kiting.
The forecast looks reasonable for the first day with around 15 - 20 knots forecast but this varies depending on which forecast is used!
The Friday looks much better with at least 20 knots lets hope that this is carried through to the rest of the competition.
Round 2 of the BKSA Grand Prix took place in Barrow. A new location on the tour Expix were there to record the action and to help out with the media. Read on to see how things went!
Round two began when local press and BBC made an appearance to record the action for local radio, websites and possibly TV. Joanne had been working hard to encourage TV, Radio, magazines and press to attend the event. click here to see the preview from BBC site
Working alongside Gary at North West Kitesurfing Joanne coordinated the visits of the BBC, local press Lancashire Life, Cheshire Life, who attended the event to see the best of British kitesurfing. All helped by the fact that 3x World Champion Aaron Hadlow was visiting a British event for the first time in 3 years.
Joannes duties for the weekend were liaising with the visiting media and organising interviews and photo opportunities for the riders, BKSA and North West Kitesurfing. A great response was received and the next job will be to collate the feed back and published media to show current and potential sponsors.
I got on with the photography in really naf conditions (for photography) choppy muddy water grey skies just don't do it for images but we managed to be filmed and interviewed by the BBC... check out this its me !
Ali Barrett and Rob Snuggs went out on the water for the press and provided quite a show in the grey yet windy conditions. Rob stole the show by landing a double s bend 3 and showing of with some huge kiteloops Turbulence Team Rider Ali on the other hand played it “safe” by doing even bigger kiteloops and an array of handle passes.
In the meantime British Champion Lewis Crathern slept after a hectic few days that saw him drive from Austria, where he was competing in the PKRA, to Worthing then onto Barrow. 3x and current World Champ Aaron Hadlow ,making his first appearance at a British event for a few years, gave interviews for the radio, press and the BBC. After an hour of interviews and riding demo’s the guys packed up and headed over to another location at Rampside some 15 minutes away from the comp site.
Lewis Crathern 3X World Champ Aaron Hadlow
With the sun peeking through, about 6 riders played on the flat waters with a back drop of derelict boats and Morecombe Bay. A group of around 20 locals had followed to watch some of the Worlds best riders ride in “their backyard”
With a reasonable forecast expectations were high. Friday morning started as predicted but it soon became clear that the wind would not reach the expected strength. The Pro fleet went out to test the wind and provided a somewhat muted display of what they can achieve. The wind grew weaker and the comp was postponed until Saturday. Spectators, however, were already amazed at the display and were hoping for more action.
The arrival of two sumo suits prompted a mini wrestling competition, the highlight of which was provided by yours truly. Pitted against head beach marshal Glen, possibly the two biggest guys on the tour, the the sound of the clashes as we rammed each other from the mats could be heard for miles (not really but it sounds good). Glen, on our second bout managed to throw me from the mat……..as I spun through the air, I decided that on landing I would keep on rolling, (at least thats what he says!.....Jo) Three rotations later I came to a halt to be met by roars of laughter from the watching crowds….I cant wait to see the video.
The forecast for Saturday was supposed to be worse than the Friday, but AT 5am I was awoken by the sound of flapping. Looking out of the van I could see the Turbulence Angels awning flattened to the ground and the gazebo’s for the catering van also demolished by the wind which was approx 15 – 25 knots, far more than was expected.
The Turbulence Angels van Caterers Gazebo's
The competition began around 10.30 with the pro fleet going straight into action. At the Semi final stage the wind decided to return to what was forecast and the race crew struggled to find ways to keep the competition running. Juniors and Ladies went onto the water, hoping their lighter weight would allow them to ride.
With a result from the Juniors and the ladies pro’s, the wind died completely and the competition was black flagged. More press started to appear and interviews and filming carried on throughout the day.
The evening party was held at the Vickers Town Institute with local band the Sevens performing, a slide show of images by ExPix and good local "Northern Fare" (pie and mushy peas) and everyone letting their hair down after two frustrating days waiting for wind……. Rumour has it that Persil are looking to sponsor Lance after the display of his brilliant whites!
Aaron Haldow made an appearance at round 3 in Barrow to encourage the riders during competition. With little wind the riders had time to enjoy the rest of the festival with trampolines and displays and free sessions of inline skating, bmx and skateboarding. All in all a very good and relaxed event
After waiting all day for the wind everyone decided to go for a free sail. With all the pros in attendance a decision was made to start the heats. With Rob Snuggs, Lewis Crathern and Taro Niehaus in the finals the last heat with Ali Barrett versus Denzil to complete the final 4 the wind died and that heat will hopefully be run first thing tomorrow.
The womens pro's only managed to complete a one heat with one heat having to be re-run, it was eventually black flagged due to lack of wind.
Hopefully we will be able to complete the heats and finals tomorrow morning leaving the ams and juniors most of Saturday and Sunday.
So after a weekend of on and off weather heavy down pours to strong sun with little wind we managed to squeeze in enough kiting for results in the pro categories
1st Denzil Williams
2nd Lewis Crathern
3rd Taro Niehaus
4th Robin Snuggs
1st Joharra Sykes-Davies
2nd Sjoukje Brendaenkamp
3rd Annalisa Dovey
4th Helen Thompson
Well straight after Wakestock I'm now out in FeurteVentura in the Canaries.
Unfortunately I missed the kite speed world cup in action but I managed to get to the presentation last night just in time for the ceremony.
With faces from both the world of kiting and windsurfing the party was going to be big and I hung around catching up with people who I met earlier this year or who I haven't seen for a while.
Kevin Mevissen, Farrel O'shea were two of the faces along side Aaron Hadlow and Ruben lenten. With more people arriving today and the competition starting in earnest it looks like I'm going to be busy as the freestyle kiting starts soon and the forecast is for the wind and waves to increase ............
Watch this space for daily updates as to how the competitions are progressing along side lifestyle action from the beach.
For more of the party pics click here ..but you'll need to register for an account to view them.
There are also some action images here to they are viewable without a passowd.
Registering is free but allows you to receive the latest event updates and images as soon as they are posted.
Well we've been here a week now and Fuerte has not disappointed with wind every day.
The party tent has seen some action but with strong winds competitors are leaving the partying to the locals ....well almost all!
The windsurfing freestyle was immense with plenty of action through out and the kiting freestyle started yesterday with its second discipline of course racing.
Wind surfing freestyle is amazing to watch with riders throwing themselves under or over large boards in strong winds...its a recipe for disaster yet after the loops and flips these guys tend to ride away unscathed.
The action on the Island has been frantic with heats everyday and now they have moved on to the speed sailing. Hold on and hope.
The kite surfing started yesterday with course racing a new discipline this year as kitesurf expands into new areas faster than anyother sport at present. Course racing is difficult as kiters have to tack around a course that is designed to test their strength stamina and skill. With rules that can get you disqualified at the drop of a hat kiters have to be very careful to follow the rules. Its quite a sight as 27 rider cross the starting line and head toward the first buoy all jostling for the advantage in line and wind.
Moving on to the freestyle single elimination. One or two of the British riders had bad first rounds due to being to kind to other riders but overall the competition was going great.
The high light of the day was a round with Aaron Hadlow and Ruben Lenten on the water at the same time. Huge kite loops massive handle passes mobes, slims and a variety of smaller trick sealed the deal to set up an encounter in the next round. Unfortunately Ruben injured his knee so didn't compete against Aaron. The final of the singles was between Aaron and Kevin Langeree, Aaron had a mare of a final having problems with his harness Kevin took advantage so watch this space for further info of the doubles.
The doubles were started today immediately after the singles final. Going straight into the mens Ali Barrett and Tom Court went through after a disappointing singles. Ali who didn't get to complete a full first round was ripping with mega loop, slim chance and his best move a 360 kung fu handle pass. He blew the crowd (and commentator) away as they all wondered how he had been knocked out so early the day before.
So with four heats already completed the comp is set to resume at 11am tomorrow.
WHOA .......... WHAT A DAY
3 injuries ...... and an airlift to hospital included made this a very eventful competition. This is the first time ExPix had attend a Gravity Sports Event and I think we will definately be going back.
After a long drive down from Manchester to Gurston Down near Salisbury the weather just about held out.
With a little rain, hail and very cold winds the track at the Gurston Hill climb managed to dry out quick enough for the time trials to be held.
With Pete beaking the track record for stand up with virtually every run and only being less than a second of the all time hill record (by a gravity bike) the stand up specialist was having a ball.
The previously mentioned incidents this disrupted the days running order slighty, with a broken coccyx otherwise none as the tail bone, a broken toe, and one unlucky rider breaking two vertabrae in her back (she got up walked away into a car to be driven to the hospital...... brave girl) as well as one of our featured images ( a sequence of ligament being damaged) this was an eventful day and apparently this doesnt happen very often ..........hmmmmmmm yeah right !
Above you can see George being treated by paramedics after he went into the barriers at almost full speed and then being placed in the Air Ambulance ready for a quick trip to the hospital...... ironically George designs simulators for helicpoter pilots yet had never been in one of these.
Anyway because of the disruption with the weather and the injuries the Gravity Easter Egg Race was held during slack times. Just for fun the eggs managed to roll around 30m down the same track as the boarders use .... (some with out cracking) albeit a little slower than the riders.
Overall the day although having a very small attendance was a great deal of fun (for those not injured) and I think we will definately be going back in the not so distant future. Watch this space or sign up to view more images from this crazy event!
Look out for the foot in the third frame
view the video here
Our trip to the out doors show was quite a productive one. Initially going down to support the BKSA stand we scoured the event for items of use, suppliers, holidays and infact almost anything related to the outdoor sports that we follow.
Whilst there we watch some of the free climbing .... (they'e mad) as well as the mountain board display sponsoed by MBS and Fatface. Alway one to watch and photograph we managed to get into the arena to take one or two pics for you to see.
After talks to one or two companies we may be in a position to announce some good news for ExPix and for you guys so keep an eye on this page.
The Hangtime Huge Demo weekend in Fleetwood in the Noth of England had a fantastic industry response and rider turn out for their first event of the year.
With a plethora (oooo big word) of manufacturers supporting the event there was always going to be a good turn out.
With suppost from BKSA youth training team, NaishUK, Best, Star Kites, Trampa, Wind Designs, North (with the young blood UK team) to name a few the event attracted a very good turn out. And with the position of Hangtime on the beach front passing trade was good especially on the Sunday wih the warmer weather and blue skies.
It was a shame that the wind wasnt quite as good as it could have been, but it didnt stop people trying out the new toys for the season. The BKSA Youth Training Team with Andy Gratwick Christian and Karin were on hand to give advice and training to youngsters who ae looking at competitions this year. The junior section is looking pretty healthy this year! With dummy heats on the water being filmed and classroom theory the juniors should have picked up some good tips for the coming seaon of events.
Back at the main site there was enough wind to demo the kites ...if not at full power, and also just enough to get the landboarders and buggiers out onto the massive area Alex has for land kiting when the tide drops.
With a lot of the big named brands there there was plenty to try and view with landboards, kitesurf boards, equipment, and chance for a general chat to distributors and pro riders. This will probably the biggest turnout for a shop demo this year and well done to Alex for organising this possiblitly to play with the new toys!
Looking forward to the next time .....
Irelands Round 3 of their Kitesurfing Tour
Held in Dublin on Dollymount Beach the round 3 of the IKSA Tour is hosted by Puremagic.
Having been invited over for the craic by Fraincois from Puremagic I couldnt refuse an action packed weekend of sun and fun.
So having accepted the invitation of I went for the weekend to see how far the IKSA Tour has come since my last venture to Irelands shores sometime in late 2006. Picked up from the station early in the morning (6.30 am) by Alex was the first reminder as to the hospitality that is always shown to visitors to Ireland.
The event site was more professional too. With Red Bull coming on board they had two markees, the old American Ambulance with speakers and video screens, and two Red Bull mini's as well and tables and Parasols dotted around the area. A large Gazebo hosted the registration area and photo exhibition from local photographer Treasa Lynch as well as another smaller Gazebo for the BBQ area. Sponsors including Kelloggs who had provided energy bars were going to be very happy!
On the Saturday the wind started to come through around 1 ish, heats were started but the men couldn't quite get enough power to do their tricks so the race was started with as many kites on the water as they could get.
At around 4 the competition was called for the day with the hope that the wind would appear in the morning. A few of the hardcore stayed around as the wind came in in the evening with enough for a nice sunset session on Dollymount beach.
Well with the day over it was time for the real event to begin.
Ireland is well known for its parties and when their hosted by the Puremagic team you know your in for an eventful night. The usual vodka ed bulls were on the table after the free booze that was provided for the competitors and the party carried on back at the Puremagic house .... infact it didnt finish.
We went straight from the party back to the beach !!!
The Sunday wind was a massive dissapointment....... it just didnt arrive. With games and stunt kite displays the competitors and crowds were kept occupied until the final call.
It was a shame after all the effort that the wind didnt arrive but it was obvious that the Irish Tour Events were at the next level and next year they probably be even bigger!
Well with Wakestock now having a second and new venue how would the event compare with the Abrsoch site considering the clash with two other major festivals; one being Glastonbury.
Well with two events back to back the guys at Wakestock were going to have their work cut out. Would it be possible to put on another event away from Abersoch that created the same sort of enthusiasm and energy that has made Wakestock what it is.
We needn't have worried. Despite clashing with two other major festivals ...one being Glastonbury Wakestock still managed to pull in a good crowd in a place where people dont know what Wakestock is about. With good crowds down by the lake, and quite a few even braving the rain, the boarders had plenty of encouragement.
With the stunning Blenheim Palace as the backdrop Wakestock had found a place to rival the raw beauty of North Wales.
With the event now expanding not only to a new site but also to an extra day Wakestock now has 6 days of unrivaled action and music allowing it to claim the title of being the biggest wakeboard and music festival in Europe. With a massive array of bands and music with some of this years top acts Wakestock is not a wannabe festival. With bands like Supergrass, Mark Ronson, Happy Mondays Pendulum, Groove Armarda and the Streets the line up is comparable to many of the bigger festivals around the country.
With some of the top riders in the world travelling to compete at Wakestock the blend of action and music keeps the crowds on their toes.
With the usual displays from the Vans Rocco pool gap and the vans skate and BMX team, along with areas to sit and enjoy a cool drink or a bite to eat, Wakestock has certainly got something for everyone.
We will post a full Wakestock report and galleries later but for now its back to the grind as we set of for part two of WAKESTOCK
Well back at Abersoch for the second part of Wakestock this year would the rain hold off ? ....
Could they move the poolgap from Oxford in time ?
Would the new traffic management put in place work or would chaos ensue.
Please bear with us as we have taken more pictures than we have ever done !!! Three nights of taking festival pictures along with early morning Wake sessions has taken its toll on our photographer.
If you'd like to register (its free and you may win prizes from our new monthly competitions) then click here it will allow you to see 'ALL' the pictures from the weekend .not just the 'chosen' ones ;-)
Ok so we couldnt get down for the first part of the week due to other commitments in the Hebredies, but after an epic journey setting off from Tiree at 6.pm Thursday, arriving in Rochdale (base) at 4.30am grabbing 3 hrs sleep, unloading, reloading and jumping in the van it was then 7ish on Friday before we hit Exeter after passing 6 major accidents ..... we werent going to make the Friday that was for sure!!!
So heres hoping that the people involved in the 6 nasty accidents we passed on the way are all ok. Anyway after staying the night in Exeter we again set off for another 3 hours (traffic was very very heavy again) we finally arived in good old sunny Newquay ....NOT it was pouring down!
This was the first time in 4 years we have been covering the Boardmasters that the weather has been like this and it affected everything. Well done to everyone there who managed to keep things going even when wind and rain closed parts of the trade village off.
So for a slightly different take on the Ripcurl Boardmasters .......
With lashing rain and high winds Ripcurl Boardmasters took a beating from the elements over the weekend..... but it didnt stop people enjoying themselves.
This year because of the weather and because of previous commitments we couldn't do the whole week so on arriving at a washed and blown out site we were wondering what we would get. It wasn't the normal skate, surf and other attractions that were usually taking place at the Ripcurl Boardnmasters, instead people with brollies, poncho's, wellies and a layer of mud that had everyone talking. But what the hell; everyone is there to have a good time and thats what they did.
So arriving on the Saturday after the mission of a drive from the North we were immediately met by a sudden and very strong rain shower. The site at Fistral was begining to empty and some of the stands were packing away due to the severity of the winds..only the die hard festival goers remained (quite a few infact). With little action to photograph at the Ripcurl Boardmasters site, we made our way to the Watergate Bay location only to find a similar situation with stronger and heavier wind. So we headed down to the beach car park and waited for a gap in the weather........it was a long wait.....
The first things we actually photographed was the Unleashed site with what can only be described as a chocolate soup covering the grassed area........ the music site was a mess. However it seemed that this only added to the whole experience and enjoyment as bands (Futureheads) decided to taunt the crowd with comments such as ' if anyone throws mud at me I'll electrocute them' ......... followed after that song by ......' I dont think I should have said that ' a bombardment of mud, thrown in paper cups, rags and clumps of grass hitting the stage and the bands. Then came the mud sliding and naked mud dancing as new circular stages were formed for the participants to perform in. With photographers flashing more and more people decided to take the plunge head first into the above ankle deep sludge ................oooooooooo.
The bands battled on with the rain being blown directly onto both stages, no one seemed to mind and this was probably one of the best atmospheres I have ever experienced at the Unleashed Festival.
The following day appeared a little brighter, broken cloud, blue sky appearing over Fistral Beach and a brisk wind, things would be better on the Sunday.
The surfing was off to a great start with a reasonable wave size which unfortunately was a little messing due to the high winds pushing over the top. The standard of surfing as always was very high ...you wouldnt expect anything less from ASP and WQS surfers, we just wish that they'd been a little closer to the beach as they were difficult to spot even with the bright Ripcurl rashies. With a few surprises and close run heats along the way there was plenty to shout and cheer about with David Wear producing the best come back to get into the quarter finals
Back in the trade village people were keeping an eye on the sky as the wind start to push over the cloud cover again.
We checked out the new skates from freeline which are a cross between an inline skate and a skate board. These funky little contraptions caused quite a stir when we took the guys up to the top of the hill near the hotel for a quick photo shoot. With one of the guys over from California performing monster stomps, spins slides and some sort of one footed dismount remount witha spin they look like they could be the new craze to hit the UK. The Freeline stall was very busy for most of the day with demonstations and discussions about this new toy.
check out our video
The normal skate action that we see was again about to be rained off as we were watching one of the biggest attractions of the day .... the Pot Noodle Food Fight. They had mini gladiators fighting members of the audience for prizes whislt the public were watching they could grab a free pot noodle from the stand. With Mini Noodle Stacks, Beefy Bomber and Mushroom Masher the names were reminiscent of the old days of wrestling combined with a modern day gladiator arena. Quite funny and a brilliant marketing ploy; we seem to see a lot of inovative marketing here at Boardmasters, with the Lynx Manwash taking the starring role in 2006
So with the rain again thrashing down on Sunday afternoon we left the Boardmasters slightly bemused, quite wet, but very happy that despite the weather Ripcurl Boardmasters proved it can handle anything thrown at them.
Check out more images here
or if you have reigistered you will be able to see all the images here (especially the Unleashed mud wrestling)
Remember registration entitles you to a free entry into this months competition (check out the win free stuff tab on the home page) which is growing all the time, we know have confirmed goodies from Hadouken and O'shea and Wakestock as well as a few more magazine subcriptions.... Someones gonna be lucky when they receive ALL this through the post !!!!!
So its that time of year again when the events start to run into each other:
Skate, BMX, kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, landboarding, and mountain bike demo's along with a plethora of other minority sports coming together to produce stunning displays of alternative activities coupled with a lifestyle attitude, trade villages and music. This is the time of the big multi sport sport festivals.
With Poole Animal Windfest celebrating its 10th Aniversary promising a bigger and better event than before but could they still deliver the wind, sun and action to keep the crowds happy once again.
Poole Animal Windfest on Friday started of well with good weather and a breeze that began to build as the day went on. However by mid afternoon just as the kitesurfing was getting underway the weather changed.
At the end of the first race the wind died, then suddenly started to howl through Poole as it brought with it a torrential downpour with hailstones to boot. The whole event site was flooded, the car park in places was under 18inches of water, the festival marque that was ready for the butterfly ball couldn't withstand the deluge as the marque roof and joints let gallons of water into the tent....... with approx 2inches of water everywhere....... ouch !
An army of people with brushes and anything they could find managed to sweep out the marque just in time for the ball to go ahead ! In true British fashion, with a 'stiff upper lip' and determination, the show must go on attitude prevailed and we believe the ball was a resounding success; we couldn't get there because of the rain and visibilty on the motorway slightly further North!
Fair play to the guys at Windfest for keeping things running and not allowing the Great British Weather to ruin the day.
Saturday started with a misty glow around the site. The sun burning through the clouds was heating up the soaked ground and the humidity was high. It didn't take long for the clouds to burn off With an azure blue background, fluffy white clouds dominated the Animal Windfest skyline as people surfaced after the party.
The forecast had changed and things looked promising but there was still an air of uncertainty about the site as the events started to kick in.
It wasn't long before the crowds arrived and were immediately treated to the first demonstrations of the day.
Now whilst Animal Windfest does have a few competitions running, mainly on the water side, on the land the activities are mainly demonstrations to keep the crowds occupied. With mountain bike demo's from Martyn Asthon a world champion mountain bike trials rider, and a new kid on the block 18 yr old Sam Pilgrim again one of the worlds best dirt jump riders. With an exhibition of precision skill and power these guys know how to handle bikes.
The crowds always play a big part in any Animal Windfest event and this one was no exception. With give a ways galore the crowd were invited, encouraged, forced even into shouting louder and louder for their favourite ride. The poolgap was no exception.
One of the more dangerous demonstrations The Poolgap is probably one of the biggest attractions for us to be at Animal Windfest. Having started our photography of Extreme Sports at another now internationally known wakeboard event some years ago we always try and follow two or three events with wakeboarding.
So Poolgap is when wakeboarders are pulled along by a winch at up to 20 or so knots. Doesn't sound that bad you say well they jump from a starting platform into a small pool approx 10m long before having to ollie up onto a ramp (there were three of varying difficulty) before dropping into another pool to get ready for yet another jump onto a choice of three more sliders. One a curved up and down ride another with a gap and the other a higher table top.
The idea is for the riders to negotiate the course by using the sliders as a link between the pools......easy ...........yeah right!
With 1 female rider in the show along with several males. The riders included Steph Caller, Dan Jordan (DJ), Lee DeBuse (the beast) Louis, Harry ..(the I'll wet the photographers camera yeah), James Young, and Matt Crowhurst probably one of the biggest characters on the UK and World Wakeboarding scene.
OOOOOOO we seem to have forgotten Matt
Matt seems to have been around forever and is forever pushing himself and the sport to the limit. The poolgap at Animal Windfest has been a project of his for a few years now and seems to be bringing Wakeboarding to the general public in a different way.
So with the poolgap riders giving it their all both on boards and wakeskate (basically a skateboard for water with no bindings) the riders produced an awesome display with huge airs, inverts and some big crashes too. It can.....and does go wrong but the riders usually get up dust themselves off and go again.
No pain no gain they tell us.
However our favourite rider of the weekend and probably the most popular with the crowd was the eight year old brother of Louis who was giving out the goodies at the poolgap yet still managed to show he can can wakeskate to.
Also on site is the Animal Windfest mini ramp sponsored by King Ramps and Relentless.
The riders here to were giving demonstrations and again wow'ed the crowds with technical tricks on the ramps. Power and skill is the order of the day just check out these pics below.
So with all the action throughout the daytime it was then to the party in the evening and as usual the Animal Windfest Annual Party lived up to its animal title.
I'm not gonna say to much about this but here's a few pics from the party and if you want to see the rest you gonna have to sign up to view them all.
so here we go
for a small selection of images click here
or to view all the images from Animal Windfest 2008 register here and wait for your link and password
Fresh from Windfest and with just enough time back in the office to get the piccys on the website, we spent Thursday night with Tom organising websites for riders; watch this space the templates look amazing, before getting up very very early for a 5.30am crossing!
We arrived at the White Air site at 7.00am on Friday morning but weren’t destined to start work immediately. An early morning cuppa ended with a trip to A & E with Jo suffering 2nd degree burns after the handle decided to fall off the kettle; so much for the 5 year guarantee! Still the show must go on and ever the true professionals we set about making up for lost time.
The White Air site looked busy than ever with even more activities than last year; some strategic planning having obviously taken place. With a line up of Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddle, Thundercats, Jet Ski displays, Mountain Boarding, Land boards, BMX, Mountain Bike displays, Powerstilters, Skateboarding, Skate, Parkour, FMX, Trikkes, Adrenaline Wind Tunnel, Have A Go Sessions, the amazing RAF Red Arrows & Falcons display teams, and not forgetting the music which included The Pigeon Detectives & Rob Da Bank in the line up, White Air 2008 was certainly up for it this year.
The sun shone for the entire weekend, probably the best weather we’ve seen for any festival this year; not a problem for the spectators but it did mean no wind for the windsurfing and kitesurfing events.
Fresh from the USA and new to White Air was the BBR Motor Sports Team with the awesome ‘Ball of Steel’. With an average age of 22, these guys are one of the youngest FMX display teams around. Sponsored by Monster Energy drink, the No 1 energy drink in America, the team have been touring the USA for the past few years before hitting the UK for the first time this year. Check out the piccys & video, absolutely nuts! We will be featuring these guys in our October rider profile section.
One other thing guys ....dont get to close to these guys, it may sound strange when they're inside a steel ball but we were allowed to get really close to the action (see the middle image above).
Check this out for a close shot as the tyre went past the lens..
The Red Arrows display team returned to White Air and once again stunned the crowd with their aerobatic brilliance. Using amazing skill and precision, these guys really are geniuses of the sky.
The Trampa team put on a number of displays throughout the weekend. Pulling off front and back flips, they made it all look so easy, yeah right!
The powerstilters and parkour bunch got in on the action too and with the help of the Corona promo car produced some fantastic photo opportunities.
The Pigeon Detectives headlined the open air stage on the Saturday night. Front man, Matt Bowman producing moves reminiscent of Mick Jagger & Rodger Daltry wowed the crowd with an energetic performance.
But highlight of the weekend has to be Rob Da Bank in session in the marquee on Saturday night. With the crowd already fired up from two days of action they were ready to party! A wicked set, awesome dancing courtesy of the powerstilters and a great atmosphere, what more can you ask?
Roll on White Air 2009!
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Once again we are at another event; three on the bounce now so beginning to get tired, but as we haven’t been to a Kitesurfing event since early in the year we decided it was about time to get back on the horse….. so to speak. The British Kitesurfing Championship at Littlehamptonwas to be the venue for round 6.
Having missed out on a few rounds of the British Tour, the riders were asking when we were going to be back. Apparently the riders have been missing our images; so cameras at the ready, ExPix rocked up at Littlehampton to a rapturous reception from the riders.
Friday started with an early briefing and on the water by 11a.m. Heats were quickly got through as the wind fluctuated. A riders meeting was held and a decision to hold ten minute heats instead of 7 as running up the beach to gain position was the order of the day.
So with the sun shinning and just enough wind the competition was well under way as the tide receded at a fair speed. With this happening the mussel beds and rocks appeared and another decision was made to postpone the event until the tide came back in. Would the wind hold?
Well the answer was .......NO !!!
As the tide came in the wind dropped and the event was pulled for the day. Unfortunately the forecast for the rest of the weekend isn’t looking too good and as usual everyone is praying that things will change. We’re looking forward to tonight’s party and the camera opportunities that these events undoubtedly bring; as one rider put it “the fear of getting drunk has returned”!
Check back for further updates to the site and take a look at some of the IMAGES FROM FRIDAY.
Unfortunately the forecast proved to be right, with no sea breeze to boot the riders chilled out in their vans or on the beach skating, sun bathing or sleeping getting ready for the night ahead. High spirits mixed with a little frustration created a few amusing moments as one or two riders took part in trying out some of our free t's
.........very nice boys ... now try the mens sizes!!!!
Thanks to deadman who sorted out our 'staff clothing' they were on hand as tour sponsors to promote their range of clothing, we hope it went well guys.
As usual the Littlehampton party was yet another cracker. Competing with a Fat Boy Slim concert a few miles down the coast at Brighton some of the riders opted to make the trip and not attend the event party ........... BIG MISTAKE!
Sophie always puts on a good effort and for some reason doesn t mind her cafe being trashed in the process. For the third year in a row free beers! music and the obligatory beer fight (she had moved the tomato ketchup, brown sauce and mustard this year just in case.
Things started quietly but it wasnt long before the kitesurfing party goers were getting down dirty and WET!.
We were there to capture the debauchery that ensued. Anyone who wants images removing .....well.......errrrrrrr.......... sorry they're all staying up BUT you'll have to REGISTER to see them all.
Early Sunday morning for those who could manage to wake looked like the day could produce something and the wind did build throughout the day but unfortunately it just wasnt quite enough. With the presentation for the completed heats at around 2 the competition was drawn to a close.
Due to the lack of wind not all the heats were finished. A result was taken from the last complete round in the mens (only the final and losers final were uncompleted) and from the first heat in the womens (2 heats finished with Hannah and Helen winning one each.)
So with a big thank you to Andy and Owen at Airhead, Sophie from East Beach Cafe, Deadman, kiteboarder, all the riders and everyone else who suported us at the event.
See you all soon.
To view a small selection of the images from the weekend click here
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The forecast was epic, the riders were there, but would the promise be fulfilled?
Tiree is an awesome spot when it works with a beach for every wind direction within 15 mins, Tiree is one of the best places to hold an event that relies on the wind and the Wave Classic is one of the longest running events in the UK having been in existance for around 20 years check out the news for our latest trip to the hebridies.
Well after trying for three days to sort out whether my van (which is self converted) was a camper or not, I had missed the boat....literally!!!
The ferry was fully booked for Friday, Sat and Sun, and the earliest i could get there was Monday. The forecast was still good for the whole week but as you can imagine I was pretty noffed off to miss the best of the competition on the Saturday with a 5m swell and wind to boot!
The reefs were working just on the outside with huge waves........so we were told.
Clamac need to sort out their policy for vehicles carrying sports equipment and self conversions, they are obviously not being used for commercial purposes and this sitution lost us some fantastic photo oportunities. However that said we made the trip on the Monday to find very little wind on the Monday. The kiters on the Island had a nice Crossapol session in the evening with a small wave and with around 10 or so kiters out on the water Tiree is defintely beginning to pick up as a good watersports spot (something that the windsurfers have know for ages)
Tuesday broguht no wind and almost all the watersports enthusiats arrived at Ballevulin for a good surf session.Suds the local surf teacher was onfire as were one or two of the windsurfers (and judges) who were enjoying the 10ft faces that pushed in with the evening tide.
Wednesday was again a slow start.With the tide dropping the event was put on hold as the wind waxed and wained and the surf flattened. Switching between Ballevulin and Ballephuile I tried to find where the best action was. The windsurfers were nt happy ith the conditions so I concentrated on the kiters and managed to score this image above with a full rainbow and kiters underneath at Ballevulin. It wasnt until later in the evening, again with the incoming tide, that the competition got back underway.
The forecast was now for the wind and surf to build throughout the week with the weekend looking absolutely mental 9m swell and up to 50 knots. But unfortunately we werent able to document the conditions as we were back off the island and on our way to the SKA event in Bude and Westward Ho.
Westward Ho & Bude played host to the Student Kitesurfing Association on the 17 -19th October 2008
WOW what an event!!!!!!!!!
A huge shout out for the team from the student Kitesurfing association (SKA) for making this happen. Also to all the presidents of the uni kitesurfing clubs for organising the trips for their students.
Following the success of their Kitesurfing event in 2007, the SKA were determined to make 2008 bigger and better. Support from event sponsors Flexifoil ensured that there was enough kit for the weekend and with Monster Energy Drinks in plentiful supply you just knew that the weekend was going to be buzzin!
Before you read the full report we have a request to make of anyone at the event party!
A camera was lost by one of the freeline guys, in the case was a camera and some money (approx £40) The money isnt an issue but the camera contained some very important images of his son. If anyone found the camera can they please send it or the card inside to us so we can pass it back on to the person in question. If you dont want to be named just post it to the address ExPix 65 Craiglands Rochdale Lancs OL16 4RD.
The guys believe that the atmosphere at the party caused them to misplace the camera and that it wasn't stolen. If you can ask around to see if anyone found it, that would be appreciated.
Now back to the fun .......
After setting off from Tiree on the 6.00pm ferry on Thursday evening, we arrived in Oban at 10.00pm for the long drive back to headquarters. With just 3 hours kip and 7 hours in the office, we arrived in Bude at midnight on Friday night. The place was already rammed with students eagerly signing in and getting the low down on the weekend’s activities. Questionnaires were completed by all the students to enable the SKA to assess the level of tuition needed and ‘goodie bags’ were given to everyone taking part. Comment of the night has to be; “body dragging, what’s that?”
…..the bar was already in full swing!
Saturday morning arrived far too quickly but brought with it free bacon butties for those who rose to the challenge of an early start. Then it was straight to Westward Ho with a convoy of student packed vehicles. The crew quickly set up the site and did the necessary safety briefings whilst waiting for the tide
to drop back and then it was straight into the first lessons of the day. 350 students from over 20 universities had signed up for the event. The SKA provided instructors to cater for all levels from kiting virgins to Aaron Hadlow wannabees. Pro Kitesurfer Sam Light currently in second place in the British Championships was on hand to provide expert advice so too were pro buggiers Craig Sparks and Will Mckean.
The theme for the Saturday night party was ‘War and Peace’ and the imaginations had obviously taken over. After a relatively quiet start, with most of the students partaking of ‘refreshments’ in their caravans, the peace was soon shattered when over 30 Spartans stormed the dance floor! Conscientious objectors and hippy peace lovers were harassed by sword wielding soldiers as ‘Rambos’ of all shapes and sizes tried to seize control. An army tank was attacked by a spitfire as nuns and angels prayed reverently for peace to restore! To distract the warring factions ExPix were on hand with a slide show of the day’s images including some lightning work by Ian to upload images ‘live’ from that evening. This caused confusion amongst the ranks as party goers were viewing their antics within minutes. As time was called at the bar, War & Peace waltzed off into the night ………………………..
Sunday morning saw dishevelled, students still wearing make up and costumes from the night before, many still feeling the effects of a full on party night as they listened to the briefing for the days itinerary. It must be pointed out here that ExPix took the prize for the cleanest caravan at inspection…. Now the question is…..were we being boring …..or partying else where? (clever eh!)
So with sore heads, painted faces and looking the worse for wear everyone made the drive to Westward Ho for more beach action.
More surf action was happening as students who hadn’t tried to hit the water the day before got their chance. For others a swim, skim board or just plain wrestling was the order of the day as the event built up to the final session. The end of the day brought with it the ‘competition’ for anyone who wanted to have a go.
A 30 min jam style session in light wind saw approx 10 male and 4 females hit the water as the wind died bringing a natural end to the weekend. With handle passes including slims and mobes the level was pretty high. ExPix added to the prize fund by offering an A3 print for the winners in the freestyle sections.
The weekend over it was down to packing up and we helped take the Zapcat round to the slip road.
Holy …. sorry but thats about all I can say about that!
Those things can handle big surf as one or two of the waves out back were picking up in size. The drops (about 15’) were becoming painful and credit must go to the guys that had spent all weekend sat in the water getting pounded by the swell just to make sure the students were safe.
So with the weekend over its now time to look forward to the next SKA event and hopefully we will see you all there!
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Hi from round 7 and the last event of the British Tour in Brighton.
We have now got the final results of the Pro Tour and can say that Helen Thompson won the ladies and Lewis Crathern won the mens for the third time on the bounce!
With pretty dodgy conditions gusty winds, bad shore dump and choppy water the riders found it hard to find their rythmn. So credit must go to those who managed to keep their cool and deliver the goods.
Well done guys Congratulations from ExPix
Well this last fornight has been mad starting in Manchester visiting Tiree, then to Bude for the AKK evnt then back to Manchester then down to Brighton for the British kitesurfing Championships then back to Bude for this, the last event in this mad fortnight, the Student Windsurfing Association's AK7
Would we get there? Would it be as big as they said, would we cope? all these questions and more are answered here!
Well arriving at around 11.30 after a nightmare journey from Brighton (we set of around 4pm) things started to pick up! We were offered our own caravan ..... thank you must go to Lucy Perkins for this it was much apprciated and much needed after the previous fortnight's road trip. with 2000 miles on the clock we were ...... K tired!!!
So sorting stuff out for the night we could already see the hoards of students (over 500 we believe) arriving and heading straight for refreshments .......hmmmmm...it was going to be another long weekend! With breakfast early on Sat morning (bacon butty or veggie burger) it was then off to Roadford Lake for the windsurfing.
With students all over the place the organisors did well to keep everyone moving and either in clinic or on the water. Using a wrist band system they herded people on and off the water with a fluency a kin to a police operation at a football match ;-)
With the wind coming through in gusts several riders were trying one or two advanced moves whilst the beginners ended up downwind, in the reeds or just swimming around their kit.
As the first day on the water drew to a close it was time to pack up and head back to Bude for the evenings entertainment.
So an 8 o'clock start turned into 9 then 10 as the students kindly gave me plenty of time to setup the slideshow for the evening again. For the second weekend in a row the ExPix slideshow started to roll as costume clad students started to party. Two rather cheeky party goers dressed as vanity even caught our main photographer Ian unawares as a hand from behind (behave .....) grabbed his face. below Colin Dixon points out the damage !
With live music from The Measure ...lead singer Fran ...Ollie ..Billy & Ben rocking the dance floor with zombies, lions and green eyed monsters.
With regular updates to the images on the slideshow the party carried on until the clocks went back with a few groups swapping costumes, others started to flounder whilst the remainder were still going strong they moved back to the caravans.
The extra hour in bed proved to be lifesaver for many as recovery time was much needed before the trek back to the lake.
A massive girls clinic was held in the 'hanger' whilst the rest of the students made their way to the lake bank for the start of the competition. Now we have attended a fair few comps in the last 6 or seven years but this just about took the biscuit! A slightly lighter schedule and even lighter wind made for an interesting competition with judges still hung over from the night before a mixture of skill and entertainment became their citeria for judging....and entertaining it certain was. With moves better suited to the dance floor, dismounts better than an olympic gymnast and some in fancy dress the crowds cheered and laughed as the competitors strutted their stuff on the water.
The presentation was held shortly after just after a quick session of mud surfing claimed a few unwilling victims.
So as the event drew to a close we packed up the ExPix van and headed off into the Cornish Country side on a mission to find our way back to a base we hadnt seen much of for 2 weeks.
Travelling the length and breadth of the country ranging from Tiree, Brighton and Bude we have done 2488 miles 4 events and several parties, to bring you news on the extreme front.
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With Bonfire night looming, Sheffield Cable Ski had decided to put on a Bonfire Night, night ride for its regular customers as a way of an end of season special! With glow sticks, sodium and halogen lights and obviousy a few packets of coloured gunpowder the night was a BIG success. For those of you who thought it was too cold, too far or just too much effort you missed a treat!
We arrived at around 5.30 to find the cable park packed with a crowd of people eagerly waiting for the set up to be completed. With a mix of riders from groms to parents!!!! ........there was going to have to be some sort of queueing system put in place.
Andy of Sheffield Cable was busy putting glow sticks on the cable carriers, riders and just about anything that needed to be seen during the session. The younger riders were raring to go; the older ones were a little more reserved due to the cold that was begining to bite! With a chilly wind, fingers and toes were going to suffer a little but it didnt seem to detract from the overall enthusiasm.
We managed to get some shots from the banks, but with distance and irergularity of tricks from the younger riders ..mainly due to not being able to see properly.. we struggled to get anything decent. We moved onto the boat and immdediately the images started to appear! With the fun box and kickers starting to look enticing to everyone it gave us a little more to point at. We went back to the dock as riders started to produce moves closer to the sides.
With people starting to feel the cold it was time to stop the cable and start the fireworks. A 15min
display led into a sausage, jacket potato and mushy peas supper which went down well with spectators and riders a like.
So as the evening came to a close we packed up and headed back to base to sort out the images.
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ExPix have been here again in Port St Louis for the world speed championships.
With Favourites Alex Caizergues the mens world champion and the worlds fastest sailor over 500m looking to defend his title from the newly formed North American Speed project team with Rob Douglas, as well as the old guard of Seb Catelan (first man to break 50 kn) Silvain Hocein and British Champion Dave Williams.
Charlotte Consorti would be fighting to defend her world title against the fastest women Sjoukje Bredenkamp, French course racing expert Caroline Adrien, and a newcomer to the scene Melissa Gil.
Would the predictions be true or would there be a few surprises along the way .... thats if the wind blew....
We arrived late Sunday night just after the official reception, where the riders were mingling and reconnecting after a winter break.Many were obviously stoked about being back on the tour but there were a few new faces and thats always good to see.
Early Monday the riders arrived for skippers meeting at 7.30am. It was quite cold but that didnt deter the riders who found several ways of keeping warm and ready for action. The briefing went through the usual rules and regulations as the riders listened first in French then in English. Alittle confusing for the internationals as the French competition was running alongside the World Cup.
The course was set and riders were on the water at around 9.30am, initially the wind was just about ok for a speed comp at around 18 - 20 kn but as the day drew on the wind dropped and so did the riders. Several didnt even ride in the second heat.
The new American team were on it. Charging down the course all four riders stayed out until the end with the surprise being Melissa Gil who we thougt was a man .. but then a rashie, a termal, a shortie, a wet suit, an impact vest and another rashie will do wonders for anyones figure. (Sorry Melissa).
However local rider, world chapion and world record holder for speed sailing Alex Caizergues was determined not to be beaten. Alongside Sylvian and Charlotte Consorti the French met the Americans head on. As the wind died off, it would be interesting to see who was the victor.
There was very little wind the rest of the week. The only time there was enough to ride it was in the wrong direction, however several riders decided to have a play or test their equipment just incase the forecast for the last day was good!
Foil boards, speed boards, surf boards and twin tips all had an outing in the light wind. Caroline Adrien was looking good doing freestyle whilst Rob Douglas blasted up and down working out how to tune his board, and just taking time on the water.
So with the wind dying on the last day there had only been one day of competition.
Fastest speed of the tournament went to Rob Douglas (one of the biggest guys on the tour) whilst Alex Caizergues took the win with Sylvian 3rd, Damien Leroy 4th
in the womens competition the surprise came when new girl on the block Melissa Gil took the win ahead of Charlotte Consorti and Sjoukje Bredenkamp. Melissa who alledgedly ;-) has only been on a speed board seven or so times, took the event by storm with consistent runs and an overall win for the competition.
In the mens competition it was more as we expected with Mr Caizergues taking the overall win for the competition. However the fastest run went to Rob Douglas from america which was a little surprising as he is one of the biggest men on the tour and in the light windsit was expected that this would be a disadvantage. Rob however doesnt like to agree with current thinking and as such put up bigger kites and held on.
A week after the Kitespeed in PSL (Port St Louis) we are in Leucate near Perpignan.
The first PKRA event of the year, at the Mondail du Vent, compliments the course racing, Orange Speed race, windsurfing, SUP and a trade village including skate and bmx half pipe.
The Mondial du Vent is one of the longest running events in France and has a good following. The crowds attending the event so far have been crazy considering the cold weather and strong winds. Thousands of people have lined the waters edge, or have been enjoying the trade vilage which has workshops for schools, information centres about water and wind power, as well as shops and stands for sponsors.
With Orange, VW, Cool Shoe, all taking the headlines there was plenty to do and look at.
The first day at the mondail du Vent saw the start of the first round of the PKRA and the French National Long distance racing. It was difficult to find a position to cope with both events so we mainly concentrated on the freestyle .......... wow what a good choice.
The wind was pretty strong and also very gusty, most riders were on their smallest kites. However the british guys and one or two of the others decided to put on a show with stupidly high megaloops with a range of variations. It was obvious that many of the riders were struggling in the heavy gusts, but the English crew lead by 5 time world Champ Aaron Hadlow looked to be relishing the gusty wind (a bit like home really) With jumps well above the houses the huge crowds that had made their way to the waters edge responded to anyone pulling theses crazy jumps.
So at the end of day one most of the usual suspects were there, Aaron, Kevin Langeree, Youri Zoon just back 12 month out, Peter, Alex Pastor who just pipped the UK's Lewis Crathern to a place in the last eight.
Day two didnt see much of an improvement in the weather although the sun shone towards the end of the day. Being slightly behind schedule due to an injury the day previously, it was decided to try and finish everything. So in the Singles Aaron took the podium from Youri Zoon with Alex Pastor Third
In the female cometition Guisella Puilida took first place ahead of Angela Peral 2nd and Brunja Kajiya 3rd
The Double elimination saw Aaron again just pip Youri for his first win of the season and Kevin Langeree managed to claw his way back to 3rd taking the position from Alex Pastor. With a late finish at around 7 pm the riders had been at the beach for 10 hours after a 9am skippers meeting, It had been a long day.
The course racing was totally dominated by two riders who have ben at the forefront of speed kiting for the last couple for years, Alex Caizergues and Seb Catelan. With Alex taking 7 wins out of 8 and Seb second 7 times and 1 win these two riders could not be touched.
The Orange Speed Challenge a race between the fastest kitesurfers and windsurfers was a little unfortunate not to have good wind. This hindered both sets of athletes as they battled for the speed title.
The Trade village had been busy all week with educational stall for children, information for public, clothes and equipment stalls alongside resteraunts and food stands
Plymouth University’s kitesurfing and windsurfing club, Plymouth Windriders is tasked with the promotion and development of windsurfing and kitesurfing at Plymouth University. And thanks to the hard work of the committees over the years, the club has already got a membership that any university club would be proud of.
The club’s aim is to introduce students to and increase participation in the sports at the university and through a variety of trips, events and socials, the committee work tirelessly to encourage, cajole and persuade students to don their wetsuits and venture into the clear blue, warm waters that surround Britain! (Need to add a wink here)
Fundamental to the committee’s work is their Fresher’s events where the club provides students with an introduction to windsurfing and kitesurfing. And to this end on 18 – 20th October, 47 or so students, committee members and instructors headed to Westward Ho! for the club’s kitesurfing beginners event. And at the request of Nora Groos, President of Plymouth Windriders; ExPix headed down too to capture all the action.
With a variety of land based lessons carried out over the weekend, thanks to the help of instructors from Kitemares and Plymouth Windriders’ own instructors; rudimentary kite skills were taught, crucial to anyone wanting to learn how to Kitesurf.
With all kite kit supplied by the club and substantially reduced prices for tuition, these beginner weekends really are an ideal way to promote and develop the sport.
Check out the images below or click here to see the full Plymouth Windriders freshers kitesurfing gallery from the weekend.
We had already missed Saturday's great conditions due to heading down to the English Nationals in Cornwall but would the Sunday produce more of the same or would it be a wash out?
We arrived at around 11.00am to find the competition well under way. after the Saturdays almost classic conditions the organisors had decided to surf late on the Saturday and early on the Sunday in the hope of finishing the competition before the swell disappeared.
The swell was already beginning to be blown out as the wind picked up. However the riders were still finding waves even if they were a little mushy!
The competition ran throughout the day on both the north and South Peaks. this made it difficult for us to cover all the heats but we concentrated on the South Peak as we could gain a better angle looking more down the line than on the North Peak.
Well after a mad drive up from Swansea Bay (we were still on the beach at 12.30) ExPix arrived in Sheffield at around 4.30 I didnt check becuase I wanted to get cracking taking images of the event. unfortunately I had missed the rookies and the ladies were just about to start.
So with no time to say hello to anyone I positioned myself ready for the next round.
Sheffield Cable Waterski is a great place to go for a free ride session .. its also good for comps too. The people who run this place are really up for a good time and the ethos of the place is based around fun and taking part.
Yeah they have a few comps but its more about getting people to have a go, learn and enjoy whilst pushing the sport in this area. With a few well known names appearing up here its good to see the southerners coming north for a bit of action and Yorkshire hospitality (and I'm from Lancs)
The set up is good too with camping allowed for events and a bar, BBQ area showers as well as the cable with kickers and sliders.
As rain stopped play (it was really heavy) and the wind whipped up the water into white caps the squalls pushed people towards the BBQ and the bar. This was however after all the heats had been run and the organisors were very lucky that the weather hadnt detracted from the overall fun of the comp.
I decided to call it a day at around 11 ish after photographing two events driving 260 miles and I still had to be up at 5am to drive down to Rhosneigr in North Wales for a windsurf event !
Anyway back to the important bit the results ...... and pics !
Great effort from the riders and not much to choose between the intermediates and the pro's on the day however the wind was up and down and the rain at time lashing down. It kept things real and difficult for the riders some of who really impressed with big raileys, hitting the A frame and fun box along with a range of other top moves. Looks like the rest of this years comps are gonna be good to watch.
1. Tom Bowles
2. Sam Cordery
3. Scott Rosewell
Sorry as said above I missed the start so no action shots from this category ! ;-( really sorry guys !
1. Sophie Cordery
2. Ellie Taylor
3. Alexis Twigden
1. Taylor Dell
2. Will Bradley
3. Zander Jones
1. Jamie Smith
2. Ed Woodward
3. Tom Taylor
1. Christian Koester
2. Declan Clifford
3. Damon Bull
Hopefully we'll see you soon down at Sheffield Cable and Waterski very soon for the student Nationals, if not before
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So what do you do when you see a post on Facebook asking do you want to go to a huge event in the South of France?......... This weekend............casually say yeah ...ok! ... we'll do it ! ...or.....................?
Well thats what happened last Thursday and by Saturday we were in Montpellier after a mission of 22hours (it happens when you set off on a bank holiday ). Sensation group and Alliance Mag sent us down to pick up a system 2 and whilst we were there it would be a good oportunity to check out the action !
Facebook popped up and a post from Tim Woodhead from Alliance caught my eye. Tim is project manager for many of the sensation groups wake events and also works a lot for Wakestock building sliders and managing the logistics of the poolgaps. Well this was an intriguing post. The offer an expense's paid trip to FISE in Montpellier. So we contacted him to offer ourselves for the job ..... whatever it was !
Tim needed us to pick up a system 2 cable unit that was being used at the event in Monpellier and bring it back to be tested at another event the following weekend in the TEN80 Wakepark in Tamworth. 3m would just about fit into the van and with a little rearranging it wouldnt be a problem (remember that bit )
We got the final go ahead on Friday morning at 10.30am and by 12noon the van was ready and well on on its way for a 6p.m. evening ferry .....what could go wrong !
Well it was BANK HOLIDAY..................... THATS WHAT! The traffic was horrendous and a journey that normally takes 4 ish hours to complete was only just finished at 7.30 p.m. a full 8 hours in the van !.......ouch
This now meant we wouldnt hit France until 11p.m. and with unloading and etc we wouldnt be back on the road until midnight with another 10 hours plus of driving ahead. Saturday was going to start at 10.30 so we had no leeway for anymore rests, or mistakes ..........mission !!!
Fortunately the roads in France are quite good ...once you have navigated around Paris and with a few cans of energy drinks (Monster left over from previous events and a couple of new cans of Relentless) that would see the night drive fly by.
As the sun rose over the Millau viaduct we were still on target for arriving in Montpellier for 10.30am but only just. Finding somewhere to park would be the next problem especially near to the event site which happened to be in the centre of the city along the river and with Montpelliers one way system and diversions due to FISE this proved harder than anticipated. Eventually we stopped the van about 1/2 a mile away from the river and here it would stay for the weekend.
On the river was an amazing setup of activities ranging from wakeboarding (obviously) bmx, skateboard and inline, canoing, trade villages, have a go areas and the place was buzzin. Spaced over approx 1 mile of the river the crowds were massive and with the weather cracking the flags (it was only around 30 degrees) everyone was in a festival mood.
It was hard to get around everything especially as we had come down for a specific purpose. The event was massive on a couple of sites so rather than trying to explain what was happening check out some pics from the various disiplines we did manage to see.
The Sunday brought the dismantling of the system 2 and loading up of the van .... now remember that comment earlier on ? it would fit into the van problem no problem ...... well problem .....the length was 3.10 and not 3m with the width of the structure and the fittings of the van it meant that we would have to drive the 900+ miles back with the tailgate tied down and not fully closed. Again it was the end of a French Holiday so we managed a grand total of 92 miles in the first 4 hours oh .... finding somewhere quiet to pull up I suddenly realised that my bed was somewhere under the system 2, front seat it was thenwith one eye open as most of my camera gear was in the back and accessible to anyone who wanted to sneak inside the tailgate.
Would the ferry allow me on like that would customs pull us over, would be be stopped for being overloaded? Got to admit there was a sigh of relief when we drove past all the border controls not that we'd done anything illegal but i didnt want to have to empty the van to reload it again .... especially on my own ..... ;-)
So Tuesday morning we arrived at Ten80 in Tamworth after yet another mission of a total journey time of 36 hours. So with the van unloaded it became apparent just how much stuff there was in the back.
we will try and get back to Ten 80 in Tamworth for the Think Tank event next weekend
For a small gallery of images from Fise click here (coming soon)
To view all the images you need to be registered or you can click here and put in the passwords (coming soon)
After bringing the system 2 from FISE for the Think Tank we thought we should go down to take a few pics of the cable in action. Qualifying was on Thursday but after the previous weekend and a round trip of 2000 miles in 5 days we decided to have an extra day in the office and arrived on Friday just after dinner. The action was already in full swing with the jetski ploughing up and down the lake at Ten80 pulling the riders onto the custom built obstacles.
We dragged the cameras out of the van and set to work shooting the action.
Think Tank is a different type of event in that its not a competition as such. its more of a jam session similar to what skateboarders do when they just ride in a group. The idea behind Think Tank is to gather as many of the best riders as they can ..... add in few ams and ride. With a host of photographers and camera crews around it pushes the sport, creates media and provides a medium for the riders to show what they can do ........ all good !!
So bearing in mind we have already mentioned skateboards, Think Tank also tries to be as true its origins as possible, yeah its on the water but it is essentially the same tricks as skateboarding. To make it more realistic the obstacles were designed using skateboard parks as their inspiration. The inclined rail, flat bar, the nike6.0 euro gap straight froma a skate park, the yoshi box (up flat bar with a wall ride either side) and of course the stair with matching hubba rails and a metal hand rail down the middle, in fact the only thing that could not be taken from a skateboard park was the bouy!
So with 10 invites and 6 qualifiers already on the water it was a wait your turn for the jetski scenario, with the sun shinning, and the music playing the whole atmosphere was pretty chilled.
It interesting to note that the more experiened riders were watching and encouraging the younger and newer kids to the scene, helping them out with tips, or even cheers, the level got better and better as Friday turned into Saturday. Confidence grew and more elaborate tricks were being tried ..... especially on the stairs.
So with Sat night approaching and the night shoot session we were a little upset, annoyed ,.......... (trying to be polite here ) that we had to leave to go to another event. We did however mange to get 30 mins of the night session under our belt and it looked like it was going to produce some awesome images for the magazines.
So with the only prize for the best trick of the weekend going to Terry Hannan a special Nike 6.0 monkey winch which he won with a front side 180 to switch smith grind on the steel hand rail.
Having heard all the stories about how good and large this event was didn't prepare us for exactly how many people the Kiteboard Open caters for or has potential to reach. The beach was rammed and I can only equate the size to Boardmasters (Newquay Surf Comp) who claim to have around 100 000 visitors on the beach................. it was amazing. So with good support from the industry there were stalls, activities and parties. We definitely want to go back to this one next year.
We arrived on Sun morning after an overnight trip from the Think Tank event in Tamworth UK, and were met by hordes of people walking, driving or cycling in the direction of the beach surely this crowd couldn't be all going to the same place as us.
Well they were it took us about an hour to find somewhere to park and we arrived on the beach to see a range of coloured flags, tents and vehicles on the Notorious Beach in Noordwijk.
This is the fifth year the event has taken place and it has steadily grown in size and stature. Organised by the Noordwijk Kite Club it is a labour of love for the members. The main sponsors of the event this year were protest
The event has a family feel to it and the chief organiser explained that the reasoning behind this is he has children. A strange way of thinking you may say...... but he says that they need something to keep them happy and occupied if he is kiting, so with this in mind the activities range from bars and music, trade stands, bouncy castles, trampolines, hot tubs, slides and fun games such as the duo balance boards or the paddle surf race. This combines a kite competition with the beach lifestyle giving the whole family something to do. Something we have not seen anywhere in Europe yet. Its great to see the beach lifestyle adding to the atmosphere of competition.
So on Sunday the wind wasn't that strong, with little wind in the morning we concentrated on gaining images for the press office and gathering colourful images for the website and promotional material. Then as the wind picked up a little it was down to the waters edge to see what the level was like. The wind however didn't really pick up enough but the guys tried and there was some promising action on show. With the forecast due to improve for Monday the event looked like it was gonna kick off.
So with the evening drawing in it was into the Marquee to listen to the band Splendid a reggae, ska band from Holland. They went down a bomb with their relaxed rhythms pumping out over the beach.Then out onto the beach to eat and drink and be merry whilst the DJs got ready for the night.
We needed to go take a break and went to freshen up ready for the night times party. On our return the place was bouncing.People up on the stage, lights flashing, all the ingredients for a good night and it felt chilled, no agro just good fun.
The DJ sets were awesome, great mixes got the crowds baying for more as the night drew to a close around 2a.m.
Monday morning saw a few tired eyes and sore heads as riders and spectators emerged from their pits and dragged themselves to the beach. The wind wasn't there yet so a paddle surf race and volleyball demo occupied people whilst the children played on the slides trampoline and bouncy castles and some were interviewed for TV
By late afternoon the wind was becoming stronger and I managed to get out on a boat to take some images looking back to shore. The event looked even larger than before and there were people on the beach for approximately a mile on either side of the main stand.
Whilst the competition was on stand by the commentators kept the crowds occupied with games and give aways from the tower in the centre. Hundreds of children waited below the tower arms stretched towards the sky in anticipation of goodies falling into their arms.
The invited pro's gave demonstrations out on the water before the competition started in ernst.
The wind slowly picked up and at one point we counted over 150 kites on the water within a mile or so of the tower. We have only seen more kites than this in Tarifa or at the downwind dash in South Africa.
Racing through the heats brought the final of the pro's around 7 ish with frantic action it was Boss Koole who took the prize.
Overall this is a fantastic event for anyone to attend pro or spectator, plenty to do with great atmosphere its going to be interesting how they up the level next year. We already want to book our ticket to see how they do it !
Well done all and hopefully see you next year.
please bear with us whilst we upload the galleries .. there are a lot of images but we will be as quick as we can !
to view a small selection of images from the event click here
if your registered on ExPix then you can click here to see more images using your gallery passwords
To register with ExPix click here
Shefield Cable and Waterski hosted the second round of their Ten Feet high Series. We were there to catch the action of the biggest Cable competition in the UK .....probably !
With 84 competitors we believe that this is the biggest wakeboarding comp in the UK. A Mass of rookies swelled the numbers with over 30% of the competitors in this category. A healthy number of Ladies also added to the growth of this ' local ' cable competion.
As we have said before Sheffield Cable Waterski centre is a very friendly and accomodating place to go. Its great for beginners (of any age ) families pro's infact almost any genre you could care to mention, but on their event days the support for this family run business shows through.
The level of riding at this latest tournament also showed an improvement, possibly down to no wind or just sheer progression by the riders who took part. Massive airs, a multitude of inverts and just the overall vibe of lets have a go all made for a great days entertainment.
Special mentions though must go out to Tom Bowles with his fashion air so funny !!!. CK with his 9's ... awesome and Adam Walker with an absolutely massive tantrum which took the big air comp. Shame that the heavens had opened and we were hiding our cameras at that point.
Here are a few pics from the event results to come !
1st) Tom Bowles
1st) Taylor Dell
2nd) Will Bradley
3rd) Zander Jones
1st) Christian Koester
An impromptu Big Air comp was won by narrowly won by Adam Walker
For a small selection of images click here (anyone can view)
To view all the images click here (you need to be registered)
We should have a video online pretty soon too keep checking on here or wait for the summer news letter for details.
If you hae lost your passwords or your login details e-mail me with the e-maila ddress you think you registered with and we will try and search out your login details
Ten years on and Wakestock is still going strong. Starting with a few riders and a sound system in a car on a beach after a great session Wakestock now see's a capacity crowd of 15000 per night watch the live music after a days Wakeboarding. Not just at Pwhelli Marina or on Abersoch main beach but also on site in the form of the pool gap.
ExPix have been taking wakeboarding pictures at Wakestock since it started; so this year we were proud to cover the action once again. Check out this years report to see some of the action images from the event.
Travelling down very early Thursday morning due to other work commitments, we headed straight for the marina and the practice session. Most of the riders were there although this year there was a definate split between the wakeboarders, and the wakeskaters most of whom were at the event site on the poolgap. As always Thursday gives the riders chance to 'test' the rails and obstacles as well as get used to riding on a tidal water. It also gives the photographers chance to find the best spots for images. We didnt lose much time in calculating angles and positions for the following days. We also managed to take one or two nice shots as you will see if you look in the galleries.
After a few quick hello's and catching up with a some of the guys we headed up to the event site at Penhros. Fortuantely we had our passes or there would have been a massive wait to get onto the site as people were already queuing, fully loaded with tents, food and sleeping bags ready for the weekend ahead.
Onsite the event was being finished off and the riders (wake skaters) were already chomping at the bit, eager to hit the poolgap. Another 'quick' session saw some awesome riding almost immediately with some of the youngsters impressing the more experienced guys out there; Infact there was a comment heard by one rider that it wouldnt be long before they would 'have to watch their backs'.
Thusday evening came and the campsite was becoming full. We took a walk around and snapped a few pics of the gathering crowds before the carnage began! Festivals are great fun! With the rest of the evening clear we took an early night, saving our energy for the three days to come that are WAKESTOCK.
Friday morning came to soon with a 9.30am start on the marina for the qualifiers. Everyone was rushing around looking for a lift, grabbing gear and heading down to the waterside. The weather was quite good, but the forecast wasnt so we needed to get something down on memory....... just incase the weather killed the atmosphere.
The riding was pretty good, with probably the biggest field of women and an extra category for ams. The event had extended the wakeboarding to an extra day to give more people the chance to compete. As the riding got under way the marina started to buzz with good crowds, TV crews and loads of photographers. With winners of the womens qualifying for the final and the chance to compete against prequalified riders, the presentation saw Elkie Vanken Charlotte Byrant and Sam Fissel go through.
On the mens side Sam Weinstein, Declan Clifford and Ade Williams qualifed for the next round!
Back up to the site just in time for the big opening with 10 golden tickets given away that provided 10 years entry into Wakestock, Goldierocks, Deinton and Pritchard of Dirty Sanchez fame and the world famous Red Arrows who's display brought gasps of amazement at the precision and danger they were creating!
With just enough time to catch one or two music acts download the days images so far (............only 16 gig) it was then off the the main beach for the traditional Big Air Event. As said before there was a definate split in the riders this year, with more wakeskaters there the Big Air saw a few 'non competitors' taking part and as the rain started (told you the forecast wasnt good! ) Nick Davies pulled out an awesome jump that just blew everyone else away. A heelside 720.
The rain eased a little for the transfer back to the event site but did start again later in the evening. but it didnt deter from the music and it certainly didnt dampen peoples enthusiasm for the entertainment.
Saturday morning was again an early start. Trying to get off site was a slight problem due to the rain from the previous night. People had strategically parked their vehicles so as not to get stuck in any mud but in doing so they had blocked in several others. We hitched a lift with a couple of the female riders. The marina was again busy. The ams from the previous day went up against some of the pro's to qualify for the finals on Sunday. The riding level was getting higher and one of the 'highlights' although it could have so easily been a disaster was Rob Moyles .. he didnt land any of his tricks, and it was no wonder .. he only did two ... a three sixty on the gap on the way and then on the return he tried to reverse it. He only just missed the biggest ollie I have seen (around 4 / 5 foot off flat water) crashing into the end of the rail flipping himself forward. He was lucky. After trip to the hospital and a diagnosis of ligament damage he was back on site on crutches enjoying the festival once again.
The womens final could have gone to anyone. The riding was consistent with all the girls hitting the Relentless Leviathan box and one or two going for the huge gap as well. This was probably the biggest and best womens field we have seen at Wakestock and hopefully it will continue to grow. the women are catching up fast!
Back onsite saw the rain start once again, a little heavier this time and the filming of Hollyoaks at the festival had to go into the VIP tent instead of outside. We couldnt take any pics of the poolgap action because the rain was so bad and anyhow with grey skies and drab colours who would want to see them ;-)
We concentrated on the bands and with the ikes of the Twang, Elliot Minor, Pigeon Dectectives, Super Furry Animals, and N.E.R.D we were kept quite busy. just as we were packing away for the night N.E.R.D decided to bring some of the crowd onto the stage and our photographer Ian Edmondson fought his way to the front to grab some amazing shots.
So Sunday morning and the site was looking a little worse for wear. it had however coped with the rain quite well. The festival goers were coping a little less well and there were a few bedraggled faces mooching around. So once again it was off to the marina for the mens final.
It all started well, good crowds, the weather begining to clear and then Nick Davies hit the water. That just about killed the competition. This guy can ride with more tricks in between each obstacle than any of the others and big tricks at that anyone coming after him was gonna have to pull out something special. His double up at the top end of the marina was huge and a 7 to boot. The rest of the guys had to go big and in the choppy conditions this just proved to much with many of them crashing and not completing their runs. We would have to wait for the offical announcement later that night, but it was pretty obvious who should win.
Back onsite the sun was out, and it was a chance to hit the poolgap. This was probably our best 30 mins taking images of a poolgap ..... EVER ! hopefully there will be a few appearing in Alliance but we will have to wait and see.
So bringing WAKESTOCK to a close on Sunday evening was the prize giving the Zutons and Dizzee Rascal - amazing. The crowd were really whipped up and almost everyone there was watching the open air stage. Dizzee didnt disappoint as he gave a fantastic performance to end the 10th Anniversary Wakestock.
So Wakestock 2010 is going to have to go some to beat this one but as always this was the best yet so we cant wait for next year!!!! Can you ?
To find out more about Wakestock go to the event site.
Starting out life as the National Windsurfing Festival (NWF) some 8 years ago; the NWF is going from strength to strength.
The festival which is based on Hayling Island is the brain child of organiser Allan Cross. Whilst initially a windsurfing festival, the decision was taken to include kayaking, kitesurfing and stand up paddle, (SUP) in the 2103 event and to change the name of the festival to National Watersports Festival (NWF).
With over 600 people from ages 8 to 81 taking part in watersports competitions, night racing, night tow-in and free taster sessions in windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP and kayaking, and with free clinics by pro riders and instructors, and not forgetting the impressive support from the watersports industry who came out in force to line the beaches and the trade marquees, oh and the infamous parties; this festival certainly lived up to its claims of being and ‘an all-inclusive people festival’.
And the pro riders came out in force too for the NWF; 5 x PWA Freestyle Windsurf World Champion, Gollito Estredo put on an amazing display in the night tow-in session, whilst PKRA Freestyle Kitesurfing Champion, Youri Zoon, currently out with injury, was another of the many legendary names in the actions sports who gave his support to the event.
For the ExPix crew as well as using our regular kit, we got to put the Canon PowerShot D20 through its paces chance as we documented the event. Check out the images and video to see how this nifty piece of kit performs and for more information checkout the Canon PowerShot D20 product review.
So a sterling effort by Allan and his team;
ExPix are already looking forward to NWF 2014 as we’re sure it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. We’ll keep you informed with the dates for 2014 in the ExPix Events Calendar but in the meantime, check out a selection of images below from this year’s event or go to our full National Watersports Gallery
If you want more info on how to take part, or whats happening at the event then visit the NWF website
Well we're back at the British Kitesurfing Championships being held in Blackpool for round 5. We havent been to all the events this year due to such a heavy work load but it was great to receive such a warm welcome after a short absence. With one or two new faces on the scene and a few 'older' ones moving on to pastures new the first day may ahve thrown one or two surprises in to the melting pot for the pro's.
The forecast luckily has been as bad as predicted with sun and cloud during the competition time the heavy showers hadnt arrived until late afternoon. With the result of the pro's alreay in the bag its been a good day.
Unfortunately we dont know who's won as yet as is hasnt been anounced, that will be done later, but the mens final was between Sam light, James Boulding 1 and 2 respectively on the current tour at the moment and local hero Ali Barrett from Lytham St Annes.
The level of riding for the conditions which have been pretty strong and gusty has been consistent.
The ladies final saw Hannah Whitely, Nikki Rudd and an injured Steph Bridge... Helen Thompson the current champion missed out following an injury to her foot after a kiteloop went slightly wrong. Landing on the edge of her board after she over took the kite the ball of her foot is rather swollen, but it was one hell off a kiteloop that brought an amazing cheer from the crowd.
to view a small selection from the days event click here
Winners are just in; live from the beach!
The Animal Poole Windfest this last weekend saw ExPix making the long trip down to the South Coast to cover the event. With all the usual demo's, Animal pro riders and the legendary party, this is one event on the calendar we'd hate to miss. So with Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Windsurfing, Bike Demo's, Thundercats, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Skateboarding, VW's, stall and loads of other stuff we had plenty to do !
The forecast as usual wasn't that good for the wind but at least it was promising.Tom Worman our web guy came out from hiding behind his computer screens to help out with filming and the photography. It's been a long time since we've had Tom on the ground with us but it gave us a more options with the cameras and coverage. Having an extra body on the ExPix team meant that we were able to cover so much more. So with Demo's, pro riders, and a big big ....BIG PARTYwhere do we start?
Friday morning and athletes and media were arriving and stalls were setting up ready for the crowds. A few guys were out on kites and Martyn Ashton and Sam Pilgrimgave demos whilst getting use to the new flooring they were using for the Animal Relentless Bike Tour.
Over in the bike arena and the Animal Relentless Bike Tour had Martyn Ashton and Sam Pilgrim showing just what can be done on a bike. Huge jumps and flips, balance skills and bike control illustrating just how crazy these guys go when there's a crowd cheering them on.
Friday night kicked off with the usual charity event, the Animal Windfest Ball. With it's obligatory uniform of black tie and boardies for the guys and evenning wear for the ladies the night got everyone in the mood for the weekend.
The sun shone on Saturday morning bringing with it a huge crowd. The various demos got underway early with riders eager to please the crowds even if they were nursing a few hangovers!
.For some of the riders, especially the wakeboarders, the gruelling season was beginning to take it's toll. This 'risk' element always attracts the crowds and despite riding with broken ribs, busted knees and a multitude of cuts and bruises from previous events, the guys and gal (Animal rider Steph Caller) didn't disappoint.
With Jonty Green as always going big on his first jump of each session, Dan Jordan spending much of his time upside down, Lee Debuse and CK doing the technical stuff both with busted ribs, Max Main, just about the only rider that wasn't injured, pulling off some awesome moves, Louis Floyd riding on both wakeboards and wakeskates, wakeskaters Liam Smith and Ollie Moore showing what can be done on a water version of askateboard and then Steph Caller representing the women and showing its not just the guys that can do this sort of thing, this was a real crowd pleaser.
So the poolgap what is it? how does it work? Well at Windfest there are two pools connected by a set of different sliders and rails. A flat box, a gap rail, a nessy or dragon , and an A frame. The object - to transfer from the first pool to the second in the most stylish way possible using any of the obstacle to complete the transition. Sounds easy, doesnt it?
Over at the far end of the beach the Thundercat Tour proved as exhilirating as ever. The speeds that these boats reach is unbeliveable and the fact that the pilot and co - pilot stay in the boat at all is amazing!
Back on the promende the mini ramp was attracting the skaterboarders. They took some heavey falls over the weekend but still managed to get back up and back on their boards to entertain the crowds.
The wind didn't really pick up enough for the kiteurfing and windsurfing but there were a couple of demonstration competitions, best trick in the kitesurfing and a slalom race in the windsurfing, just to show the huge crowds on the beach what the sports are about.
Now one of the things that Animal Windfest is famous for is the legendary Saturday night Animal Party and this year was no exception! Bands played to a sell out crowd dressed in an aray of costumes ranging from a bit of paint to full on eighties style leggings and vests based on the neon fluro theme.A special shout out has to go to our friends RedRoots who managed to whip the crowds into such a frenzy with their ska beats that they had them screaming for an encore !!
We thought we'd treat you to another video from WindFest - the Pool Gap crashes.
To view a small gallery of images click here
For more information about the event go to the event website www.animalwindfest.co.uk
So ExPix have arrived in Calshot for the 2010 Student Kitesurfing Nationals - the first ever national student kitesurfing competition.
Hosted by Southampton University Kitesurf Club, and sponsored by King Of Watersports, Kamikaze, Flexifoil, Hooked On, Naish, Prolimit, Aquapac & Beach Break Live, the event is aimed at the cream of university kitesurfers. The format is pure freestyle with the emphasis on FREE; old school tricks are as welcome as super, kite low, s-bends!
If there was ever any doubt that this was a serious event, the race meeting on Friday evening soon put pay to that! With precision akin to a military operation and the envy of any event organiser, the logistics of the event were discussed with the 50 or so organisers and volunteers present.
Saturday morning arrived and so did the rain! Never deterred and after a very very early start an army of students soon assembled the site and after a safety briefing the competitions began. The Red Bull team were on hand pumping out some epic tunes and free Red Bull to lift the spirits. As media partners for the event, ExPix were out in force capturing all the day's action both on and off the water.
First on the water were the intermediates and after 4 heats and a quick lunch break it was time for the advanced riders. Pro rider James Boulding and Freddy Oldfield, together with industry guru James Longmuir had the difficult task of judging as pro rider Ali Barrett commentated as riders competed for a host of prizes including a photo shoot with ExPix, a holiday from Hooked On, 2 top of the range 2010 wetsuits and sector 9 longboard from King of Watersports, Naish golf bag, Prolimit Harness, Aquapacs and Beach Break Live festival ticket.
More updates to follow including images from the Saturday night party. If the previous Student Kitesurfing Association (SKA) parties are anything to go by these should be messy, you have been warned!
After a great day of action with a high level of skill being demonstrated everyone was eager for the results; who had won best wipeout, most boring and obviously who had won the finals in both categories? In true student style it was decided that the best way to celebrate this had to be at the SUKS party so it was down to the Student Union bar.
The ExPix slide show kicked off the night and attracting a huge crowd and then the presentations began. Manuel won the Intermediates and Rick Burton won the Advanced. Southampton University were crowned overall Kitesurfing Nationals Champions 2010 for getting the most riders through to the finals.
ExPix made a surprise presentation; 2 riders were picked by the judges for their initiative and perseverance throughout the day's riding; Ben Gillespie and Gemma Brill each won a full day's photo shoot with the ExPix team.
A big thanks went out to the terrible two Alex Parker and Ali who organised the event, well done guys great effort and then the party got underway!!!!!! Check out the images below and register to see more of the, shall we say, messier ones
Sunday morning and how does the saying go, 'three in the bed and........'? No it's not what you think, we don't want or need to know what the guys got up to after we left at 3.00am! No the ExPix team were woken up very suddenly at 7.00am by our over exuberant newest member to the team Kayla, who at 6 months old had just realised that she could make it onto the bed. Oh and if you haven't meet her yet she's a Pyrenean Mountain dog cross Border Collie pup, not what you need in your face when you've only had 4 hours sleep! Still it got us to Calshot nice and early, far earlier it must be said than any of the students. With no wind forecast it wasn't surprising that a few had decided to go with the extra sleep.
The day was a slow starter and ended just the same .... a little wind saw one or two riders attempt a free sail whilst the SKA had a brief meeting with students wanting to be involved for the next year. With good support from its members and from people wanting to come to a 'lifestyle' competition things are looking up for a new era of student kitesurfing.
When you register you will receive a event id and pasword to enter the gallery. Dont forget once you have registered you can also enter our competition to win a kiteboard (Competition CLOSED!)
Watch this space as ExPix bring you the news and shananigans of the student kitesurfing events !
Not much has been happening over the last few days, the wind just hasnt materialised however the crowds have been out in force as the sun shines down on the event site. Yesterday saw a SUP race for the kitesurfers before the presentation.
Kevin Langeree won the event for the guys.
So the presentation of the Freestyle results took place in the late afternoon confirming that Andy Yates took his first win in a PKRA event and Guisela Pulido with another win to her already long list.
With no other competitions really getting going we went to watch the bike demo again and got some better images from inside the arena. with backflips flairs and some sick flatland moves the crowds were once again cheering.
We are hoping that tomorrow the wind will allow the Orange Speed Crossing or the European Windsurf Freestyle Tour to happen although the forecast doesnt look promising.
As usual the long drive is an absolute killer especially if you dont take the toll roads.
Visits from the gandarmes to check if I was English ???? and numerous detours due to a sat nav that wasnt up to date meant the drive was much longer than it should have been. However on arriving in Leuacate we were met with blue skies, and NO WIND...typical! The wind in Leucate is a thermal wind called La Tramontane which comes down from the surrounding mountains. This means even if no wind is forecast there can still be amazing conditions.
The first day started with an amazing sunrise over the event however Leucate didnt produce any wind so ExPix took the time to catch up with old friends and generally take it easy after the long trip down. A quick lifestyle shoot with two up and coming British girls Holly Kennedy and Hannah Whitely (current British Champion) produced some lovely images for the rider section. Once we have some more action shots the images will be added to the girls own rider profiles page so keep an eye out for the rest of the images.
There were quite a few visitors on the first day to visit the event site and trade village and even though there wasnt much happening on the water the crowds were treated to bike displays. We wil try and bring you more images from them as the week progresses. If they werent watching the action, testing out the demo bikes or browsing the stalls there was always the bars and cafes around the event site to sit and chill and watch the day go by.
The end of the day closed almost as it started with a glorious sunset. A couple of local youths were skating on the promenade and our chief photographer Ian Edmondson with nothing much on the camera decided to spend 10 minutes photographing them. We think the images turned out ok for an impromptu sunset shoot.
The following morning and another amazing sunrise claimed the day as the wind started. As we said the wind here is thermic and at 7.00am there was nothing by 8.30 there was a full blown standby with the PKRA riders pumping up 7's.
By 9.30am the competition was in full swing with strong if a little gusty wind. The usual suspects started to show through. With Youri Zoon, Alex Pastor, Kevin Langeree and a surprised Andy Yates in the semi's. Andy Yates was ripping and came up against Youri Zoon in final.
The womens heats saw Bruna Kajiya, Angela Perral, Carolina Winkowska, and Guisela Pulido through to the semi's with Bruna and Guisela fighting it out in the final.
So at the winner presentation for the singles the results were as follows
The doubles did start but the wind dropped completely and plans are to restart Monday morning with a skippers meeting at 9.30am
To view a small gallery of images from the mondial du vent click here
After two days here in Leucate we So its that time again and we're off to France for the 2010 Mondial Du Vent.
With an even bigger event than ever the Mondial du Vent is hosting not just the PKRA, Orange Speed Crossing, and course racing but the European freestyle Windsurf Tour as well.
We will be trying to keep up with all the events as they happen so keep an eye on the twitter feeds, facebook pages to grab your notifications as they happen. Dont forget the full reports will be on here as soon as we get chance.
In the meantime here is last years brief report as well as some unseen images below
We can now bring you the updated video from the BUCS Windsurf Nationals held at Calshot.
BUCS Windsurfing Championships
held in Calshot was yet another testimony to the way student events are growing.
With approximately 300 competitors registered to compete even with up coming exams the Student Windsurfing tour is one of the best followed events we have seen.The SWA always provide plenty of sporting action alongside lifestyle alternatives for people to participate in. This was no exception.We have to say a massive thanks to Calshot Activities Centre, Southampton University, SWA as well as Club Vass, Tushingham Sails, Goya, Gaastra, Boardwise, Spartan Wetsuits, Kai Sports, Solent Sailboards, Beachbum Beanbags, Plasma Clothing as well as boards magazine and windsurf mag for supporting the event.
Heres a quick video teaser of the weekend .... sign up to the newsletter on the home page so you can be notified when the full version is released ;-)
The emphasis of the event is on competing with BUCS points up for grabs, the best of the windsurfers always appear to compete for the titles on offer. So with a registration and reunion party on the Friday night as people arrived Calshot Activites Centre the weekend began in earnest.
Saturday morning and winds were light, with the forecast predicting a change of direction and not much increase in the wind things didnt look good. So with an announcement at briefing, under the redbull tent, that the racing would start at 10.30 there was frantic action with people rigging their kit as fast as they could.
The advanced sailors managed to get out first on the Solent side of Calshot, whilst the much bigger fleets of intermediates and beginners were setting up on the inside of the spit by Calshot Activities Centre. The forecast was a little sketchy with the possiblity of the wind dropping completely, so races were underway as soon as everyone was ready. With only one race completed for the intermediates the wind dropped completely leaving most fo the fleet with a swim back to the shore and a cheeky catch up with friends along the way. Time to call lunch in the hope that the wind would fill back in in.
The competitions were restarted about an hour or so later and a good number of races were run in all categories, enough to enable results to be calculated. With the advanced category staying the longest on the water the students slowly started to disperse to their tents, vehicles or dorms to prepare for the evenings final celebrations of the year. ExPix again were on hand to capture the many varied, amazingly colourful, somewhat comical and downright inventive, costumes
We give the award to best group to (photogenically speaking of course) .......UEA for being a great idea bringing the old theme of pirates into the 21st century. Pirates usually speak in a strange language (these should), have weapons (these did) and run riot (again THEY DID) heres the image of our favourite costumes !
The evening party was once again a boat trip on the Solent, whilst everyone danced, drank, watched the ExPix slideshow or managed to get into places they shouldnt ..... but we wont name names (you can check out the galleries to see who was hiding where they shouldnt have been and I believe there may be ....well there is video of the two 'stow aways' escaping their hideaway !)
As the boat came back to Calshot, it was time to pack down the equipment to move it to one of the hangars for the drum and base session. We managed to get a few images in here too but left the hardcore party animals to enjoy the last tunes without having to beware of the sober cameraman who may be capturing them at their worst.
Sunday morning it was time for the team races. This race is a favourite of many of the students, kit supplied by boardwise so everyone had the same equipment, riders of different levels, a cold northerly wind and rain made for an interesting race program. Several people had to be rescued due to the cold (thats what they say) but our hat comes off to the competive, and dogged determination of the all girls team ...one of whom was wearing a shorty putting all the guys to shame!!
With racing over and still a reasonable wind blowing, the lagoon became the centre of attention as people started an impromptu freestyle jam. Again considering the conditions there were some pretty niffty moves sliding under the radar as well as a few big wipe outs. Committee members started to drag people off the water for the presentations being held inside the activities centre.
With Cardiff coming out as overall winners of the BUCS Nationals 2010 its was time to pack up and head home ...... till the next event !
To see a small gallery of images available to the public click here
If your registered you can view ALL the images click here
See you there guys .....hopefully
1 Alex Tricke (Durham)
2 Dave Williams (Cambridge) sponsored by Simmer and RRD
3 Koray Ezer (Sussex)
1 Sarah Bibby (Southampton) sponsored by Simmer, Quattro, Pura Vida & Boardriders
2 Maeli Cherel (Southampton) sponsored by Vandal, Fanatic, Spartan, Fourbaords
3 Emily Hall (Bath)
1 Luke Dowdeswell (Bath)
2 Ben Milton (Cardiff)
3 Adam Kewely (Nottingham)
1 Ricci Marshall (Cambridge)
2 Leah Pickering (Cardiff)
Emma Shrimpton (Loughborough)
1 Jack Welch (Portsmouth)
2 Jamie Richardson (Liverpool)
3 Stuart Fawke (Birmingham)
Emma Mathias - Jones (Nottingham)
2 Sarah Wienberg (Liverpool)
3 Harriet Winfrey (UEA)
Series Winners Annual
Boardwise / SWA Freestyle Series
1 Matt Yeates (UCL) sponsored by Tushingham, Starboard
2 James Goody (Cardiff)
3 Joe O'Callaghan (St Mary's) sponsored by Severne, Boardwise
Kaisports SWA Ladies Series
1 Sarah Bibby (Southampton) sponsored bySimmer, Quattro, Pura Vida
2 Maeli Cherel (Southampton) sponsored by Vandal, Fanatic
3 Rebecca Kellagher (Bath)
Goya SWA Wave Series
1 Stef Hilder (Southampton) sponsored by Goya, Mormai, Boylos
2 Seb Willis (Cardiff) sponsored by Windwise
3 Steve Jarvis (Southampton) sponsored by Vandal, Fanatic
Tushingham / SWA Race Series
1 Seb Willis (Cardiff)
2 James Goody (Cardiff)
3 Matt Yeates (UCL) sponsored by Tushingham, Starboard
The BUCS Windsurfing Championships 2010 will be held once again at Calshot and ExPix will be Media partners for this years event.
Date Friday 30th April - Sunday 2nd May 2010
Location Calshot Activities Centre Calshot Spit Fawley, Southampton Hampshire SO45 1 BR www.calshot.com
Hosted by : The University of Southampton, Calshot Activities Centre & Student Windsurfing Association (SWA)
Sponsors: Club Vass, Tushingham Sails, Goya, Gaastra, Boardwise, Spartan Wetsuits, Kai Sports, Solent Sailboards, Beachbum, Plasma
Media Partners: ExPix Board Magazine, Windsurf Magazine
Now in its 10th year the BUCS Windsurfing Championship comes to Calshot Activities Centre on the 30th April - 2nd May 2010. As part of the British Universities & College Sports (BUCS) Championships, the event, which is hosted by the University of Southampton, SWA and Calshot Activities Centre is the SWA season Finale.
Starting with registration at the renunion party on Friday night, the competition will begin on Saturday 1st May. Running for two days, over 300 students from Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, UEA, Exeter, Imperial College, Liverpool, Loughborough, Nottingham, Leeds, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton, Saint Mary's, UWE, Sussex and Swansea, Universities will take part in a series of competitions.
The Beginner race will take place on the sheltered water on the inside of the spit, with an emphasis on fun and learning. The intermediate racing will see a very large fleet going around a slightly more challenging course, ith the signature SWA photo finish on the beach. The advanced racing will take place on the Solent. Competitors will tackle a ling and tricky course, with a start / finish line just off the beach to allow the best view for spectators. The team race between universities and worth the most BUCS points will also take place on the solent using the SWA's one design kite, around a more simplified course. Last but by no means least; an impromptu freestyle competition will take place, wind and the scheduling permiting.
The event has attracted huge support from industry who will be on hand with demo kit and on land clinics. Red Bull are providing an events base where a university band will be playing on the Saturday afternoon and the ExPix team will be on hand to capture all the days action.
The 'Saltylocks' themed boat party will leave from Calshot Spit on the Saturday night. On board will be the ExPix team with a display of images fromt he days action together with live updates of the night time antics!
The final prize giving of the series will take place on Sunday afternoon. With prizes sponsored by Club Vass, Tushingham Sails, Goya, Gaastra, Boardwise, Spartan Wetsuits, Kai Sports, Solent Sailboards, Beachbum, Plasma and ExPix.
Special thanks go to BUCS, Calshot Activities Centre, the University of Southampton, Southampton University Windsurfing Club, the sponsors and media partners and all of the University Windsurf Clubs; without whom this event would not be possible.
More information is available at
So a trip along the M62 to Liverpool saw the ExPix van outside Rampworx for the Chaz Sands Invitational inline skate competition.
With some big names from the world of inline including world female number 1 Jenna Downing from Yorkshire, Coco Sanchez all the way from California, CJ Wellsmore from Oz, Franky Morales who was going to ride until he injured himself whilst at UKSkate park as well as quite a few more names the crowds came down to watch and hopefully meet their idols.
So Arriving at 10.45am on Saturday morning, Rampworx was already buzzing. With approx 190 competitors the format for the comp was jam style heats to enable the guys to get through everything. It was quite something watching the heats run in this way but made it difficult to follow one rider, or to move around to find good positions to photograph the action.
The skaters were all over the place. On the rails, over the jump boxes, fliping, twisting, grinding infact most of it was just a blur, we've never seen so many skaters in one places taking part. Usually the events we cover are far more restricted and its good to see a bigger cross section of skaters on the park at the same time. With the pro's mixing it with the ams during practice sessions it gives the youngsters something to aim for and doesnt make it so inacessible as in some other sports were the elite are kept 'away' from the masses. We think this is a really good move to intergrate people of different levels.
Anyway back to the competition and the format really was a good choice considering the number of skaters, getting through the ams, ladies and pro's in 1 day is quite a feat in its self but when you add to that, crashes, judges scoring, refreshements is amazing they managed to get through it.
With the top ten ams gaining places with the pro's competion was fierce, but in the end the top 3 ams were Elliott Stevens in third, Andy Gilbert in 2nd and Joe Atkinson in first all three representing England.
1) Joe Atkinson - England
2) Andy Gilbert - England
3) Elliot Stevens - England
The womens competion had two heats with the top two from each heat going through to the final.So with Jenna Downing, Chihiro Azuma, Coco Sanchez and Manon Derrien in the final the ladies would have to be on top form to take away the win.
From the off it was obvious it was a two horse race not that the others were bad but both Jenna and Chihiro were killing it. Both were really pushing hard to gain the advantage, Jenna had more power and height with her ariel moves whereas Chihiro was more technical and fluid on the rails both however were awesome. Even back flips and some really nice grinds from Manon and Coco couldnt keep them in the running.
The results were as follows
1) Chihiro Azuma - Japan
2) Jenna Downing - England
3) Manon Derrien - France
The pro's final was something else, CJ was using the whole park and was very stylish which probably gave him the result over Chaz and Soichiro both who were very technical on the grinds, but as the final ended CJ was playing to the crowd with some massive drops and grinds including a back farv 540 drop.
1) CJ Wellsmore - Australia
2) Chaz Sands - Scotland
3) Soichiro Kanashima - Japan
I'm sure there will be one or two video's knocking around in the next couple of days / weeks so keep an eye on the other sites in the meantime we will try and bring you some more inline images from Fise and watch the site for details of a shoot we did at UKSkate park with Matt Cripps, Coco Sanchez and Ste Swain.
Latest from fise Extreme Sports Festival 2010 : -Ok so time for our last update from on location at Fise Extreme Sports Festival in Montpelier France. We will be adding the results and full image galleries when we get back on Tuesday so watch out for those. In the meantime enjoy the last images from the mountain bike pro competition.
The weather held out yesterday (Sat) so the sun was a welcome sight for us photographers, the rain can make for some interesting images but makes the courses difficult for the riders.
Anyway little late but better than not posting at all heres some images from yesterday afternoon and evening, BMX, park and inline on the mini ramp..Also some images from this morning of the inline pro
qualifiers on the park.. been a bit busy with the event having so many sports to cover. Think we going to have to have a team down here next year to give it the ExPix treatment and not skimp on the time for each section.
Still got to get some mountain bike and the course looks sick a massive drop in from the bridge up to another platform almost the same height then a big jump over the path down to the wall ... you'll understand when you see the images so keep checking back here to see if we've got the shots.....
For a small selection of images from Fise so far click here
Saturday and the weather has improved. Quite windy here in Montpelier at Fise but the sun is shinning (in between the clouds ;-) )so everyone is happy today.
The competitions really get underway today with the pro's entering the arena's in qualifiers along side a few am's finals.
The crowds are out in their thousands along the mile or so stretch of the river through Montpelier. We have been watching the am BMX and flatland BMX so far today and are just editing images for the galleries. Keep watching as the galleries will be updated with images from today ...
Theres still more to come with some inline skate, mountain bike qualifiers and the wakeboard pro finals but I'm going to have to choose which ones I photograph as some of them overlap.
After a 28 hour trip ......dont ask how or why coz we dont know... we finally arrived at Fise in Montpelier in the South of France. As media partners this year we are helping to promote the event in the UK and we have to say it is once again probably the biggest event we go to in Europe. It is massive and even turning up late on Thursday afternoon found huge crowds watching people practice before the competitons start in earnest.
We managed an hour shooting on the wakeboard park but the rain ...yas rain .... not normally the case down here ... managed to dampen the spirits of everyone and by 7pm almost everything was packed away.
Friday morning and the rain was still hangning around. We thought it best to concentrate on the wakebaorders as they already had the pro's in action and everywhere else was still practicing or had the heats for the ams.
Some of the qualifying heats had been done the day before so with the rest of the qualifiers and the quater finals to get through this was a great chance to get shots of everyone. Yet again our trusty 300 - 800mm lens proved invaluable being able to follow the riders on every obstacle from one spot. Not normally how we would work but with big crowds you cant always find a spot to shoot from ..and even if you do you have to get to it in time for the next rider.
Anyway take a look at these just a few from today and there are some more in here.
Welcome to the KBO - ExPix style .... the following report has been updated throughout the event and the latest information is on the front page we hope you enjoy the report as much as we did making it. There will be a full image gallery live when we hit British shores tomorrow in the meantime sit back relax and enjoy the images from the 2010 KBO, Kitesurf Tour Europe.
We can now show our final version of the KBO documentory we have been working on. This video has been produced by a group of MA students from Bournemouth University who have been working alongside us on projects for their MA's. This was their first international event and we think they did very well with locating the right people, interviewing techniques, finding action from an event with virtually no wind and making a story out of it all ...all whilst trying to fulfil a brief for us and for their own university project So sit back and enjoy a 13mins reminder from the KBO.
Produced by Hanna Hargrave
Directed by David Klein
Full Video edited by Ricky Milling
for a smaller gallery of images you can click here
Monday morning and a 5am start .....with plenty of riders up bright and early .....some hadnt gone back to their accomodation after the traditional MEGA KBO PARTY ON THE BEACH.
The forecast was always going to be light, there should have been enough to finish off the single eliminations but in true kitesurf event fashion the wind just didnt come through strong enough for the freestylers. With the wind dropping even further the decision was made to try the course racing, however the wind near the beach was extremely light and the course was set quite far of the beach ..... thankfully our 800mm lens could just a bout manage to grab a few images at the 3 - 5 km distance they were from the beach. The wind kept on dropping in strength and the KBO event site kept the crowds occupied with more activities for the families and spectators down to
watch the event. With surf lessons, zorbing, paddle boarding and many more activities the day drew to a close. Prive giving was at 4pm and with the results for the racing confirmed the ceremony began. so the final results are as follows.
Mens Course racing
Womens Course Racing
Quarter finals placings only
Borsuk, Vereist, Van Esoh, Rodwald, Koole, Taok, Rondina
Did not get a result
So once again ExPix have been to the KBO, one of our favourite events of the year. A great atmosphere from very friendly and welcoming people. We didnt get the action we hoped for thats the weather for you but we can still film, interview and capture the event as it happens.
So after an amazingly busy weekend lots of good footage in the bag we are heading back to the UK before we once again set sail to our next event, which is the Battle for the Bay in Ireland.
We hope to be back next year at the KBO to once again report on this event and how it evolves to take on board the structured machine that is the Kitesurf Tour Europe.
IMAGE LINKS AND VIDEO'S WIL BE PLACED HERE VERY SOON
Sunday morning and the weather is amazing, the sun is high and has burnt off all the sea mist from yesterday. Everyone is on the beach and enjoying the beginning of summer. Last night we couldn't update as quickly as we wanted from the freestyle competition so here are a few images from that.
We were editing a quick preview from the event and you can watch this below. The full version will be available soon on here so keep watching.
Unfortunately there wasn't any wind this morning but everyone kept busy with the beach activities. The trampolines proved popular with the rookies and some pro riders making for some interesting photo opportunities, whilst volleyball or sunbathing was the order of the day for others. With the sun out in full force, the beach was crammed with people enjoying the scorching temperatures, giving the event that chilled, laid back feeling that the KBO is famous for.
The wind stayed away all day but undeterred the event organisers had plenty planned to keep riders happy. The day proved perfect for the many T.V and press interviews whilst a wakeboarding session added the icing to the cake. As usual the ExPix team were on hand to photograph and film all the action and Kevin Langeree added to the excitement by giving our film crew a baptism of fire; by the time she got back to land poor Hanna looked more like she had been filming from outside of the boat rather than in it!Keep your eyes peeled for the images and film that will be online soon!
Next it was time for the official speaches and meet and greet with the media, press and officials from the town of Noordwijk with an informal meeting on the beaches and a few speaches from the dignatories and event organisors its was then time to head to the party.
Early evening and the bands are already in full swing in the party tent. After a full day relaxing in the sun and soaking up the atmosphere everyone is ready to party. A great night is promised with special guest Ruben Lenten hitting the decks. Head back to the ExPix site tomorrow for more updates and images.
Its Saturday and the first day of competition at the Kiteboard Open ( KBO) here in Noordwijk Holland. The wind is light and the sea mist appeared just before skippers meeting although its clearing now. The course is being set for racing and they hope to start shortly after ten so keep watching for updates.
In the meantime the event carries on setting up with riders tweaking kit, industry setting up stall and the children playing on the beach.
The freestyle was attempted earlier but the wind was too light to complete the first heat. We believe that they will try and run the freestyle again later today.
The course racing managed to complete 4 races today and the results are as follows
1st) Bjoern Rune Jensen
2nd) Bruno Sroka
3rd) Julien Kerneur
1st) Caroline Adrien
2nd) Katja Roose
3rd) Kathrin Borgwardt
Freestyle managed to get going first round of the womens and the mens were completed. Riding finished at 8.00pm
After yet another mad dash, we have arrived in Noordwijk, Nederlands for the KBO or Kiteboard Open. This year we are media partners for the event which means we will be working alongside the event organisors and press office to promote the event and bring you guys stunning imagery as fast as possible from on location. Our images from last year were appreciated greatly by the team here and as such we were invited back to help out once again. check out last years report if you haven't seen it .... or if you have give yourself a reminder of why the KBO is not an event to be missed.
The event this year is part of the European Tour and already the workforce are busy setting up the site in anticipation of the influx of riders and spectators to this amazing event.
With already 63 pre registered riders for the tour from 13 different countries, and another 42 kitesurfers wanting to compete in the rookie competition this years event is set to be bigger than ever on the Notorious Beach here in Noordwijk.
Set up is underway with tractors, heavey forklifts, event specialists and the people of Noordwijk all working together to build the event.
In the meantime all we do is sit back, set the camera's rolling and enjoy the view as the KBO event site transforms from an empty beach into a busy trade village and entertainment centre.
Come and watch the progression with us..... you will be able to find more updates here from the KBO so bookmark this page!
Registration is taking place now. With 64 riders from 13 countries registration is open till 8pm tonight ...
For more information about the event you can click here
Battle for the Bay event report on Monday as the wind never showed .......big shame .... with a great turn out by trade and kitesurfers alike the event was quite a spectacle, and true to the Puremagic ethos the event wasnt detered by heavey downpours. Infact despite the torrential rain at times the people on the beach started what can only be described as an aerobics class to Black Eyed Peas - I got a feeling.
We have finally got our hands on a short video edit from Battle for the Bay from the students we took over to Ireland with us. It has been a longtime coming as unfortunately the students have had a number of issues with equipment (cameras not liking salt water and sand) as well as University deadlines and other jobs they undertook after Battle of the Bay, which pushed our project behind schedule.
Anyway, at last here is there interpretation of the Battle for the Bay better late than never!!!
So Friday and the trip to Ireland was ok. With the camera crew who came with us to the KBO we had a team of four for the trip over to the Battle for the Bay. A leasurely drive to Holyhead, a three hour boat trip and a forecast of nothing meant that this could be a long drive for a part,. except this is Dublin we are talking about and as per usual the wind before the Battle something that is becoming a bit of a joke in Ireland kicked in at around 20mph ..... hmmmmm will it be the same again ?
So we were filming off the ferry as the riders on Dollymount used the wake from the ferry as waves to surf. Off the ferry and the short drive to the beach had to be done just so we could get some action images just incase the wind disappeared over the weekned.
Dan Sweeney, Francois Cullossi, Fred Diaw were a few of the faces we recognised below around 20 kites that were fighting their way up and across wind. A quick change into wetsuits and both a film camera and still camera were in the water to capture the action. We managed a few nice shots before the wind became inconsistent and we headed of to find our host for the event.
That evening a 'staff meeting' at the Bay introduced us the French Team who had travelled over for the event as well as a few Irish drinks and nibbles beofre it was time to hit the sack.
Saturday morning and 6.45am we were queuing to get ionto the beach whilst the tractor made a track for the heavier vehicles to cross the soft sand. By ten most of the site was up and running and by midday the event village was in full swing for the crowds to browse, chat and demo.
With the wind not filling in activities to keep the competitors and the observers occupied and amused. A strong man event, a tug of war, and a football match all added to the atmosphere and people managed to forget for few moments at least that the wind was just not strong enough.
With the party at Barcode in Clontarf this evening and a slideshow of the funniest images Saturday will draw to a close with happy people.
Finally The party at Barcode was a big hit with huge screens displaying the images from the photo competition and the ExPix slideshow kiters mingled with the rest of the people in the club as they discussed the weather for the next day...
The winner of the photo competition produced a stunning image of Eamon Armstrong on take off with great colours and fantasitic cloud formation the detail was impressive whilst the action was strong producing a great overall image. We later discovered that the image was post processed using a 3D image processing program which obviously did the trick giving depth and texture the the picture ... Well done Andrew Merjeris.
Sundays weather was horrendous and we felt really sorry for the Puremagic team who were almost drowned in the heavy downpours that battered the event site throughout the day, but in true Puremagic style the trade tents, and event vilage was up and ready to go early, the team, a few were a little delicate, were still in good spirits, and this resulted in some fantastic video footage more akin to High School Musical, or Grease than an extreme sports event and you'll be abe to see this later on. We did however do some images for the guys from Watersports World who believe it or not have their warehouse very close to us back home. They have now started stocking mystic clothing and wetsuits alongside their other ranges so heres an image that we took despite all the bad weather. In achill we will be doing some stuff with Frazer from Best so hopefully we will have some more great images for you to see in another report.
So by the time the presentations were upon us the weather had cleared somewhat and again in Puremagic tradition there was yet another twist. Now with no competition the normally the prize money is shared by the pro's and the ams usually go home empty handed. Not at Battle for the Bay, everyones name is put into a hat (or envelope in this case) and names are picked out in reverse order, the last three getting the prizes set aside for the winners.... simple!
With the draw done riders, volunteers, partners and the Puremagic team it is now time to set off for the Village Club in Dublin and the final part of the PureMagic begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting Battle for the Bay with DJ Danny Rampling.
The evening was great with the Puremagic room in the club with access to the dance floor and DJ Danny Rampling the night went off with a bang. A shot war between the Irish and the French caused much amusement for those watching as various ways of drinking shots were tested in competition format. Then it was on to the dance floor to finish the night and weekend off to the best mix in Dublin that night.
Its that time of year when the Battle for the Bay commences.
The largest kitesurf event in Ireland now in its 4th year is hosted by the guys from Puremagic on Dollymount Beach, a short distance from the centre of Dublin.Puremagic are always a friendly bunch so if your free the weekend of the 5 / 6 th of June why not pop over to Dublin to experience a kite event Irish style ....well not quite all Irish as the Puremagic team are French based in Ireland.
ExPix have known the people in Ireland for sometime now, infact we were at the first battle fo the bay which began as part of the first Irish Tour back in 2006. Then the idea was to try and create a more professional structure to events and to promote the sport within Ireland whilst consolidating a committee for the IKSA who could run kitesurfing and deal with issues such as access, promotion and competitions within the country. One thing that really impressed us was the ability to bring together people from different backgrounds with kitesurfers who originate from all around Europe, France, Poland, Latvia, Eire and Northern Ireland which makes for a good mix of cultures and ideas.
4 years on and the tour is in a slightly less formal structure but still quite strong as it travels around the island visiting different locations. However this article is about The Battle for the Bay so here we go.
Getting to Battle for the Bay is easy ... whether your from Ireland or a 'foreigner' (there are no foreigners where kitesurfing is concerned just people who enjoy the beach and the wind). Dollymount Beach is very near the port and accessible via good road connections from ireland or about a 15 min drive from the airport or a ten minute drive from the ferry terminals... less if you arrive in the middle of the night !!!!
Parking is on the beach but be careful the sand can be a little soft or you can walk about a mile accross the causeway or grab a lift from one of the very hospitable local kiters. Once on the beach there will be no way you can miss the event. With tents, kites, vans, cars, stalls, and lots of people all watching this is probably one of the biggest events in Europe purely for kitesurfing.
Dublin city is very cosmopolitan with large shopping areas, masses of historic buildings, and our favourite the one and only guiness factory which you can tour and enjoy a pint from the roof top bar with views looking out the city.
So now you have a brief history and overview of the event perhaps you will visit Dubin for the Battle for the Bay .......go on .... you know you want to.
Beach Break Live is probably one of the biggest student festivals of the year. Set on Pembrey beach, the Welsh coast line became home for the 20,000 students who set up camp for the week. With a whole host of activities including extreme sports, it was the perfect event for ExPix to cover.
The ExPix crew were expecting a busy week; the list of events included demos from the Flexifoil team, Craig Sparkes and Will McKean with the help from the guys from the Student Kitesurf Association (SKA) and Soton Uni Kitesurf Club (SUKS) & kite lessons on the new style Blankforce boards from Marc Rowley of Blast Kiteboarding.
Day 1 Arriving late on Monday night we pulled up in the production car park not knowing where to go and what to expect the following day.
Tuesday morning arrived and we realised that the event site was bigger than your average extreme sports site; 20 miles of fencing encompassed the location. The production car park was situated just behind the main stage, to the left of this was another field where the dance / DJ tent was together with some fairground rides. To the right was another smaller marquee and then a walk to the camping fields. Looking straight ahead from the stage was another chill out area and a path that lead to the beach.
Heading straight for the beach we caught up with the guys from Flexifoil trying to do some demo's in very little wind and Marc Rowley who was busy giving lessons to students.
Walking back along the beach picking our way through the mass of horizontal bodies we came across the volleyball competitions. The sun was out, the beach was looking good and the music was beating out from the Red Bull vehicles near by.......what more could you ask for!
The camp site was packed but the atmosphere was amazing. It seemed that each university had created it's own 'mini camp' and in true student style the rivalry between the unis as to who had the best camp, best fancy dress etc was in full swing.
For those who had the energy or could be bothered to peel themselves away from sunbathing, there was plenty going on throughout the day including a whole range of fantastic live music. The whole event had come together nicely especially as this was the first time at this spot.
So as the first day drew to a close The Futureheads, Sub Focus and High Contrast finished the evening off with some awesome performances to a very receptive audience.
After the first day's rush of registering, collecting wrist bands and access passes, meeting with press staff etc, we had a little more time to explore the site and find out what was going on in other areas.
The Chai Wallah tents had their own entertainment with more niche acts providing a chilled out atmosphere. Further around the edge there was another tent which was used mainly during match time .... yes they even had the World Cup Live on a big screen for those who couldn't go without their fix of football! There were a food stalls and then a market type area in the middle of the site selling hats, drinks and novelties. And of course there was the Dell Internet Cafe which was heavily used throughout the event.
Further around the main site there was the Kinetics acrobatic/parkour display team who travel around many of the festivals throughout the summer providing demos and generally making us all feel a little unhealthy with their energetic activities. Just a short distance from this was yet another small marquee where the pole and belly dancing displays and workshops were taking place. Even one or two of the guys had a go but they were no match for the ladies especially on the pole!
Onto the dance tent area; this had a massive marquee and one smaller tent, still large enough to fit a few hundred people in, as well as a larger fairground area and more stalls. We didn't get much chance to spend time in this area due to the fact that we were trying to capture more of the extreme and free sport activities but the in the evenings this place was bouncing with DJ sets and thousands of students.
Back to the main stage and the crowds were getting big. Example, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris lived up to expectations and left the students hungry for more.
Day 3, the last day for BBL and the weather was still cracking the flags. A trip to the beach found kites in the air and even better still, riders on the water!
The guys were waiting for the wind to fill in, Alex, Zac Southampton SUKS and and Harry from Bristol Uni were out trying to get up wind on the fast outgoing tide, even Craig Sparkes from Flexifoil was having trouble. Defeated on the water, they took to playing an insane game that was a cross between bulldog and musical chairs.
WE WAITED ............and waited as the wind eventually died off completely. We headed back to the main site where people were gearing up for the last party. Fancy dress costumes were out in force, big games to win tickets for next year and allsorts of other shenanigans were happening around the event.
This included the presentation from the Flexifoil crew to the SKA and SUKS crew for the kitesurf Jam. Don't tell anyone, but they only just managed to get on to the water for ten minutes because the wind was so bad .... infact as you can see from the images above the women didn't have any time on the water so to win their prizes they had a ' lets see who can drink a can of redbull the fastest' competition!
We headed for the main stage and the press area where there were several acts to photograph, including Beardyman and Chase and Status. We waited for Annie Mac in the Red Bull tent for the impromptu after party but she didn't make it....still the party was good!
The following morning we packed up quickly to try and beat the rush of students leaving in coaches, on foot and by car.
So the big questions ....
Q ) What did we think of BBL ?
Q)Would we go again?
Ans) Most definitely
Q) How does it compare to other events
Ans) Very well, great atmosphere, very chilled and good range of extra activities for people to do
So keep an eye out for next years dates and book yourself into one of the best events of the year!
If you want to see more images from BBL and dont want to register on the site click here
ExPix are in Sheffield this week as media partners and official photographers for the the BUCS Wakeboarding Nationals. The event is presented by Uniwake and hosted by Sheffield Waterski & Cable and sponsored by Relentless. With 94 competitors this has to be one of the biggest Wakeboard Competitions of the year and all credit is due to the hard work of the guys from Uniwake and Andy and the crew at Sheffield Waterski & Cable.
Monday saw the arrival of the students and by 11.15 there was already a big queue waiting to hit the cable for the practise sessions.With nearly 30 women registered it was noticeable that the queue was almost 50/50 men and women which is something we haven't seen before; again credit to Uniwake for promoting the sport so well within the unis and for getting so many female riders to compete.
The riding level was already proving to be good but with riders still getting use to the lake and systems we're expecting big things when the competitions start later on in the week.
There were a number of good riders out on the water but one girl didn't want to ride. With the sun out and never wanting to miss an opportunity we managed to persuade/'bully' Kirsteen into riding a few laps. She almost managed to come off the water with her hair still dry, that was until she stacked a big S bend! We managed to get some good images but you will have to check out the galleries to see those!!
So the schedule for the week is: Tuesday - Railey Clinics & Practice Sessions for both Boat and Cable, Wednesday - Boat Comp at Triton Lake, Thursday - Cable Comp
After the lake closed on Monday the staff manage to get a chance to ride and Buzza and Ben were on it ... We only had time for a couple of shots but when the weather is this good and we get a sunset like this who can complain.... Sheffield ???? really ??? could be anywhere in the world!
So as usual with all student events the parties are a big part of activities and Monday night proved to be no exception. Fancy dress combined with amazing skies made for some interesting imagery, add a little bit of strobe flash and we get three headed people .....weird ...but fun!
To view a small gallery of images from the first day click here you don't need to be register to view these!
So after a good night chilling and catching up with friends, it was time for day 2 and with the sun beating down for the second day people were beginning to show signs of a festival type mood, tired, burnt, but very happy!
It was another practice day which gave us chance to try and get shots of everyone; not an easy task with so many riders and all at different levels. Many of the beginners just wanted a pic of them riding stood up, or even attempting something that they know they just can't do at the moment, whilst the more experienced riders wanted fully tweaked images showing the technical side of the sport, with grabs, inverts and full extension. But this is what Uniwake is all about; bringing people of all levels together to learn, to compete and most importantly to enjoy the sport with other like minded people.
It is really good to see the better riders 'pushing' the ones learning and the ones learning appreciating the skill level of the better riders. Of course being students there is a silly side to it all as well with 'who can have the biggest crash', or 'do the most outrageous manoeuvre'. This time the biggest crash went to a t90, basically a crash that smashes your face into the water , whilst the craziest manoeuvre had to go to Pierre Petit who, on a knee board, was pulling switch back flips, front flips and barrel rolls of, the kickers!
As the evening drew in the light, although not quite as dramatic as the previous night, was stunning. I asked a couple of the guys from the cable park, Buzza, Ben and Wee Man along with Kirstin Mitchell if they would ride for some evening shots. Buzza and Ben were on it big time with some massive moves off the third corner. Not being able to get the boat where we needed it to be for the images, we moved to the dock and Wee Man and Kirstin did a few moves over our heads .... interesting results and it certainly didn't look like you would expect Sheffield to look!! Coming off the water at around 10.00pm we headed to the van to download and get ready for the early start the following day for the boat comps
A 6am alarm call woke us up to yet another gloriously sunny day, a quick breakfast and pack up to move over to Triton Lake for the boat sessions saw us on the road by 7.15am arghhh .
The boat was already in the water when we arrived and ready to go. With the ladies up first everything was running smoothly and once again the level of so called beginners was very good! The ladies were strong riders behind the boats with good wake tricks 180's and 360's as well as wake to wake and a couple of invert attempts on the final runs showed that with more boat time the level could be very high indeed.
Next up was the Mens B and again some of the guys were very confident riders.
The big competition of the day was Mens A and with only 3 riders in this it was a big shame. The level was off the scale, a few more riders would have added to the drama as Matt Price showed why he is a sponsored rider. The number of trick he managed to get into the runs was far higher than anyone else with a sequence more akin to pro competitions. The other two were still very good riders but just couldn't compete with the variety that Matt threw down .. and landed.
Back at Sheffield Cable and Waterski there was still more time to practice as well as a quick wakeskate jam which provided some amusement for the non competitors as people who had never riden wakeskates joined in with 'seasoned riders' Its quite funny watching a student try to do a back flip off a kicker on a wakeskate!
The final day of the Uniwake BUCS Nationals brought with it a full day of cable competitions starting early with the qualifiers in order to get through 3 categories of women and men as well as a kneeboard comp.
Again the standard of riding was impressive, much to the delight of some of the locals who, having come for a quiet walk, stayed to watch the action.
With the level of riding having improved after 4 days solid on the water practicing both behind a boat and on the cable the only thing left to do was the competition some of which would qualify for the valuable BUCS points.
With all levels of riding taking part the competition is more about progression rather than out and out supremeacy which of course is paramount in the higher levels. This system however introduces people who are new to the sport into how to compete, and a gentle pressure rather than over powering them with a full on battle against the 'big boys ...and girls' who obviously have had more experience at this. So one compulsory element of this competition is the T90 which in basic terms means ....... who can crash the hardest.
Now this is a must for everyone and at the end of the in lap (if you cleared the trick part of the ride) you must crash. Not everyone is happy about this, especially those who have done this before and know just how much this can hurt. Catching the front edge of the board literally slams the person face first into the water with the painful feeling of having your eyelids peeled back accross your face !!! There could only be one winner for this as he was too fast to be photographed, his eyelids and eyeballs bruised he hit the water harder than anyone else that day. Now we felt a little sorry for him, as we had a competion for the funniest photograph from the week. If he'd have been a little slower he may well have won, instead the acolade must go to for the guys who with his attempt to ride the fun box in a horizontal position, with transfer and drop off makes a classic image. Whilst for the girls Vicki henderson who had a narrow escape on the first day whist trying to pull of a three 360 in the funbox (that fun box cuaght out a few people this week) she leant to far forward, almost catching her head on the lip as she slipped off, maybe not funny on reflection about what could have happened........... but she made it and can tell the tale with graphic images to illustrate how not to dismount the fun box. With all this going on as well as a massive photo call for all the riders there along with two vans, a boat with landrover, branded gazebo, banners and product we were kept busy throughout the day.
So with presentations and the last night party Uniwake presents the BUCS Nationals 2010 came to fitting end. The BUCS results are as follows ...
Relentless Wakestock 2010 – Cardigan Bay Abersoch North Wales now in its 11th year is Europes Largest Wakeboard and Music Festival. ExPix have been photographing this amazing event since the beginning and are the only company to have been there since the start. We have seen it grow from 500 people on the headland above Abersoch main beach as an after party to a days wakeboarding to what it is now a 3 day event ( 4 if you count Thursday nights action) with several wakeboard and wakeskate competions alongside 3 arenas and two VIP areas blasting out some of the best music around so if you want to know more .....
ExPix arrived at the Wakestock site late Thursday night. It had been raining on and off all the way to North Wales and things weren't looking good. Undeterred by the rain, die hard ‘Wakestockers’ queued for up to 3 hours to enter the campsite and find the 'best spot' to pitch for the weekend. For ExPix, memories of the Wakestock washout of 2007 came flooding back as riders discussed the weekend's weather forecast. We settled in for the night and prayed that Abersoch's own unique weather system would once again prove the forecasters wrong! We couldn't have wished for better when we woke early on Friday morning to blue skies and glorious sunshine, perfect festival weather! We headed straight off to Pwllheli Marina to catch the start of the wakeboarding action on the ‘Open Qualifying Day’. The flags and banners were out as sponsors and traders lined the marina. Mystic, Hyperlite & Yamaha had plenty of gear for the crowds to drool over whilst Malibu with their Wake Setter boat had everyone wishing for a lottery win!!! And for those still hung over from the night before there was plenty of Relentless to kick start the day.Once again the fantastic ladies form Pwllheli Guides had open their doors to feed and water the crowds and to make their 'facilities' available; believe me this is appreciated much more than they can possibly imagine as anyone who has ever used festival 'facilities' will testify! First on the water were the Ladies Qualifiers where Samantha Knott, Jules Haley, Elke Vanten, Amber Wing, Becci Hall, Hayley Smith, Sam Filsell & Nicola Butler competed in 2 heats for places in Saturday's finals. It was good to watch more girls riding at
Wakestock and to see that the standard of riding amongst these girls had continued to increase. Battling it out on the water, the girls pulled out all the stops and it was a shame that only 4 could qualify; but that's competitions for you. With fantastic heats under their belts Amber Wing and Nicola Butler qualified for the 2 top spots in the Ladies Final joined by former Wakestock champ Jules Haley and Sam Filsell. Next up and riding to the sounds of legendary Wakestock DJ Tim Lyall were the Amateur Men. 12 riders competed in 3 heats, with 4 riders per heat. By now the wind had started to pick up but despite the less than perfect conditions, David O’Caiomh, Jack Hammersley and Jack Davies made it through to Saturday's finals. With the tide on its way out the day's action drew to a close and it was time to head off back to the festival site. Unfortunately the Big Air comp, which is held every year on Abersoch Beach, was cancelled due to the wind but there was plenty of action at the Pool Gap to make up for this including the Wakeskate Jam, Girl's Jam and the Last Chance Qualifier. The music soon got under way with Norman Jay opening up the Open Air Stage. Next on was Zinc ft Dynamite MC who whipped up the crowds with an awesome set. ExPix caught up with the guys in the Green Room and got this exclusive piccy! The 'signing sessions' by Mr Hudson & comedienne Katy Brand certainly added to the atmosphere; comments such as “do you sign body parts?” were meet with raised eyebrows and nervous smiles but the fans went away happy! Later on that evening and Mr Hudson earned total respect and admiration from fans as despite a fall on stage and a suspected broken ankle, he carried on to finish his set, even to the point of hopping on one foot as he stood up on the barriers to greet the crowds! The pain on his face as he left the stage in the capable hands of the paramedics was clear for all to see but at that point ExPix put our cameras away. The night continued with music from Fedde Le Grand, N-DUBZ, Eric Prydz and Wakestock favourite Goldierocks.
Saturday morning was even hotter and the crowds had got to the marina early to bag the best viewing spots. For those too tired to walk, the Henri Lloyd Jeans Company had their customised 'Chopper' style bikes available much to the amusement of the many 'kids' at the event! Charlotte O'Connor warmed up the crowds with an acoustic set on the Relentless Stage, quickly followed by the first action of the day, the Ladies Final. The riding was amazing as US Pro Tour Champion Nicola Butler and National Ozzy Champ Amber Wing took to the water, cranking it up whilst the crowds cheered for more. The marina was swarmed with broadcast crews and photographers all wanting their piece of the action and they were not disappointed. The world's best wakeboarders had descended on Pwllheli Marina to compete for the Relentless Wakestock Champion title and as Wakestock played host to Round 3 of the WWA World Wakeboarding Series, points for the WWA Series. Radio 1’s Huw Stephens broadcasted live from a boat in the middle of the marina in the thick of the wakeboarding action and Dainton & Pritchard were on hand to add their own 'special charm' to the day’s events as only they can do, pleasing the crowds by signing autographs and posing for photographs Next up were the Pro Qualifiers.15 Riders faced stiff competition as they came face to face with the Relentless Leviathan and 16 foot high roof top rail; getting a place in the final was certainly not going to be an easy task. Randall Harris from the West Coast of the USA and Australia’s Dean Smith were the first riders to score the converted places in the finals quickly followed by Andrew Adkison who had only arrived in the UK from American that morning, Adam Errington, current Relentless Wakestock champion Nick Davies, Austin Hair from the USA, Aaron Rathy, the Canadian big hitter and UK’s Dan Knott. But the outstanding performance of the day had to go to current WWA Wakeboard World Series Champion, Phillip Soven from the USA. So with the riding over it was back to the festival site for another night of music and Pool Gap action. A special photo shoot for Mystic riders on the Pool Gap gave the ExPix team the perfect opportunity to bag some sweet shots before the competitions began however you'll have to wait to see some of those images as Mystic and the mags are looking at them for publishing ....sorry ... ;-)
Next on the agenda was the impromptu Celebrity 5-A-Side football match at the back of the Open Air Stage. With a mixture of players from Maximo Park, Feeder, Radio 1 and Wakestock staff lets just say it proved interesting! Billed as a ‘friendly’ match, the 1 all score soon put pay to that as reputations were at stake! Despite many attempts at goal the score remained a draw. Back at the main festival site and Nike 6.0 had set up stall. As a brand heavily associated with extreme sports and wakeskating it was only fitting that they should be here. First timers at Wakestock that didn’t stop them getting into the sprit of things. With ‘hook-a-duck’ and ‘coconut shy’ to win a host of prizes including sunglasses, T- shits and customised Nike trainers, the guys knew how to please the crowds. On the Open Air stage, Plan B whipped the crowds into a frenzy with an amazing performance. Finger clicking could be heard all around as the opening bars of ‘She Said’ began. Back in the green room and ExPix got this cheeky shot of Plan B and Dainton & Pritchard! Performances from Feeder and Maximo Park followed and we have to say that neither of the bands looked any worse for wear despite their earlier efforts on the football pitch. Maximo Park’s front man Paul Smith still managing to give 100% as he leapt about the stage! Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, Zane Lowe and Goldierocks entertained crowds on the Misadventures Stage as the night drew to a close.
Sunday morning and the weather couldn’t have been much worse for wakeboarding; 40 mile an hour winds brought serious waves and conditions that were almost impossible to ride. Check out the images below to see what we mean, oh and see if you can spot the rider!!! All credit has to go to the Mens Pro riders who despite the horrendous conditions still hit the water giving the crowds the action that they had come to see and ensuring that there were results in the competitions. So it seemed that ‘Murphy’s Law’ had been out in force that morning; as we headed back to the festival site, the wind died down and the sun came out just in time for the finals of the Rococo Rail Tour on the Pool Gap.
With the first ever live broadcast on T.V, the Prize Giving ceremony got underway on the Open Air stage as the sun set. Will Bradley, Nicola Butler, Amber Wing & Aaron Rathy all took various titles on the Rococo Pool Gap events but with a prize fund of approximate £27,000 and the Wakestock Championship titles at stake, the Pro Boat Finals results was what the crowds had come to see! Amber Wing from Australia was crowed the Relentless Wakestock Women’s Champion 2010 and Philip Soven from the USA was crowed the Relentless Wakestock Men’s Champion 2010 Pro Boat Final Results 1. Amber Wing - Australia 2. Nicola Butler - UK 3. Robbie Rendo - Argentina. 1. Philip Soven - USA 2. Aaron Rathy - Canada 3. Austin Hair - USA 4. Dean Smith - Australia
The night continued with more music. With the recent launch of ‘I Can Do That’ the second single from the fourth album ‘The Chaos’, The Futureheads returned to Wakestock to rock the stage. Finishing with ‘Hounds of Love’, the guys had the crowds singing along as guitarist Ross Millard and bass player David Craig split the crowd to ‘help out’ Barry Hyde. Oh and if you haven’t already got the album I think you should as I’m sure Ross would like a new shirt; check out the ExPix images from Beach Break……(WINK!). On the Relentless Stage, The King Blues were amazing. The guys promoted their work with the organisation ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ giving away free T-shirts and making sure the message got out there. Pete Tong & The Ting Tings were last on stage whilst in the VIP tent, the 3 Musketeers aka, Tim Lyall, Joshua Roberts & MC Kent James finished the night off on in true Wakestock fashion! So with another year over we headed off back to base!
a small gallery is available here public gallery
Or if your registered with ExPix you can view them all here
Red Bull X- Fighters – London Day 1
After yet another early start, (3.00am), the ExPix team headed down to London on Friday 13th to cover the Red Bull X-Fighters.
Held at Battersea Power Station, the worlds best FMX riders came together to compete in the penultimate round of the X-Fighters tour.
See what Levi Sherwood said during his interview with ExPix about the bikes, modifications, and winning at Red Bull Xifighters ... you may be surprised considering this pocket rockets ariel ability !!
Chris Birch was the British entrant to the Red Bull Xfighters. he speaks candidly about the British scene, training and competing on the Red Bull Xfighters world Tour
Although billed as a training day with qualifiers in the evening, it soon became apparent that we were at mercy of the elements. Whenever they got chance, riders took the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the course ahead of the qualifiers. But rain stopped play on numerous occasions and it was beginning to feel like a game of 'cat and mouse'!
With little action on the course we headed for the pit to grab some interviews with the riders. First up was Levi Sherwood from New Zealand; at 18 he was the youngest rider competing over the weekend but as we later found out you certainly wouldn't have guessed this from his riding; the only real clues to his age had to be the 'spokie dokies' on his wheel spokes! An interview with current Red Bull X-Fighters leader Andre Villa was then followed by British Rider Chris Birch who told us about his plans to promote the sport in the UK.
With several failed attempts to get some training sessions underway the crowds arrived to watch the qualifiers. The skies looked evil over the formidable and imposing structure of Battersea Power Station. With eerie sounds of Black Sabbath swirling through the derelict building, there was a sense of impending doom, all that was missing was the dry ice and Vincent Price!
Despite the rain, the atmosphere had been fantastic, chilled and laid back; nothing was to much trouble for the Red Bull staff who kept us fed and 'Red Bulled' throughout the day! Whilst we waited for a break in the weather we were entertained with clips from Red Bull activities around the world. Eventually the inevitable happened and the event had to be pulled for the day.
Saturday morning brought with it a slight break in the weather and with a 9.00am start the crew were determined to get the qualifiers out of the way ASAP. With a taste of what was to come, the riders laid down some sick moves. Levi Sherwood got off to an awesome start finishing 1st in the first qualifying round. Robbie Maddison however wasn't as lucky, crashing towards the end of his 1st heat, and he didn't make it to the second round. Levi once again pulled out all the stops and finished 1st in the second round, confirming him in pole position for the finals.
So with the finals later on the standings are as follows
422.50 Levi Sherwood
405.50 Nate Adams
403.00 Dany Torres
395.00 Mike Mason
393.00 Adam Jones
393.00 Mat Rebeaud
373.50 Cameron Sinclair
365.50 Clinton Moore
358.00 Andre Villa
283.00 Robbie Maddison
277.00 Chris Birch
DNS Rob Adelberg
So with the qualifiers over by lunch time there was plenty of time to explore the surroundings. Battersea Power Station is a surreal place, amidst the ruins and dereliction we found a fully functional event hub. As we entered the grounds at Gate 1 the production offices were directly ahead, housed in porta cabins. The Media Centre lay behind, inside the shell of the building. Despite the appearance, which only served to add to the atmosphere, the Media Centre was probably one of the best we have been in at an event; leather sofas, coffee tables, fridges full of Red Bull, a large work station with electrics and free super fast Wifi, large screen displays and Red Bull 'Sparkies' on hand to cater for your every need, what more could you want!
The pit lay inside the main building and could be seen from the Media Centre but getting to it was more of a mission. Because of the condition of the building, large sections are 'no go areas' so a more indirect route had to be taken to reach the riders. Stepping outside to walk around the outskirts of the building it looked more like a demolition site and a health and safety nightmare; wouldn't want to be the person who had to prepare the risk assessment on this! What a contrast then to find a newly installed hospitality area at the back of the building with catering facilities, conference area etc, not what we expected!
Back to the pit and each rider had their own 'garage' with centre space going to the bikes. Mechanics were busy making adjustments and fine tuning, or cleaning the bikes ready for the nights actions; the riders on the other hand were chilling out back at the hotels. Talk of the day was Robbie Maddisons injuries with his camp reporting that he was OK.
At 5.00 pm the gates opened much to the relief of the many spectators who had been 'camped' outside the grounds. With the main action not due to start until 8.00 pm the crowds were entertained with more Red Bull action from around the world displayed on the the big screens. But with heavy storms and rain pouring down on the course it was looking ominous. Guest appearances came from Amir Khan, Red Bull pilot Paul Bonhomme and Mark Miller and his Volkswagen Touareg Rally Car then it was time for the action to begin.
With the top 6 riders from the mornings qualifiers automatically going through and Robbie Maddison and Rob Adelberg out of the competition with injuries, it was down to the remaining 4 riders to fight it out for the last 2 places in the quarter finals. First up, going head to head was UK's Chris Birch and Andre Villa from Norway. Each rider was given 2 minutes to check out the course before the start of the heat but disaster struck as Andre came to the end of his session. Over shooting a jump, Andre's bike hit the barrier as he was catapulted into the crowd hitting the fans.
Things came to a halt as the barriers were put back into place and talks were had about the safety of the course.With Andre Villa now out of the action and with time pressing on it was decided to abandon the last chance qualifiers. The remaining quarter final places going to Cameron Sinclair and Clinton Moore who finished 7th & 8th earlier on in the day with UK rider Chris Birch missing out on his chance to rider before a huge British crowd of 30,000.
Whilst the competition was run on the night with the following results below, it was later announced on the Red Bull site that due to safety issues and the deteriorating condition of the track, the results from the Qualifiers would stand as the final results as all riders had benefited from the same conditions during the Qualifiers. However the running order for the crowd was as follows
So straight into the quarter finals and the line up was as follows:
Adam Jones v Mike Mason
Matt Rebeaud v Dany Torres
Cameron Sinclair v Nate Adams
Levi Sherwood v Clinton Moore
With points for the Red Bull X-Fighters championship at stake, the riders weren't holding anything back. Any nerves or thoughts of the earlier accidents were banished as the riders stretched and threw themselves into positions that seemed impossible on the ground and unthinkable in the air! With the last heat done the line up for the semi finals was announced:
Dany Torres v Nate Adams
Mike Mason v Levi Sherwood
To the roar of the crowds and set against the awesome backdrop of Battersea Power Station, the riders stepped it up a gear to battle it out for a place in the finals with Levi Sherwood & Nate Adams taking the coveted spots.
As tension grew amongst the crowds, Nate Adams took to the course for the final time. Pulling off a fast, high octane performance, Nate raised the bar for Levi Sherwood. Undeterred Levi flexed and manoeuvred his body into positions unnatural to vertebrates and leaving fans asking if he actually had a spine! His efforts paid off and Levi took the win.
With only 25 points separating the overall top 3 riders, Andre Villa, Levi Sherwood & Nate Adams, sparks will be flying in Rome as these guys battle it out to be the Red Bull 2010 X-Fighter Champion!
ExPix will be back in London this weekend for London Night Jump 2010. As Media Partners, the ExPix team will be bringing you all the latest info from the event together with our usual event round up and of course our legendary images! So what’s London Night Jump all about?
Billed as their biggest Extreme Sports Night to date, the crew from Liquid Leisure are pulling out all the stops to bring the world’s best ski jumpers and wakeboarders to Datchet for what promises to be a most memorable night of competitions! With the capacity to reach distances of 230ft, ski jumpers will be launched into the air at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour.
Not wanting to miss out on the action, the wakeboarders will be out in force, pulling out all the stops to impress the crowds with the latest tricks. Sounds hard enough already but imagine doing all this in the dark!
In addition to action on the water the UK's No.1 FMX riders will battle it out on land and there will be the usual mix of trade stands, fun fair and food & drink to entertain the crowds.
For those maxed out on adrenaline, the infamous V.I.P. After Party will round off the evening!
If we’ve whetted your appetite, check out the images from last year’s event and buy tickets online from www.londonnightjump.co.uk
Schedule of Events:
2pm - Gates Open
5.45pm - FMX QUALIFYING
6pm - LCQ JUMP ROUND
7.45pm - FMX FINAL
8.15pm - WAKEBOARD FINAL
9pm - NIGHT JUMP
10pm - PRESENTATION
10.15pm - V.I.P AFTER PARTY
Mastercraft London Night Jump fuelled by Monster energy drink took place on the 21st August 2010 at Liquid Leisure Dachet. With the addition of a new cable system on the back lake, there was a cable competition during the day as well as the traditional late evening wakeboard boat runs and the spectacular ski jump competitions under floodlights during the evening. ExPix were down there as media partners with their new on site media base which was supplied by Canopies South West.
Take a look at some of the action fromt eh day either by watching the video or reading the article below. We hope you enjoy the action from the mastercraft London Night Jump.
Setting off early on Saturday morning fully loaded with enough equipment to sink a battleship, the ExPix van made good time on its way down to Liquid Leisure for the Mastercraft London Night Jump fuelled by Monster. As media partners for the event this year, ExPix decided to try out the new on site media base. Supplied by Canopies South West the industrial pop up Gazebo with it's black canvas proved to be a perfect addition as it meant that we could project images from the action throughout the day.
Back to Mastercraft London Night Jump Fuelled by Monster and to kick of the days running order was the cable wakeboard competition on the new system installed on the back lake at Liquid Leisure. With Tom Fooshee, Nick Davies, James Young, Ben Hitch, Gareth Stelfox,and Louis Cornwall among the names competing in the jam sessions there was gonna be some hot action on the water.
Heat one saw Nick Davies, Louis Cornwall, Matty Hassler, Kyle Cameron and Ben Hitch battling it out for the first two places in the final. Nick Davies made a mistake early on stacking a mobe 5 but got back on the water immediately and produced a couple of 9's, a 10 double, s bend to blind to put the pressure on the others. Ben Hitch was riding aggressively and getting some major height off the kickers whilst Connor was trying to land his signature move 'conair' but couldn't quite make the landing, Louis Cornwall was also riding well and put down a few big tricks but just couldn't quite manage to match or stop Monster, Hyperlyte and Mystic rider Nick Davies and Ben Hitch progressing to the final from heat 1.
Heat 2saw James Young take on Tom Fooshee, Cody Johnson, Connor Jones and Gareth Stelfox. As the guys in this heat battled it out there were a few more crashes as they tried to out ride each other with some massive airs and big technical tricks. The riders to go through to face Nick Davies and Ben Hitch were Tom Fooshee and James Young with Gareth Stelfox just missing out despite his consistently smooth style.
So as the final got underway with riders Tom Fooshee, Nick Davies, Ben Hitch and James Young, the pressure was on. Nick and Tom really pushed the limits it looked like a head to head between these two.
With the crowds beginning to arrive for the evening event all eyes were on the FMX display. The riders were jumping on a mobile unit with a newly branded Monster Mastercraft under the ramps. There isn't much we can say about this other than ..... crazy!!! take a look at the pics and you'll see what we mean .
Immediately after this was the Mastercraft London Night Jump Wakeboard boat competition. As the floodlights lit up the lake, the 4 invited riders gave it all they'd got as they had one pass up and down the lake to pull their best tricks and really impress the crowd in the dark. Now this is where it gets really difficult from a photographers point of view. With lighting at the top end of the course designed more for the ski jumpers its is difficult to photograph the wakeboarders who do most of their tricks further down the course. Even with a powerful flash the lighting doesn't look quite right when you're shooting from the shore.
The same can be said for the finale of the night jump; the lighting is very difficult to handle especially as the ski jumpers move very quickly over the water to hit the ramp fast enough to project themselves over 60m. Moving around the course gave us the best opportunity to find a spot that worked in between the floodlights and the darkness and there are however some really sweet shots of the course. Now as you can imagine if we are having difficulty watching the course how do you think the jumpers coped trying to spot it to do their stuff? Well here a couple of shots from one guy, Claudio Kostenberger, who got it completely wrong and managed somehow to walk away from it and .... have another go ....respect !
The finals carried on after this with last years winner Freddie Nightmare Krugger coming away as the victor and with the presentation from all the days competitions being done in front of the huge Liquid Leisure crowd, the event drew to a close ...... well almost .... there was still the VIP after party on the terrace but that's another story ....!!!!!!
Final results were as follows
Night Jump cable Wakeboard Final
Night Jump Boat Wakeboard Final
What a weekend! Animal Windfest 2010 Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset
Packing up on Thursday for Animal Windfest 2010 with all the gear, ExPix Media Centre, projectors, screens, laptops, cameras, video cameras, goody bags, ExPix staff, etc, etc, etc, the realisation set in that it's time for a bigger van, or maybe even a coach or bus! At this point we must add that any and all offers of partnering/sponsorship are greatly welcome!!!!
We arrived at Sandbanks late Thursday night and the launch party was already in full swing. After a very hectic day and long journey we pitched tents in the dark before making the unusually wise decision to hit the sack rather than the party. Friday morning and the ExPix team were up bright and early ready to video and photograph the action and promote the event via live images displayed in the ExPix Media Centre. The Animal Windfest site was beginning to take shape; the guys were busy setting up the Animal Bike Tour arena, competition areas were being marked out, the Red Bull mini ramp and marques were being erected and VW Breeze and Mercedes Vito had their vans on display, much to the envy of all the riders, spectators and ExPix!
Although listed as a 'practise day' there was still plenty of action to watch. Despite very light winds, the windsurfers did their best to run a freestyle comp in Poole Harbour, the Ultimate Frisbee comp got underway and the Animal Bike Tour started with one of many performances throughout the weekend. Getting in on the action and rightly so were Help 4 Heroes. With teams from the Army, Navy and RAF, they staged Racing the Channel, a cross channel kitesurfing race from France to England. Unfortunately ExPix weren't there to see them land at Poole; they had been scheduled to arrive late afternoon but had been delayed by a number of things and didn't arrive until early Friday evening by which time the Windfest Ball had already started. Still a sterling effort raising money for a worthy cause.
Friday night and a stream of well dressed ladies and half dressed men arrived at the marquee for the Black Tie Windfest Ball. Just to explain, the men weren't partly naked but rather were dressed up on top in the now customary Dickie Bows and tuxedo jackets with boardies and flip flops underneath! Every year the ball raises money for charity with this year's charity being The Richie Keefe Life and Soul Trust. A great night was had by all and after a night of dancing ended with more than one woman carrying their high heels and wishing that they had worn flip flops!
Saturday morning and ExPix moved camp to set up stall next to the Animal stands providing a perfect opportunity to show images of Animal Windfest to the passing crowds. The ExPix hourly competitions also proved a hit and brought even more people to the Media Centre.
The rain proved a little difficult for a very short while but with the sun out in the afternoon the promenade at Sandbanks was soon packed. As usual the atmosphere was good, chilled and laid back and thanks to the efforts of event organiser Gary Willingham of FC Watersports, the guys from Animal and Phil and his team from Funnybones everyone had a brilliant time.
At the Pool Gap the action was full on as wakeboarders Lee Debuse, Sarah Kingdom, Max Main, Louis Floyd, Ollie Moore, Jack Kidd and a number of others impressed spectators with their big jumps and awesome moves whilst Adam Walker scored maximum respect for his massive tantrum.
The kitesurfing course racing went ahead as planned but with no wind close to the beach, the kiters raced a long way from the shoreline. Steph Bridge once again proved she was more than a match for any man when she won the mixed course racing event. Flexifoil were on hand to demo kit and 5 times World Champion and Red Bull & Flexifoil sponsored kitesurfer Aaron Hadlow inspired riders with his presence.
The windsurfers did the best they could with the wind conditions, choosing the bottom end of the beach to stage their competitions. FLOW, For Ladies Of Windsurf, were at Animal Windfest for the first time and were out in force to introduce women of all ages and abilities to the sport. Animal team rider Nayra Alonso gave masterclasses on sailing in waves whilst former international racer Amy Carter gave advice on racing.
Back on shore and the Ulitmate Frisbie & Volley Ball teams were enjoying the heat and competing to a packed beach. The MILF Ultimate Frisbee team caused more than a few laughs with their name, but it's not what you think, MILF stands for Man I Love Frisbee!!!!
The day drew to a close and the mayhem of the Animal Windfest Party took over; a legendary party and this year was no exception!
With a Super Heroes theme the marquee was soon packed with creatures straight from the Marvel & DC comic books, together with a few newly invented superheroes. As Superman grappled with Wonder Woman and He Man fought off Poison Ivy we knew things were going to get messy!!! Thanks to a last minute decision by the Animal team and much to the amusement of party goers the antics that are always caught on camera by ExPix were shown on plasma screens above the bars during the party. The images were regularly updated throughout the night and shown together with the day time images. The party ended and as the Super Heroes made their way home they were treated to an impromptu Fire Poi display.
Sunday morning and another early start saw many a tired and bedraggled Super Hero desperately trying to find the energy to set up stall. Luckily Red Bull were on hand to save the day.
The weather was much better and the crowds came out in force. The stands around the Animal Bike Tour were full as people watched the return of Sam Pilgrim to the fold to join Martyn Ashton and Blake Samson
who had already been performing for two days; the inclusion of a third rider made for some interesting shows. With three people on the course the choreography was a little tight, producing more of a competition style show with the riders pushing each other bigger than before.
The highlight of the day had to be the Red Bull Matadors flown by Red Bull pilots Paul Bonhomme and Steve Jones. It was amazing to see how low these guys flew and the positions that they managed to put those planes - just incredible to watch them flying backwards whilst upside down and spinning??? Thanks to the officers at the Sandbank Beach Office, ExPix had a prime spot on their balcony.
We managed to get access to the Red Bull mini ramp for a few action pics. This was a little difficult as the ramp top was small and there wasn't much room to choose the angle without getting hit by a stray board, but it didn't hurt too much and to get the shot sometimes you have to take a chance! We'll let you guys be the judge of whether it was worth it or not!
With loads going on for everyone we thought we'd show you a sample of images form a variety of different activities ..... maybe next year you may want to try out one or two of these sports or just come down to chill on the beach at the Animal Windfest.
At this point we must give special thanks to several people who helped us through this weekend. The guys at the Sandbanks Beach Shop for allowing us to plug into their electricity supply when it wasn't possible to use our generator on Sunday. Pennine Photographic who supplied us with some extra kit, and Sonia from Animal who helped us to move us into a prime viewing spot. Gary from FC Watersports and Phil from Funny Bones for allowing us to attend Windfest once again and for making it as easy as possible for us to do what we do! Also not forgetting Danny and Caroline for their help throughout the weekend taking pics and video as well as manning the media centre.
http://www.expix.co.uk/administrator/index.php?option=com_content§ionid=-1&task=edit&cid=280So with another fantastic Animal Windfest over it was time to head off home, upload the images, write the report and edit the video!
Keep an eye out on Facebook and twitter for the updates for when the gallery is restored and also for the addition of a quick event video on here.
Windfest image galleries are now online here enjoy.
Most people would still be recovering 2 weeks after a big event, not so for Stuart and the team at Liquid Leisure. With Night Jump hardly put to bed the guys were busy planning their first dedicated cable comp on the Rixen cable system newly installed in 2010. Not only that but they allowed themselves just 3 weeks to do it all in!
So Love Jam was born and after a number of text & FB messages from various riders ExPix decided to squeeze one more event into their busy schedule and on Saturday we headed back down the M25 to Liquid Leisure.
The pre event vibe was that Love Jam was all about inclusion; this was an event for everyone, it didn't matter how good you were or how old. Running heats for U13's 14-18's, Am Mens, Pro Women, Pro Mens, Masters, Vetrans, Am Wakeskate and Pro Wakeskate, the event was inundated with over 100 entries from riders proving that the organisers had certainly pitched it right!
The sun was out and the lakeside packed with riders as the first heat of the day, the under 13 Girls got under way. The competition format was based around jam style sessions, perfect for the younger riders, first timers and ams giving them chance to overcome their nerves. The format also proved popular with the pro rides who were able to build up to their bigger tricks knowing that a fall wouldn't be the end of their chances; a quick run back to the dock and they could be off again, time allowing. And, to the amusement of the crowds, Michael Jackson even managed to make an appearance!
Highlight of the day had to be the Amateur Wakteskate comp which saw the youngest rider of the day, Connor Floyd aged 10 beat the oldest rider of the day Jack Woodward aged 57 proving that age is no match for experience!
As the riders soaked up the last of the sun and enjoyed the chilled laid back atmosphere a sudden frenzy whipped up as the pizzas arrived! The day began to draw to a close and there was just time for a quick floodlight comp on the Two Towers before everyone made their way to the bar for the prize giving and after party.
As the results were announced it was obvious that the quick turn around in organising the event hadn't deterred the sponsors; Mystic and Hyperlite showed their support by coming on board as did Rixen Cableways, Punto Pizzas, Grand Cafe Garibaldi, CTC, to name but a few!
So a fantastic effort by all at Liquid Leisure, looking forward to 2011 for an even bigger better comp!
to view a gallery with all the pics .... over 1100 click here
The Student Kitesurf Association Chicks Weekend was held at Rhosneigr Beach on Anglesey in North Wales over the Halloween weekend. 28 girls descended on to the small but very highly rated location where the legendary Funsport shop is situated on the beach. With Flexifoil team rider Jemma Grobelaar giving technique clinics to the intermediates and a host of instructors helping out with the beginners, this was the first weekend of the SKA's new beginning.
It was good to be back on the beach shooting a kitesurf event, especially as we know Rhosneigr well and it's where it all started for us with kitesurfing. Bucky at Funsport is always welcoming and happy to help out as a host, shop or just with knowledge about the local area, which is perfect for a student group. The shop as stated above is on the beach literally, so its not too far to walk if you need something. Jemma also lives 2 doors down so all in all it was a very tight event.
The girls arrived in dribs and drabs late Friday night and well into Saturday morning so were a little late getting to the beach. Only 45 mins behind schedule and it wasn't long before flags and equipment were all out on display ready for the first briefing. Splitting the girls into small groups of around 5 max, the instructors led them across the beach to the flat area by the dunes to start the days teaching and coaching.
The kit, kindly donated by Flexifoil, was put to good use and as the wind was up and down all day it gave the girls a real insight into how the conditions can play a big part in kite flying. With the inconsistent wind and at times heavy rain, they probably learnt more than they would on a any other day.
The conditions unfortunately meant that those on the water were finding it difficult to put into practice the advise they were getting from Jemma and the other instructors. That said, one rider Rajal Patel, was having an amazing time, managing to go upwind in very choppy conditions. Her smiles and enthusiasm caught the sight of the instructors who nominated her for the prize of most enthusiastic person of the weekend!
"This is what the 'girls' weekends are all about" said Charlie Davies, one of the SKA reps for the weekend. "Its about encouraging each other in a way that the lads don't do, talking about achievements, feeling able to make a mistake without ridicule and talking about girlie things, all of which you can't always do with a group of guys."
So this was the thinking behind the whole chick thing; giving the girls their own space to experience this amazing sport. It certainly seemed to work as many of the girls who were 'first timers' when asked said that they would come to another weekend to progress their kite skills and hopefully enter the water.
So with the first day on the beach being an experience to remember, it was off to Hendre Hall for the Halloween Ball .......student style! Being prepared and bring their own props or whipping out to local supermarkets, students are well known for being creative when it comes to costumes and the girls were no different; witches, scary dolls, devil horns and cats were all in abundance, doused with blood, fake I may add and face paint to make the effect even more scary if that were possible. The prize for best costume had to go to a rather scary clown outfit which was amazing. The group split later in the evening; with some of the girls tired from the days activities, they headed back to the hostel for an 'early' night leaving some of the more hardcore party goers to dance the remainder of the night away under UV and laser lights which picked out the skeleton bones and brightly coloured face paints in a psychedelic fashion .
Sunday morning and everyone was at the beach relatively early ..... probably easily done seeing as they all had an extra hour in bed due to the clocks going back, but the wind wasn't playing, having switched direction and dropping there was only just enough to fly the foils and certainly not enough to ride on the water much to the disappointment of many. But that's the UK weather for you and kiting in the UK is about community and sharing and these girls had experienced that; hopefully we will see them back on the beaches very soon.
Charlie would like to thank the industry for the support the SKA have received in restarting: Flexifoil who have been a fantastic supplying loads of kit and helping out in other ways, ExPix for their filming, photography and media & PR services and for spreading the word that the SKA is back and on track to provide students who kitesurf with a sustainable network, Funsport for their tremendous support in providing prizes, instructors and a place to come and 'hang out' and lastly but by no means least Gecko for providing prizes.
You may have noticed that some of the images dont have our ExPix logo on them .... please do not steal these images. They belong to a student who has been working alongside ExPix over the last 6 months gaining hands on experience shadowing our chief photographer Ian Edmondson. Jenny Bullas is the student in question and we believe she has gained valueable real life work experince working alongside Ian. We can already see a difference in her approach to different projects in following a brief or creating something more from her 'heart'.
We hope to see Jenny working alongside us at more events.
Click here for a link to the rest of the images from the weekend.
The Student Kitesurfing Association kicked of their competition series with a slider jam at Par Sands in Conrwall. The idea of a kitesurfing tour for students had been discussed all summer and now with a new year and a new committee the SKA was up and running again. As the first competition event under the new 'regime' the SKA had a lot to prove, however the determined bunch of kitesurfers forged ahead bringing together an enthusiastic group not only able to manage an event but also build the infrastructure to gain support from the industry and gather together enough students to warrant a competition. So as the groups arrived at the hostel late into Friday night, meetings and briefing were still being held to make sure everyone was aware of the importance of this event.
Early Saturday morning and the guys from Plymouth Windriders were on the beach finishing of the sliders at 6am. By 8am everyone had been fed and after another safety briefing the convoy of cars headed to the beach and it was all hands on deck to get the 'site' ready. Sponsor's flags, tents and banners were soon assembled by the group of around 50 riders all eager to help out.
The support from sponsors had been fantastic; Flexifoil had put in both cash for the sliders along with over £1000 worth of prizes, Mystic, a late entry onto the student arena gave a harness for a prize and are going to provide kit for training in the form of harnesses and helmets. KiteMare, a kite repair shop had provided the labour for the sliders, which it must be said looked huge and took some time to put together and even more time and effort to move into position, King of Watersports and OnePiece also donated prizes.
Despite all their efforts, the one thing that the students couldn't controll was the wind. The forecast had died and with it any chance of using the sliders with kites. Not deterred the SKA committee had other plans to keep everyone happy, volleyball was one option however most people decided to queue for a chance to hit the sliders behind a jetski kindly supplied by Richard Boughton including a fee tank of petrol. Starting on the kicker many people tried their luck, some doing quiet well whilst others landed less fortunately into a cold November sea.
Whilst the sliders were being moved into shallower waters as the tide came in the students had fun trying to find different uses for the structures. Back on the beach attempts were made to launch the kites as a breeze started to rise but the wind didn't fill in and it was back to using the jetski as the students moved onto the flat bar as the sun set on the hills around St Austell.
The sliders were made safe for the evening before the light faded then it was a quick dash back to the hostel for a shower and change before heading off to The Ship Inn for an evening of merriment.....and oh what an evening!! Starting off in the great outside area at the pub, everyone tucked into burgers and chips whilst listening to the band before moving inside for a warmer and unusually quiet chat and drink .... quiet that is until it was announce that one of the committee members and organisers of the event was a year older. As Ali Reader was given the mandatory birthday drink the students stepped up to the mark and the party began!
The band moved inside and were soon busy playing requests from the students which immediately lifted the atmosphere. The locals sat around the bar watched with mouths wide open but were soon joining in, posing for pictures and asking when the students would be back again. Apparently one thing that had really impressed them was the respect that the students were showing them. The climax of the evening came with a request for the Tenacious D Tribute Song. What can we say ... well nothing.... just take a look at this and you'll see just how good the evening was!!!
The following morning and the students crawled down to breakfast. Despite one or two sore heads it was straight into the briefing then back to the beach for some more slider action behind the jetski.
The day finished earlier as many students were facing long journeys home, none more so then Ali Beaven who had travelled from Edinburgh! The whole weekend had been rider judged so as votes were counted the prize giving began as the students eagerly eyed up the prizes. Everyone rallied round once again and within no time the site was packed down and loaded into vans before everyone headed home.
It was a brilliant weekend thanks to the efforts of the SKA, Plymouth Windriders and all the students who attended and were more than happy to do their fair share. The location was perfect, Par Sands is a huge beach ideal for launching and landing. The accommodation was fantastic, plenty of space and all the facilities you could possibly need; the staff at Golant Youth Hostel handed the keys over to the students and left them to it, only coming back to cook the breakfast in the morning, what more could you ask for? And the staff and locals at The Ship Inn couldn't have been more welcoming!
ExPix are really looking forward to supporting the SKA throughout 2010/2011.
So if you want to see all the pics from the weekend click here
please remember that these images are copyrighted as this is our profession if you would like to use or buy any of the images please contact us
The SKA Wave Jam attracted students from several universities a well as a few locals from Porthcawl including the Welsh Dragon who made its way down to the waters edge to see what all the fuss was about.
With the wind gods appeased the students woke to one of the gustiest mornings seen in Porthcawl this year. After registration and safety briefings, it was time to hit the water. For Pro
rider Ali Barrett, from Solent University, it was chance to show off some moves; huge megaloops with delayed backloops wowed the crowds before the rest of the students took to the water. Not wanted to be outdone, Matt Desmond from Southampton University and Leah McHardy got in on the scene; flicking his surf board in front of the camera, Matt made sure he was going to be noticed!
For some the wind was just too much of a challenge and many headed for the welcome retreated of Malc's Cafe. The leather sofas and 'real fire' were just too much of a temptation for students still recovering from the night before who promptly 'set up camp'.
With a days riding under their belt the SKA and students packed up camp as the afternoon drew to a close and everyone headed off to Cardiff to get ready for a night of partying courtesy of Cardiff University.
As penguins and chickens hit the streets of Cardiff, don’t ask; we just knew that it was going to be one of those nights! A quick stop off at Ko Ko Gorillaz for refuelling then it was straight to Cardiff University’s SU.
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1. Zac Andrews (Soton)
2. Ali Barrett (Solent)
3. Leah McHardy
1. Jon Cook (Soton)
2. Ben Gillespie (Soton)
3. Tim Harley (Cambridge)
James Bowker (Southampton University) was crowed ‘King of the Waves’; a true a sportsman embodying the spirit of the event and throwing himself into everything with sheer effort on and off the water.
To view the kitesurfing images from the Student Kitesurf Wavejam just follow the link and enjoy.
Once again ExPix would like to say a big thankyou to all the students for their hospitality and their antics which as usual provide us with images worth publishing.
Just a little addition to the event report a short (very short) video from Porthcawl. Due to operation on a shoulder approx days before a one handed photographer/videographer found it difficult to handle two cameras, this couple with strong winds and everyone just 'holding on' for one day meant it was difficult to film any proper wave riding, but we hope this gives you a feel for the event ... enjoy !
Pre Event Release
Student Kitesurfing Association (SKA) National Tour Stop 2 - Wave Jam, Rest Bay, Porthcawl. 2011.
What a way to kick start 2011 with non other than a visit back to our old shooting grounds of Rest Bay Porthcawl, this time for Wave Jam, the 2nd stop in the SKA National Tour Competition Series.
Organised by the SKA and hosted by Cardiff University the event is sponsored and supported by, Flexifoil, Mystic, King of Watersports, ExPix, South Wales Kitesurfing, Ignite Beanies, Red Bull, Cardiff University Kitesurfers, Cardiff University Boat Club and Porthcawl Lifeboat Station.
The forecast looks epic and judging by the planned activities, lets just say that this should be a
weekend to remember, even if the only way to remember is via those oh so painful but annoyingly irresistible piccys courtesy of your favourite ExPix team!!!!!!!
Watch out for the updates on ExPix throughout the weekend and check the galleries to see what the students have been up to this time and if you're lucky there just might be some kiting piccys too!
So the 3rd stop on the ExPix European road trip saw the crew check into FISE Montpellier. With 400,000 spectators over 5 days; this is France’s biggest extreme sports event, drawing some of the biggest names from the world of wakeboarding, BMX, mountain biking, inline, skateboarding and slacklining.
Europe really embraces extreme sports and the events over there are on a totally different scale. Maybe it’s down to the weather or perhaps it down to attitude; whatever it is they certainly know how to put on a show.
ExPix will be bringing you all the low down from FISE in our event round up at the end of the month but for now we’re going to let the pictures do the talking!
For the final stop on the ExPix European road trip; we headed north to Noordwijk in The Netherlands for one of ExPix’s partnered events, the Kite Board Open 2013. As the largest Kiteboarding event in The Netherlands, it also has the reputation amongst media and industry as being the most professional.
This is now the 5th year that ExPix have partnered with the KBO and each year we’re amazed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the team of volunteers form KSN Noordwijk who make this event possible. Passing the reins onto the young shoulders of Tom Visser and his crew; event founder Heiko Cramer could not have left the event in safer hands.
With kitesurfing competitions, Xpression Sessions, kite, surf and SUP clinics, mini ramps, trade village and live music; there’s something for everyone.
But more about the event later in the ExPix special edition round up, for now it’s all about the images below!
Follow the link to view all the images from the Kiteboard Open - KBO13
On Saturday 8th June Red Bull Harbour Reach returned for its 3rd year. Moving away from its original routes in the quiet fishing village of Lyme Regis, where the first Red Bull Harbour Reach competition saw wakeboarders jump the huge Harbour Wall; Red Bull Harbour Reach 2013 took on a more urban landscape as it dominated Liverpool’s Waterfront.
In the lead up to the International contest in Liverpool’s Albert Docks, 30 wakeboarders were invited to battle it out in the ‘Road To’ qualifier on Sunday 2nd June at Just Wake Park, Tattershall Lakes, Lincolnshire. UK riders, 22 year old Louis Floyd and 17 year old Freddie Carter took the ‘Wild Cards’ and went on to join professional wakeboarders and the Red Bull crew as they hit some of the best System 2.0 wake parks in the UK, taking in Festival Wake Park, Essex on Monday 3rd June, the newly opened Salford Quay Wake on Tuesday 4th June and finally Club Wake Park on Wednesday 5th June.
Back in Liverpool’s Albert Dock and the sun had brought the crowds out; over 8,000 spectators lined the banks of the docks as the day’s action got underway.
In the first of 4 qualifying heats, 4 UK born riders; Steve Dyer, Jonty Green, Daniel Grant and Adam Errington were the first to impress spectators as they took on the gruelling course. With a series of kickers and rails, including the roof top and the System 2.0 purpose built fun box; riders also got to try out their skills on the UNIT quarterpipe and to wow the crowds as they attempted the boat jump, over the 8 metre wide veteran Brocklebank tug boat. 16 year old Daniel Grant and 25 year old Adam Errington, impressed the judges and went on to secure the first 2 semi-final places.
Next up and British riders, Louis Floyd and Johnny Carne took on James Windsor from Australia and Dominik Hernler from Austria. Having only been wakeboarding for 4 years, 18 year old James Windsor showed that he was a force to be reckoned with and with Red Bull rider Dominik Hernler also giving an impressive performance, the 2 riders progressed to the semi-finals.
Qualifier 3 saw wild card, Freddie Carter take on the UK’s Ryan Peacock and Australian riders Brenton Priestley and Scotty Broome. What Freddie may have lacked in age, he made up for with skill on the water and, together with Brenton Priestley, went on to take places in the semi-finals.
The final qualifier was an all British round which saw Conor Jones, CK Koester, Marc Rossiter and Matt Crowhurst battling it out on the water. CK Koester, whose brainchild it was for the first ever Harbour Reach and Conor Jones were unlucky as Marc Rossiter and Matt Crowhurst took the remaining 2 places in the semi-finals.
The action continued as we moved straight into the semi-finals. With the first of the semis being between Matt Crowhurst, Dominik Hernler, Daniel Grant and Brenton Priestley; the oldest competitor in the competition, the legendary Matt Crowhurst came face to face with the new generation in wakeboarding, in the form of 16 year old Daniel Grant. Born in the UK but having lived most of his life in Thailand, Daniel already has an impressive stack of achievements and titles to his name and proved he was worthy of a place in the final. Joining him was last year’s Red Bull Harbour Reach winner Dominik Hernler.
In the last of the semi-finals, Adam Errington, now living in Orlando Florida, Freddie Carter, James Windsor and Marc Rossiter put on an awesome display, with Adam Errington and James Windsor taking the wins and securing their places in the coverted final.
As the riders hit the water for the long awaited final; Dominik Hernler, Daniel Grant, Adam Errington and James Windsor pushed wakeboarding to another level with a jaw drooping display of talent. James Windsor’s near perfect runs set the bar but that didn’t deter Daniel Grant who stepped up to the mark. Trying to pull out some pretty big moves but taking falls in their first runs, Dominik Hernler and Adam Errington had it all to do; but it proved too much. James Windsor took the Red Bull Harbour Reach 2013 title closely followed by Daniel Grant in 2nd place with Dominik Hernler and Adam Errington taking 3rd and 4th places respectively.
1. James Windsor 75
2. Daniel Grant 70
3. Dominik Hernler 60
4. Adam Errington 50
The Uniwake Winter Jam was booked to be held at Liquid Leisure in March, the beginning of spring in the UK, so not really 'winter' but with the weather patterns changing like they have over the past few years it was anybodies guess what the conditions would it be for the100 or so student riders wanting to hit the water in this the first big event of the Uniwake competition calendar for 2011.
Before we get into the report fully check out the video from the day, more of a compilation than an edit as we were trying to photograph and take stills all at the same time with only one guy on the ground.....it makes thing a little difficult So apologies if your not in the vid but we did try
Waking up to a very cold 5am start the van was loaded with all the kit as we hit the road for the 3hour drive to Liquid Leisure in Dachett just outside London. Traffic wasn't too bad and we arrived at 9.30 to be met by Pierre Petit, Uniwake President, who was busy setting things up before the rest of the students arrived.
So, before we get into the report, here's a couple of pics to give you a giggle. Whilst you're laughing, spare a thought for the poor stooges, oops, students who made it possible; air temp 6 degrees, northerly wind making it feel about 0 and water that was literally frozen last week!
It wasn't long before the teams started to arrive from all around the country and filled the Liquid Leisure reception with board bags and bodies as they fumbled around looking for space and somewhere to get changed.
With a quick test run by pro's Jonty Green and Ben Hitch the cable was opened up to those brave or stupid enough to enter the water! With a Northerly wind biting and a lake recently thawed out this was not an event for the fainted hearted. As the free ride sessions swapped and changed, the students kept running into the hut to bask under the heaters which were working over time thawing everyone out.
The sun came out creating some difficulty at times, as the set up at Liquid Leisure means that to get some of the best angles you have to shoot into the sun or get in a boat. So we took to running around the lake to change positions, which to be honest warmed us up a little
The competition started properly around 2.00pm. With men's beginners followed by the ladies beginners out first, it gave the more advanced riders time to warm up and hopefully get some feeling back in their bodies before they went back on the water!
The riding level of the students has increased massively over the last few years and this was very obvious as the intermediates and advanced riders left the dock, s bends, blind judge, mobes all now part of the repertoire giving the spectators something to watch. Obviously not quite at the pro level yet but some of these guys are not far off and with a bit more consistency there are a couple of riders that could possibly make the transition with some hard work and dedication.
However the competition isn't just what Uniwake is all about; its about promoting the sport, getting more students involved in wakeboarding and general riding with like minded people. And of courses there's the parties, but you'll have to wait a bit longer for those piccys!!!!!
The forecast looked epic for the O'Neill Coldwater Classic in Thurso, Scotland and despite a heavy weekend ahead, it was too good to miss for ExPix. So after a very long day in the office we hit the road and drove the 480 miles through the night to just about as far north as you can get!. Only in it's early years, the O'Neill Coldwater Classic is gaining momentum as an event and a reputation for producing some great surfing.
Heres a short video from the 2nd day of competition during thE O'Neill Coldwater Classic at Thurso East in Scotland unfortunately we were taking still photographs as well so werent able to concentrate on the video. However heres a taster from Thurso.
This is the first time that ExPix have been up to Thurso and we weren't disappointed!
The waves were pumping in on the low tide and with a slight offshore breeze they looked sweet. The weather wasn't too bad, a light drizzle which kept the light dull and slightly hazy at a distance. This certainly didn't deter the surfers who had travelled from around the world to compete in the 6* ASP event. Several British riders were taking part this year alongside Brazilian, American, Australian, New Zealanders and French.
Excitement was running high as the conditions were probably the best they have been in Thurso for this competition and the surfers were making the most of it; barrels, aerials, cut backs and 360's were all on the score sheets as they made their way through the first 20 heats before the end of the day. With 30 minute heats that's a lot to get through and there's still another 4 more heats to be run tomorrow. In the meantime check out some of the pics from today and we'll try and get a gallery online before the end of the week.
Looking forward to tomorrow - ExPix
Opened in May 2010, Blackpool Wake Park is the first System 2.0 wake park in Lancashire and the North West of England. Set in the tranquil Ream Hills Farm, Weeton, it's a far cry from the 'kiss me quick' image of Blackpool. Renowned for its funfairs, piers and arcades, Blackpool certainly seems to be changing. The area already has a thriving kitesurfing community and now has much needed facilities for wakeboarders.
After a gruelling schedule which made it impossible for ExPix to visit Blackpool Wake Park in 2010, even though it's only 40 minutes away from our head office, the Hyperlite demo day was a good chance for the ExPix team to see the wake park in action whilst gaining some information for one of our ExPix event reports, meet Gary and Fiona, who run things and catch up with some of the locals and not so local, (thinking here of the family from Scotland who wakeboard at the park whilst visiting relatives in Blackpool) who regularly use the facilities. With the sun beating down it was a perfect day for riders of all ages and abilities to take to the water or for spectators to chill out on the banks of the lake.
Scott Taylor from Watersports World UK could be forgiven for tempting more then a few
riders with his array of 2011 Hyperlite boards and bindings. As a leading manufacturer of wakeboarding equipment, Hyperlite have a lot to offer and the demo day proved the perfect opportunity to try out the different boards and binding combinations. On offer for trial were the Hyperlite System bindings along with the Marek and Kobalt boots and several boards including the Marek, Process as used by Nick Davies, Franchise and Vigilante.
Also around for the day was ex windsurfing champion and now stand up paddle board champion and Starboard team rider, John Hibbard. John brought with him a selection of
Starboard stand up paddle boards to demo which went down a storm and he also had a go at the wakeboarding to.
The guys at Blackpool Wake Park have certainly been creative in making full use of the lake. The System 2.0 is in the centre of the lake surrounded by 4 floating obstacles for the more adventurous rider. As some of you may remember, ExPix have something of a connection with the System 2.0, having transported one from FISE in France, in 2009 for the guys at Wakestock, all in the back of a Toyota Hi Ace van! Since then the System 2.0 have been used in a variety of places where it's not possible or feasible to use a traditional cable system. A winch park is to the far right of the lake and to the left, areas for stand up paddle boarding.
The wake park offers everything from beginner wakeboarding lessons to 1-1 coaching sessions and has excellent facilities including a club house with snack bar, changing rooms with showers and even on site accommodation in the form of a wooden chalet with amazing lakeside views.
2011 looks set to be a busy time for Blackpool Wake Park as they host a series of wakeboarding competitions in association with Tim Woodhead of Industry Wake Parks. Aimed at growing the sport of wakeboarding, the events will offer riders the chance to compete at entry level, see pro wakeboarders in action, together with coaching sessions and unlimited access to the winch park.
We will have a full gallery of all the images we took online very shortly so either keep an eye on this page or follow our facebook page to receive the latest updates.
Liquid Leisure Waterski and Wakeboard Park started their 2011 wakeboard competition season with Love Jam. Following the installation of the cable system in 2010, Liquid Leisure held their first cable wakeboarding competition at the end of September 2010. Despite being thrown together in a matter of weeks, Love Jam was a roaring success and the decision was made to make this an annual event. So as the Mediterranean sun beat down on the dock with temperatures of 20+ degrees and not a cloud in the sky, the riders gathered for the day's action.
Kicking off with a demo session, competition riders and general public had the opportunity to try out the latest boards and bindings courtesy of the Liquid Force team together with wetsuits and impact vests from the guys at O'Neill. Getting in on the action, ExPix took to the water during the free ride session to shoot some video from angles that we knew we wouldn't get during the competition.
Back on land and the ExPix team set up camp next to O'Neill, entertaining the crowds with videos from last year's Love Jam and Night Jump, together with surfing action from the O'Neill Coldwater Classic in Thurso. As the competition started these were quickly replaced by images from the day's action which were uploaded within minutes of each qualifier. The images looked fantastic on the flatscreen and the ExPix stand was busy all afternoon with riders wanting to see themselves in action!
With a influx of competitors signing up on the day the numbers competing quickly rose to 65+. The decision was made to start the competition an hour earlier than planned to make sure everyone had chance to ride, so at 2pm the action began with 10 minute heats.
There was fantastic riding at all levels with the Mini's, (Under 12's), proving to be fearless. Despite their age and inexperience; some had only been riding for a month and had never entered a competition before, they were jumping and throwing out inverts off the kickers!
In the Junior categories, Laura Christian, sponsored by Mystic and Cain Hamilton rode with skill and determination giving the crowds a taste of what tomorrows pro's might look like.
The boys U16's carried on where the mini's left off pushing the limits even further. Bearing in mind some of these guys were well under the age limit its frightening to think what they will be able to do in a few years time.
The masters also had some interesting competition as can be seen below. Chloe Goudie pushed Steph Caller all the way in the Open Women's category but Steph's experience and composure showed through giving her the overall edge.
With Ben Hitch, Jonty Green, Louis Cornwall and Gareth Stelfox, the Open Men's was not to be missed. The crowds were still out in force as the Men's final began.
Riding to a glorious sunset,Gaz Stelfox, sponsored by Mystic, was on fire, landing everything, to take a much deserved first place on the podium.
The competition drew to a close as the evening sun dipped behind the trees and then it was over to the club house for the presentations. Battling against the noise from the aircraft coming into land, which seemed to be every two minutes, Stuart Marston thanked all the sponsors and riders for their efforts as Alex Gardiner presented the winners with their goodie bag prizes, medals and cheques. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
Mini’s (Under 12)
1st – Matt Muncey 2nd – Will Turnbull 2nd – Joe Ellis 3rd – Beth Christian 3rd – Lauren Kidd
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Boys (Under 16)
1st – Jack Battleday 2nd – Ryan Peacock 3rd – Liam Peacock
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Junior Men (Under 20)
1st – Cain Hamilton 2nd – Tom Bowles 3rd – Brandon Marlon
Girls (Under 16) Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
1st – Laura Christian 2nd – Katie Batchelor 3rd – Lottie Harbottle
Masters (Over 30) Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
1st – Alexandria Gardiner 2nd – Max Feneck 3rd – Boyan Kuzmanof
Veterans (Over 40) Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
1st – Paul Peacock 2nd – Chris Hockney 3rd – Mark Tillet
Wakeskate Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
1st – James Harrington 2nd – Ricky Cataldo 3rd – Scott Rosewell
Open Women Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
1st – Steph Caller 2nd – Chloe Goudie 3rd – Emily Heffernan
1st – Gareth Stelfox 2nd – Ben Hitch 3rd – Jonty Green
Click on the link to view the LoveJam Wakeboarding pics, there's rather a lot!
Video will be uploaded soon ! ;-) enjoy !!!!!
ExPix are stoked with team rider Hannah Whiteley’s performance this weekend at the British Kitesurfing Championship held in Barrow.
Hannah made it to the final against Holly Kennedy and Nicky Rudd, but unfortunately Nicky was unable to ride in the final after damaging her elbow and bicep following a bad landing in the previous heat. So Hannah was faced with a tough battle with friend and fellow competitor Holly Kennedy.
Holly pushed Hannah all the way in the final but Hannah had the initial edge as she was able to manage the more difficult technical tricks which Holly couldn't land in the inconsistent conditions. However the end of the heat saw a reversal of fortunes as Hannah began to lose ground as the wind dropped.
It will be interesting to see the final results!
In the mens pro category this was the lowest entrance we have ever seen and was actually smaller than the womens fleet - a first in our ten years of following kite surfing. Whether this is a sign of the times or an indication of the styles of riding people are now choosing we are unsure. But Ned Taylor last years champion took on Luke Whiteside in another close battle.
With the riding finished by 1.30pm it was time for a free ride. To the backdrop of the wind farm of Walney Island, several spectators, early ams and juniors took advantage of the unexpected chance to take to the water to grab some practice.
So we've now got to wait 'till Sunday for the official announcement to see who the winners are but we are confident that Hannah has done well!
With the sun beating down on the festival site highlighting the spectacular views over Llanbedrog Bay; Glass Butter Beach 2013 got off to an amazing start on Friday 16th August.
In a change to the usual festivals, Glass Butter Beach is all about developing extreme sports by participation. With ‘Have a Go’ sessions in all the sports, it’s not about ‘stand and stare’; festival goes of all ages are given the chance to get involved.
On the main festival site the skaters and BMX riders took to the half pipe with a mixture of Pro Jams and ‘Have a Go’ sessions, whilst on the festival beach the wakeboard and SUP ‘Have a Go’ sessions and beach volley ball got underway.
But for the more sedate they was the opportunity to chill out to the sounds of the DJ’s and bands on the Main, Bay Watch, VIP and beach stages and for the thrill seekers there was the fairground too.
Friday night and SNAP had the power alright! Whipping up the crowd with Rhythm Is A Dancer, The Power, Ooops Up, Cult Of Snap and Mary Had A Little Boy; the 1990 duo brought the ‘SNAP Attack’ to Glass Butter Beach.
Organised by Offaxis, the Glass Beach Wake Classic Open wake comp took place in Pwllheli Inner Harbour on Saturday and for many it was the first chance to bag a prime slot behind the Super Air Nautique, provided for the festival courtesy of Loch Lomond Wakeboard. Whilst not aimed at pro riders, the Glass Beach Wake Classic Open competition gave amateurs the opportunity to show what they could do and there was certainly lots of potential.
Saturday night and it was time to paint the beach red……or green, or yellow or orange or blue! With bags of powder paint at the ready the GBB Paint Party kicked off and the carnage began.
Back at the festival site and there were some very good sets from a variety of local bands that got the crowd going. No strangers to North Wales, Niko & Lyall returned to do their stuff and Tinchy Stryder took to the stage too. But bringing Glass Butter Beach 2013 to a spectacular end was headliner DJ Goldierocks.
So it’s all over for another year. And whilst it may be small now, Glass Butter Beach has the potential to be one of the best ‘feel good’ festivals in the UK.
Heres a few from the weekend .... the rest of the Images from Glass Butter Beach 2013 here!
Having been asked for the second time to attend the EJKC in St Pierre La Mer we thought as we were in the area we’d give it a go!
The European Junior Kite Championships is in its ninth year. With riders from Holland, France Spain, Denmark, Italy and the UK, it’s quite a big field with over 40 competitors entering. With 3 male categories and 2 female it’s quite interesting to see the level at each age group. There some good riders out there and then there are some awesome ones who because of school, travel commitments etc. cannot yet compete on the full PKRA.
It’s also a good way to test your own level whilst competing with other riders from around the world. The junior levels are extremely competitive with many riders already on some sort of sponsorship deals and able to give riders with much more experience a run for their money.
The 8-13 category was won once again by Tom Bridge from the UK. This kid is awesome, and can turn his hand to many tricks way above the rest of his age groups capabilities. He beat his older brother Guy into 2nd place leaving the third spot free for the Spanish youngster Jimenez
The 14 -15 category was hotly contested, the level stepped up quite considerably from the younger age group and it showed. Mobes, s bend to blind, 313's all in the repertoire along with kiteloops in the gusty wind when nothing else could be landed. Tom and Guy's older brother did well coming in third on the podium after the doubles with Font Castells in 2nd and Cloestens in first.
The 16-19 holds a few who have competed on the PKRA for real and it showed. Valentin Garat was one of the favourites but had a few bad heats due to poor wind and he finally bowed out in 4th spot. the two largest guys in the round ended up in the final and surprisingly both were wearing straps instead of boots and seemed to cope better with the light gusty wind despite their size. With a super final in the double elimination Fermon just edged Erdmann leaving Tonijuan in 3rd.
The girls category was rather varied in level and one of the favourites beforehand failed to make it through the heats struggling once again with the gusty wind, kite choice was important during the whole of the competition especially as the wind dropped making the gusts range much bigger and making kite choice more difficult. French girl Valesa took the win from the Spanish girl Castro and leaving Galiart from Holland to take the third spot.
Check out the images below and we will post a link to ALL the images as soon as we can
Hannah Whiteley was confirmed as the winner of round two of the British Kite Surf Championship Tour in Barrow. I'm sure ExPix speak for all Hannah's other sponsors, Wainman, Prolimit and Chiemsee in saying well done, keep it up and good luck for the rest of the British Kite Surf Tour. Hannah who is the current British Ladies Freestyle Kite Surf Champion and has been for two years is hoping to win the title for an unprecedented third time!
What's next for Hannah? Well we are planning on taking her to Noordwijk in Holland with fellow ExPix team ride Ali Barrett for the Kiteboard Open (KBO). This is a great kitesurf event based around the kiteclub in Noordwijk with family values - but dont let that put you off - there's something for everyone! Competition on the water, stalls and activities on the beach and the parties........well, we have heard a rumour that a certain high profile kitesurfer who rides for slingshot and mystic may just be involved in the entertainment for the evening!
Check out last years report to see if you can work out who it is
Back to Barrow - and as always it was Barrow that delivered wind for the fifth year running with round two being the first event with enough wind to run the whole competition. This has been the first time however that we have seen the women's fleets bigger than the mens. Whilst this could be considered a good thing in that more women are wanting to compete in freestyle, what concerns us is the numbers in the men's categories dropping so drastically, where have all the men gone?
The lack of men didn't however mean a lack of competition with the level of skill increasing greatly from last time we were on the tour. Obviously the pro's do what they do but it can be even more interesting watching the amateur ranks to see who's coming through and what the level is going to be like.
With 8 ladies ams and the juniors split in to two categories it seems a good crop of riders are on the way. Ones to watch out for are the Durrant sisters both of whom are really tidy little riders with powered unhooked moves and then in the boys Jack Deykin and Will Makinson both of whom are doing moves that only 4 years ago would have won the pro categories.
The Senior's, sorry guys, is getting a little old hat ;-) if someone doesn't push Pete of his top spot he will very soon petrify and become part of the podium! Going for his fifth win in a row Pete still shows that even at his age (he's not that old but we won't say exactly) there are plenty of tricks available in his repertoire even if he does still insist on one of the oldest moves in the book, his signature deadman in various formats!
As for the Am Men's it seemed a lost category. Gone are the high numbers of students or adult male riders, making this one of the smallest categories in the competition. This is a massive shame as previously many of the pro's had progressed from this group but it now looks like the youths are skipping this and jumping straight to pro status leaving the 'weekend warriors' in this group. Please don't take this the wrong way, there are some really good riders around; as the sport progresses all around the world the age group of the pro's has reduced significantly with world titles being won at 14, 15 etc etc and lets face it .... kids do tend to bounce, where us older guys don't! So with a full round of competition completed in the first two days we coaxed Ali and Hannah back into the water for a very brief photo session before the light disappeared behind some very grey and wet clouds !!! And yes these were taken at Barrow!
With all the competitions completed it only left free riding or and expression session for the Sunday. Hannah was buzzing her dad Pete, Ali was going huge and there were several other noticeable performances including the Crathorne sisters with a piggy back manoeuvre with audio - you had to be there to understand what sound was coming from the two girls ;-)
ExPix also went to a speed spot just outside Barrow with current British speed record holder Dave Williams, local rider Gary Powell and two newbies to speed, our own team riders Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley.
This was the first time Ali had tried the speed kiting properly and he took a while to find his stance and track, however once he did he posted several runs over 40knts which isn't bad for a starter. Hannah on the other hand had tried it once before and had her stance immediately. Choosing good tracks she passed the current women's GPS speed record whilst under powered on a seven. Not being able to increase the size of her kite due to her nine being damaged, she struggled on but couldn't get past 36knts. What made this very interesting was that Dave tried the board she was using and even with the right kite could only manage 38knts over 6 knts slower than on his own board. With the right kit for the day and a lot more practice both Ali and Hannah could be contenders for some speed titles both at British and International level.
We will have to wait and see!
So for more images from the weekend why not check out our expix galleries here - Enjoy !!!
The ExPix team arrived in Noordwijk, Holland on Thursday evening to cover the the Kiteboard Open. Organised by the members of KSN Surf Club Noordwijk, the event is now in it's seventh year and is the biggest kitesurfing event in Holland, regularly attracting 100,000 visitors and host of riders from rookies to international pros.
If you want to see the image galleries from the weekend then check out this link to the KBO gallery hope you enjoy them!
This is the third year that ExPix have covered the event for the organisers and as always there was a warm welcome for us. This year we'd brought with us our ExPix team riders, 2 x British Champion Hannah Whiteley, and big air rider Ali Barrett to give them chance to experience the KBO. Despite the size of the event and the numbers involved there is always a fantastic atmosphere at the KBO and such incredibly friendly and enthusiastic people. Kitesurfing is big in Holland and the sport based lifestyle means that events such as the KBO are well supported.
As we arrived at Notorious Beach the set up was well underway with the dedicated team of volunteer surf club members hard at it, working in synchronization like a team of army ants building judging towers and assembling trade stalls and marquees. But then the weather changed and stopped play. And boy did it change! Thunder, lightning and the biggest, blackest clouds with water spouts bringing torrential downpours had us all wondering if the event site would survive!
But Friday morning came and everyone was back at work and within no time the festival site looked like a mini village.What's so brilliant about the KBO is that there is something for everyone to do; this is an event that caters for all without losing any of the attraction for the hardcore kiters.
The weather was still unsettled on Saturday morning for the start of the KBO but with the showers came wind and although this was a little inconsistent the rookie competition was held with all but the final being completed. Despite their inexperience, the rookies gave it everything they had and there was some real potential out there and maybe even some future pros.
Back on the beach and as the sun came out the Island Tribe crew got to work spreading the message of safe sun whilst the promo girls from Walls handed out Cornettos. The kiting industry had come out in force with displays of kites, boards, harnesses and wetsuits from the likes of Protest, Mystic, Slingshot, Naish, Peter Lynn, Brunotti, Airush, Takoon, Liquid Force, F-One, Nobile, Ozone, Core, Flysurfer, Best and Kiteoutlet.
There was plenty to do on the beach with the Protest hot tubs proving popular as ever together with the surf simulator and the trampoline with bar to practise kite tricks. The crowds were also entertained by a variety of bands, musicians and artists and as the day drew to a close there was movies on the beach with a special showing of the ExPix 2010 KBO video.
The sun shone on Sunday and brought with it the crowds to Notorious Beach, Noordwijk for Day 2 of the Kiteboard Open. After a quick rider’s meeting and eager to take advantage of the unexpected winds, the pros lined up for the start of the Slope Style/Best Trick comp; within no time the sky was peppered with kites as the riders queued to do their tricks.
For ExPix team riders Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley, this was a chance for them to show the Dutch riders what they could do. Ali’s reputation as a Big Air rider is legendary and the recent megaloop picture of Hannah taken in the UK on our way to Holland had caused quite a stir; expectations were running high with both riders having a lot to live up to and they didn't disappoint!
Also on the water were pro kitesurfers Kevin and Jalou Langeree, eager to please the crowds on their home beach, together with the rookies who once again stepped up to the mark.
There was action too at the ExPix stand as we showed the images from the weekend and ran a competition to win a Blankforce Kiteboard, all whilst relaxing on the ginormous bean bags courtesy of the guys at Beach Bum.With a regular stream of visitors to the stand there were plenty of opportunities for us to catch up with old friends and meet new people. A special edition to the ExPix team in the form of Rosacea Cannabis Cays, or Cays for short, proved popular even if he did decided to use the stand as his kennel; but when he’s this big who’s going to argue!
Our old friend Lorenzo was out in force with his usual banter on the mic, keeping the crowds entertained and informed on all the day’s action. And as visitors flocked to the beach the trade stands were busier than ever giving demos or selling kit.
Early evening and the bands and musicians once again drew the crowds in as everyone got ready for the infamous KBO party. Fresh off the plane from Hatteras, North Carolina, legendary kitesurfer and Noordwijk local, Ruben Lenten hit the decks, throwing down a set worthy of any professional DJ. The marquee, full to capacity, was soon bouncing as Reuben whipped the crowds into a frenzy, partying well into the night.
Monday morning and it was back to work for the very tired but seriously dedicated members of the KSN Surf Club Noordwijk team as they prepared for yet another day of action. As the biggest kitesurf event in Holland, it’s easy to forget that this is a ‘club event’; without the commitment from the club members the KBO just wouldn't happen.
All the pics will be online soon after the end of today so keep tuned for the remaining updates! Ciao for now.
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With rain and no wind in the morning it gave riders chance to catch up on some much needed rest but by mid-afternoon the wind kicked in and it was back on the water. Pretty soon there were 100+ kites in the skies attracting a huge crowd for the double rookies final and the pros expression session.
What always amazes us is just how young some of the competitors are at the KBO; the kids don’t seem to have any fear or hang ups about going out there and giving it a go. But maybe for them its second nature when you live in a country where taking part in sport is an everyday occurrence or perhaps it’s because they have such role models as Kevin & Jalou Langeree and Ruben Lenten to aspire to that spurs them on. Talking of which it was good to see both Ruben and Kevin back on the water over the weekend following their injuries.
And not to be out done, ExPix team riders Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley also got in on the action causing quite a stir amongst the spectators with Ali doing massive kung foo passes, flat 5-40’s with super low kite and big board offs, whilst Hannah wowed crowds with double s-bends, s-bend to blind, big kiteloops and raileys.
With the riding over it was over to the presentations before yet another amazing KBO drew to an end. And it was success for the ExPix team as Hannah took first place in the Best Trick category.
Winner of the ExPix competition was Job Guijt who walked away with a kiteboard courtesy of our friends at Blankforce. When we say walked away this was some achievement for Job; after 5 years off the water and 3 years unable to walk he has only just returned to kitesurfing following 4 operations to repair an injury to his knee.
So with another great event under our belt ExPix are already looking forward to the KBO next year. And if you've never been to Noordwijk or experienced the KBO then put a note in your diary and check it out for yourself and come and experience the Kiteboard Open hospitality.
From all the team below see you next year!
Here we are at Beach Break Live again; for ExPix, who are media partners with many student extreme sports organisations, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up with all friends as 20,000 students descend on an unsuspecting country park in South Wales to party, go wild and enjoy the end of year celebrations. This year is slightly different with more of an emphasis on the extreme sports, so keep checking the updates to see if BBL managed to pull it off.
Another long drive for the ExPix van straight of the back of a trip to and from Holland saw us rather tired and in need of some refreshments along the way. A post on our FB page got a response from a long-time friend and Monster rep Lyndsey who was working at a place on our route, so a quick pit stop to meet her saw us refuelling with some Monster goodies on board.
Arriving in time for the snow competition we quickly threaded our way through the event site to the Sno Zone where real snow had been shipped in for the competition. With teams from all over the country, competition would be fierce for the BUCS points on offer and last year’s champions Manchester would have to put on quite a show if they were to retain their title.
Things started off relatively cautiously, with a mix of dry slope and snow it was difficult to gauge speeds for take-off and landing, but very soon there were some huge tricks with flips, transfers, in both switch and regular. As the heats progressed Manchester and Cardiff were the ones to watch, consistently being 1 and 2 in each round and as expected when the final three were left it was Leicester, Manchester and Cardiff in positions 3 – 2 – 1 respectively.
Then the big shocker Leicester pulled out a great run first in the heat leaving Manchester and Cardiff no option but to go for it. Manchester tried and nearly managed a fantastic run but came unstuck on the landings leaving Cardiff a little breathing space if they wanted; THEY DIDN’T! Back flip transfer along with 360 transfer saw the male female team take top points in the semi and through to the final knocking out last year’s winners and favourites Manchester.
So with a final of Cardiff and Leicester it looked like a Welsh win was on the cards. Leicester in their heat couldn't match the previous run and had an average score, then it was Cardiff and again with a backflip transfer and a back flip it looked like they would take the win but it wasn't to be. On landing the backflip female rider landed badly face planting into the dry slope material, her body bent like a scorpion as her momentum carried her down the slope. For safety reasons she wasn't moved for a while even though she was ‘ok’ a few scrapes and bruises for her efforts but nothing too serious. So to the score cards and even though Cardiff’s tricks were far superior in technical ability Leicester took the win because of the Cardiff fall. Here are a few of the pics from the event but we'll publish more when we get back to the office!
A quick visit to the camping area found our friends from the SKA and Uniwake who were there running kite surf and wakeboard competitions along with some stranger visitors to BBL . The Uni clubs have been working hard to organise the competitions for BBL and we can’t wait for the rest of the week to see what the guys will get up to on the water with the kites and on the pool gap with the wakeboarding. More coming as the event unfolds! Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE
The rain that started last night was still in the air and with heavy downpours throughout the night a lot of students awoke to drenched clothes, flattened tents and puddles on the inside of their festival dwellings.
The pool gap looked in a sorry state as the tide had washed away a lot of the sand being used to make the walls of the landing pool. With two big rips in the liner and no support it looked like the wakeboarding may not happen. A massive effort to back fill the gaps and re seal the liner began and thanks to the weather nothing was interrupted as the rain kept people away from the beach. The kitesurfers tried to have a free ride time but the gusts and the rain made for an uneventful session. Throughout the day the rain kept coming even if it was a little lighter but the atmosphere was becoming more miserable as costumes and makeup stayed in their bags. As the evening wore on the skies cleared, the sun came out and a sunset over the arena lifted everyone's spirits.
The animal bike tour provided some action with a dusk display increasing the danger factor as Martyn Ashton and Sam Blake were struggling to spot their landings with the darkness and flashes blinding them.
Then came the headliners with Tinie Tempah and Zane Lowe. Tiny Tempah saw the largest audience so far on the main stage whilst Zane Lowe who is always a great crowd pleaser and got the crowd bouncing and then stopped his set half way through as two rogue males climbed the tent poles almost to the top. Flexifoil must be pleased at the extra coverage of this daredevil stunt ;-) however ExPix are not happy that we missed this display by minutes as we left to upload images.
Saturday morning and the weather was slightly better with some heavy showers; the pool gap once again had been battered by the tide and was looking in a sorry state. The guys running the wakeboarding turned up and put on a brave face with a last ditched attempt to salvage something for the competition.
With a army of students and some good luck, as well as graft, they managed to rescue the landing pool and quickly built a barrier around the whole area to try and stop the next tide.
Meanwhile the kitesurf competition was underway. With ExPix sponsored rider Ali Barrett (to be honest they are all sponsored by us from a media point of view as ExPix have been media partners for the SKA for a number of years now) standing out from the rest with big board offs, and low technical tricks even with a dodgy ankle. Others to mention were Carlos with some really nice raileys, grabs and boosts, Harry who was trying to get in the pics and Ros who despite saying she was ‘cr _ _ ‘ still managed to look good on the camera.
The wakeboarders managed to rescue the poolgap and begin some test runs. After a tentative start the big moves came with Tantrums and 360's and it wasn't long before Louie ended up breaking ....... a finger! As he came out of the pool all he wanted to know was did we get the picture? Well check below... !!!!
After a long day on the beach it was time to head back for Beardyman, We Are Scientists, Example and White Lies on the main stage and another beat fuelled night in the dance tent. With the wakeboard competition tomorrow and the kitesurfers free riding I’m sure we will get more good action images for the collection. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
Saturday night was messy; with some great music the students began to really party hard! Beardyman was amazing with his impromptu mixing taking the crowd by storm, whilst Example and White Lies whipped everyone up even further. On the way over to ‘Merlins Forrest’ (dance tent) we stopped off again at the animal bike tour to just tweak a few images in the dark evening light which we think turned out pretty good!
In the dance tent we caught up with the SUKS, SKA and the Uniwake guys and gals who were going for it. With Sub Focus headlining it was building up into a great night.
Early next morning and the weather had changed once again. The sun was beating down and as we got to the beach the pool gap looked a lot better than it had done the previous days. The barrier that had been built had kept the tide from damaging the landing pool any further and with the flags and branding it looked good to go. One or two of the students were a little nervous after the previous day's test runs, with one of the lads making a quick trip to the hospital with a broken hand. Not bad really when you consider what they were doing but even so a danger notice was written on one of the sliders in blood! With a reasonable crowd cheering them on the students threw down some sick tricks, with tantrums, 540’s crow mobes and front flips/back flips on knee boards. Now this is a shame because we so want to put some of the pics up on here or in the galleries but ….. some are so good we are looking at the mags so can't show you them all just yet but here’s a teaser.
With a little time to kill before the ceremonies ExPix went over to the landboarding where Flexifoil were teaching students how to fly power kites. A short demo in what was very light wind did however produce one or two quite nice images. Will, Dave and Craig were all trying very hard to get some air infront of the cameras as you can see below.
At 6.30 the presentations were held on the main stage and the kitesurfing podium was third place Carlos Rae from Plymouth, 2nd place Tom Shaw from Bath and first place went to our very own ExPix sponsored rider Ali Barrett from Southampton Solent .
In the wakeboarding the judges were very strict with the technicalities so some people may be surprised with the results but in 3rd place with a crow mobe that nearly took him out of the pool was Ali Reader from Plymouth, Ben Clamp from RVC took 2nd place and in 1st place was Pierre Pettit on his knee board with some crazy riding from Leeds.
With an urgent phone call from the office we said our goodbyes (for now) and quickly packed up before heading up to Manchester to prepare for the next event! We'll be back with the students in a weeks time at the student wakeboarding event of the year, the Uniwake BUCS Nationals at Sheffield Cable and Water-ski centre.
It's been another 12 months for ExPix of working alongside the Students at Uniwake, helping them with media coverage, photography and film and generally just pushing what they’re achieving to the big world outside student life. Believe it or not, its not just about partying, having the craic and spending time on the water – there’s a lot more to it than that!
These guys have to fit in organising and running a student governing body alongside ‘local’ level clubs and for many all whilst trying to cope with their final year at uni and having to spend a lot of time revising for exams or finishing of their degree courses. Its not easy, but with a ‘little’ help from some of the industry they always manage to pull it off.
The nationals is always a big ask; coordinating over 100 riders from various locations around the country to congregate at Sheffield Cable where the event is hosted, transfers to Treeton for boat sets behind a brand new Master Craft which has never been used before, catering, sponsorship, media, insurance, judges safety ..and the list just goes on and on and on.
Pierre Petit and the current committee have done a good job of scraping together all their resources and producing a creditable event with amazing support from everyone involved.
So how do they do it? Well being students one thing they have in abundance is enthusiasm, add to this a pool of information and contacts; someone somewhere knows who or why or how and if they don’t they just make it up as they go along, ensuring that it fits their ethos whilst providing access to a sport they all love.
But its not all one way, they can provide interested parties with a great deal in return. They run several events each year, from which they gain a lot of media coverage, they can provide access to a new audience which may be previously untapped as well as a wealth of ‘potential’ new employees.
So back to the Nationals and what is it all about?
This event is the culmination of the years work! A competition that has BUCS (British University Championship Sport) points on offer which provides credibility to Uniwake – its not just a get together, this is for real. Run alongside a training camp where lessons and clinics help provide development for ‘newbies’ to progress alongside some of the more established riders within a typical student atmosphere IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT HELPING EACH OTHER OUT AND PUSHING YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT.
So back to the event…. ExPix couldn't make the first day but we arrived early Tuesday to find students waiting on the dock fo the cable to start. The boat a brand new Mastercraft X2 which was on its way to Wakestock had been diverted specially for the students to use (the guys at Mastercraft must be bonkers)and boy did they use it! With practice sessions all day Tuesday and even fitting some in before and after the comps on Wed and Thurs, the Uniwake crowd made good use of the Mastercraft X2 as well as its driver Mark Bell, who was once again on hand to offer his help whilst driving. Back at the cable park there was a steady stream of students entering the water; no massive queues like last year even though the numbers were approximately the same. It looked like the students had learnt from last year and spread their sessions across different times. With a railey clinic headed by Relentless team rider James Young thrown in for good measure there was plenty of action for us to photograph as riders were propelled face first into the lake.
With one or two slapped faces emerging the evening’s meal provided by Andy’s parents proved an even bigger hit than the railey clinic as hungry wakeboarder’s filled their boots with chilli.
The following morning was yet another early start (wow these students are keen) at the lake for the first of the competitions. Men’s cutting edge, ladies cutting edge, men's intermediate and women's intermediate/advanced were all ready to go. With the Relentless land rovers ferrying the different categories to the lake throughout the day, it was all systems go for the boat competition during the earlier part of the day. With the cable competition qualifiers running from 3pm, it was a push to get everything finished and over to the main lake in Rother Valley.
At Sheffield it was again another hard slog to try and whittle down the qualifiers for the following days heats. The committee at Uniwake were pushing hard gathering flagging students and getting them to the dock ready for their heats. This is where a strong committee comes together and with the help of the staff at Sheffield everything was running to schedule. With a wakeskate jam and a knee board competition also thrown in there was some serious action going down on the water. Watersports World were on the dock as well, providing kit for demo’s, Hyperlite boards and binding systems were all over the place as the equipment got some proper abuse, sorry use, from the students!
As the weary students left the water they were once again provided with a feast to replenish their energy levels. The evening saw a ‘quiet one’ for the campers. A slideshow of some of the images taken so far was displayed in the bar area at the club and with ooo’s and ow’s as the images from the railey clinic were displayed, the students disappeared one by one. With the prospect of finals and BUCS points on offer it seemed like the students were being sensible…… surely this wasn't right? But it was ……. Once again ExPix were surprised and we packed up for the evening.
Thursday and the final day brought with it a change in the weather. Grey heavy skies provided the back drop for a quick shot of the Mastercraft X2 which quickly disappeared, before we headed out on to the water for the men’s A boat finals, which proved to be a closely fought contest. With just enough time for a couple of promo runs, we grabbed Robin Coates and Abi Lucy Jones for a double ride in front of the crowds. Then it was another quick dash back to Sheffield Cable and Waterski for the remainder of the cable finals.
With yet another amazing meal from the people at Sheffield (this time a BBQ) people set themselves up for the night time frolics which were after the presentation. After a week of being ‘quiet’ the students let rip with displays of male bonding, team drinking games, electric poi, and last but not least an amazing new game called face hopper!!! We will let the pics do the talking on that one!
So ends another year in the Uniwake calendar. With another new committee being enrolled and one or two old faces staying on board next year should see Uniwake go to another level.
Uniwake would like to thank:
Mastercraft for the use of a beautiful new boat
Relentless for their support
Scott, Nick and all the guys at Watersports World for the loan of Hyperlyte and Mystic kit for demo’s
Mark Bell for driving the boat so well and offering his services and advice.
Sheffield Cable and Waterski centre for hosting the event and providing support, food, water and contacts to enable the event to go ahead
Hipnotics Cable Park, Cushe and Hydr8 for the prizes.
If you would like to see all the images from the Uniwake BUCS Nationals then click on the link.
Wakestock 2011 What a Scorcher!
Wow what a fantastic weekend at Wakestock 2011; sun, sea, music and WAKEBOARDING, what more could you want!
Driving through torrential rain, the ExPix team arrived at the Wakestock festival site in Penrhos, Abersoch on Thursday afternoon to glorious sunshine. We sorted out passes before having a quick look round the site and then headed off to the Pool Gap to grab some shots of the practice session.
First introduced to the festival site in 2006 and now a major dominating feature, the set up was different in the 200,000 gallon Pool Gap this year. Famous for having the most progressive rails at any European wakeboard competition, Wakestock once again mixed things up with thinner, gnarly, metal rails on the Pool Gap, making for a difficult entry and an essential Ollie start.
The System 2.0 cable rig was in action once again, having replaced the old winch system on the Pool Gap back in 2009, courtesy of ExPix’s very own Ian Edmondson, who transported it back from France in the back of a Toyota Hi-Ace van! The advantage of the System 2.0 is that it cuts down waiting and change over time as no-one has to ‘walk the rope back’, as with the old winch system and it also gives all riders a very accurate and fair pull.
So, back to the action and as the practise session got under way, the world’s best rail riders prepared for the WWA Rail Europeans competitions which were taking place throughout the weekend, with the finals being held on Sunday. The format for the competitions was that the 8 most impressive riders from ‘free ride’ session each day got to compete against 8 pre qualified riders in the main competition. The 16 riders would then battle it out in head to head heats, with the rider throwing down the sickest trick going through to the next round. And with some serious prize money up for grabs and the Pool Gap Champion title, there was everything to play for!In addition to the WWA Rail Europeans, Wakestaking Jams and Girls Jams would also be taking place each night at the festival site.
Friday morning came and we headed off into Pwllheli for the main Wakestock wakeboarding competition which is held every year at the Marina. This year was a biggy for ExPix as not only were we covering the action, as we have done for the past eleven years; we were also running our own ExPix promotional activities. So we set up camp and pretty soon our team of promo staff were ready to hit Pwllheli Marina to spread some ExPix love!
The lovely Amy, our graphic designer was busy amazing everyone with her fantastic illustrations; not only that but she signed every picture that she drew and as we know she’s going to hit the big time, they’re worth keeping hold of! The ExPix promo team ran competitions to win ‘goodie bags’ and a ‘Mega Bag’ and just to be sure we’d covered all angles; we had our very own secret weapon in Welsh speaking local girl Zoe on board!
The Pro Qualifiers soon got underway in the Marina but with heavy showers there were some choppy conditions to contend with. In true style the wakeboarders did their best as they battled it out it for a place in Saturday’s final.
Back at the festival site and there was more Pool Gap action with the Girls Jam. The weather was still rough making it difficult for the female, riders with Steph Caller being pushed by Chloe Goudie and Lex Balladon.
In the arena the music started with a heavy mix of DJ sets, Dubstep and Rap from the likes of Chase and Status, Kissy Sell Out, Lethal Bizzle, DJ Fresh & Dynamite MC, before finishing off with headline act, Ellie Goulding.
The sun came out on Saturday and within no time Pwllheli Marina was packed with die hard fans all eager to see the Pro Finals. As usual there was plenty going on down at the Marina; we had the ExPix team out in force once again and next to us were the Frubob team promoting their new range of fruit drinks.
Event sponsors, Mystic and Mastercraft had set up stall opposite the band stand where the DJs were throwing down some sick beats. The Lucozade guys and girls were busy handing out freebies of Lucozade drinks, sunglasses, lanyards and even tents; handy for anyone who may have forgotten the essentials; not mentioning any names here but we can think of at least one ExPix member who could have done with knowing this on Friday!
There was an army of fantastic volunteers from the RNLI all ready to spread the word about what they do and keeping safe on and off the water and the airman from RAF Anglesey were there too, although we were a little disappointed that they hadn’t flown in a certain royal for the occasion!
Back on the water and the crowd were rewarded with some awesome wakeboarding from the riders as they were towed across the wake on the back of the new Mastercraft X2. Every year the competition seems to get fiercer and this year was no different as the riders competed for the Wakestock championship title.
Danny Thollander and Shawn Watson, both from the USA tried to defend the title for their fellow country man and former 2010 Wakestock champion, Philip Soven, whilst British rider Sam Carne pulled out all the stops to try and secure a spot on the podium. But all three were up against a might force in the form of David O’Caoimh from Ireland who was crowned Wakestock 2011 Champion, taking the title back to Dublin.
In the Women’s competition, Argentina rider, Robbie Rendo‘s determination to improve on her third place position in 2010 showed as she took her riding to the next level. Close on her heels were British riders, Charlotte Bryant, Sian Hirst and Jules Haley but Robbie Rendo’s efforts paid off and she was crowned Wakestock 2011 Champion.
With the finals over it was back to the festival site for the start of the second night of music and Pool Gap riding.
With little time to spare we headed straight to the Pool Gap for the first of two pre arranged shoots for Mystic sponsored riders and whilst we can’t show you just yet, we managed to bag ourselves some sweet shots! Then it was straight onto the men’s free ride qualifiers and the wakeskate jam. Once again the riding was amazing with the crowds, some of whom were unfamiliar with wakeskating, wondering how the riders like Ollie Moore managed to stay on their boards.
On stage the artist were whipping the crowds into a frenzy; Far East Movement were amazing as was Beardyman and The Wombats, but for us Kelis stole the show with renditions of Acapella and Bounce. We’re not sure about her milkshake bringing all the boys to the yard but the black catsuit that she was wearing certainly did the trick!
Sunday morning came and it was time for the Mystic Big Air competition on Abersoch Main Beach. The move from the usual spot of Friday evening to Sunday morning proved popular; festival goers and locals crammed the beaches and headland trying to get a good spot, whilst the boats lined up out on the water had a bird’s eye view of the action. Not wanting to miss out and always looking for the chance to get the best shot, ExPix photographer Ian Edmondson joined Chris Rawes on his yacht Bimmy. We must give a huge thanks to Chris who not only provided us with a prime spot but also supplied cold beer!
So for those who don’t know, the Big Air comp does what it says on the tin! The winner is the guy or girl who goes biggest off the floating kicker. And boy did they go big! But none more so than Padiwat Jaemajan aka ‘The Bomb’ from Thailand who landed £500 for his efforts.
At the festival site the Pool Gap Finals soon got started. The head to head knock out threw up some surprises and it was obvious that it was going to be a fight to the finish. The British lads fought hard but it was Mitch Langfield from Australia who took the Pool Gap title.
As the last night of music began, the East arena was jammed, ready for Ed Sheeran, who seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the crowds. His set was brilliant and fans could be seen singing along to all of his numbers.
Example also wowed the crwods before headliners Biffy Clyro, bare chested, tattoed and hairy lifted the roof off the West stage in true rock style!
So another Wakestock is over!
We will post the image galleries later today so check back soon to see the rest of the images from Wakestock 2011.
BOAT FINAL RESULTS:
1 – David O’Caoimh IRE 90
2 – Danny Thollander USA 76,25
3 – Shawn Watson USA 75
4 – Sam Carne UK 65
1 – Robbie Rendo ARG 91,25
2 – Charlotte Bryant ENG 85
3 – Sian Hirst NIRE 56,25
4 – Jules Haley ENG 55
MYSTIC BIG AIR:
1st – Padiwat Jaemajan THAI
Pro Men Rail Jam:
1st – Mitch Langfield (Australia)
2nd – CK Koester (UK)
3rd – Marc Rossiter (UK)
4th – Shawn Watson (USA)
Pro Women Rail Jam:
Best Overall: Chloe Goudie
Best Trick: Steph Caller
Pro Wakeskate Pool Jam:
Best Overall: Ollie Moore
Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley, our ExPix kitesurfing team riders took part in the British Kitesurf Championship the other week; this time it was back to Hunstanton for the Lifestyles Event. Hannah was looking for a win to give her a secure lead over fellow competitors in her fight to retain the British Championship title and Ali wanted to get back on the podium to bag some much needed points after his Uni course so 'rudely' interrupted his challenge when an exam set for the Friday meant that Ali was unable to compete at Barrow. As usual ExPix were there to offer Hannah and Ali some support and to document their efforts.
With plenty to do on and off the water and as the only spot on the British tour that offers additional activities for non wind days, the Lifestyles Event at Hunstanton has been an old favourite on the tour for a few years now. As many kiters know there is nothing more frustrating than waiting around for wind, especially when there is naff all else to do but with the likes of BMX, windsurf skateboard, in line, trade stands, a VW display and a music festival together with many more 'have a go' activities, Lifestyles has it covered!
The wind didn't play ball on Friday so there was no riding which lead to some very frustrated riders at the BBQ at the night time. Unable to release their frustrations on the water, the riders turned on each other with spectacular 'messy' results. Water fights, tomato ketchup shooting; oh, on nights like these we're soooo glad that we had the camera with us, it was just too good to miss!
Saturday morning brought with it one or two hangovers and some very, very uncertain weather conditions. With a grey start and a forecast to brighten up we weren't expecting the lighting we got towards the end of the day. Sunlight highlighting riders against a storm cloud back ground produced some amazing colours and effects, shame the pro's weren't riding, but a bonus for the ams ;-) Most of the heats were completed and that left the finals for Sunday.
Saturday evening continued where Friday's had left off, with even more mess but this time in the form of wine challneges; there's something about Hunstaton that gets everyone so fired up and on it!
Sunday brought with it sunny weather and a light wind; not the best for the pro's but they still managed to get out and compete. With the rest of the finals separating the pro's heats, things were getting gradually worse as the wind slowly died, but not before all the competition was finished.
So with the event over the results were announced and we're pleased to say that Ali took third place on the podium, strengthening his overall position as third on the tour whilst Hannah got a first. As her closest rival on the tour was pushed out to fourth place, Hannah opened up her overall lead and is now well on the way to becoming the only female kitesurfer to retain the British Championship title in three consecutive years.
For all the pics from the event check out our Hunstanton Lifestyles Gallery
It was that time again when we give the ExPix crew their biggest mission of the year; get great images and film footage of an extreme sports event, and oh yea, it’s all in the dark! So if you haven’t already guessed it we’re talking London Night Jump.
Now it its 10th year London Night Jump, held at Liquid Leisure Waterski and Wakeboard Park in Datchet, Berkshire still attracts the world’s best ski jumpers all wanting to prove that they’ve got what it takes to hit the ramps in pitch black conditions.
For the ExPix team it was our third year of covering the event and we had a bit of a reputation to live up to as Liquid Leisure explained, “ExPix have been the best solution to our PR and night shot needs with some of the best images demonstrating the action on and off the water”.
With the event set for Sunday, we arrived on Saturday night to catch the all important practise sessions. Hitting the jumps in the darkest of night where visibility on the water is just about as poor as it gets is pretty hard core, so it’s crucial that the setup for the jumps is right and the practise sessions are all about positioning the lighting around the lake for the skiers and wakeboarders. But as the first of the skiers took to the water the wind began to pick up and the enormity of the task ahead proved too much of a challenge. With not much margin for error and not wanting to risk any injuries the skiers decided to save themselves for the competition with only one skier hitting the jump.
Sunday came and as the event took shape the ExPix team set up camp in the thick of the action. First up to get the action going was the UK FMX team; it was hard to know though if the gasps from the crowds were due to the stunts that the FMX team were pulling off or the possible impending doom, should things go wrong, for the MasterCraft X2 boat positioned in between the ramps!
On the water the Night Jump qualifiers got under way as the crowds gathered to watch and for some diehard fans bagging a prime spot meant camping out in the morning rain. Next up were the wakeboarders who set off from the island to ride as the evening light began to fade. Six riders took part in the competition with Sam Carne’s riding proving just too much for Ben Hitch who had won the competition the previous two years and was looking for a hat trick but instead had to settle for 2nd place.
As dusk fell the flood lights went on and the Night Jump Finals began bringing with it the difficult challenge for the ExPix photographers and cameramen. Producing a clear shot or piece of footage is no easy task when the angles of the lights are set for the skiers and not for the photographers, add to that the distance of the skiers from the beach and you’ve got some idea of what we have to cope with!
No such issues for legendary ski jumper Freddy Krueger who notched up an impressive jump to take his 4th consecutive Night Jump title.
Liquid Leisure Boat & Cable Park in Datchet played host to the Cable Nationals on 27 & 28th July 2013, and with the Monster Energy crew out in force and support from the industry including; MasterCraft, Jobe, O’Brien, Liquid Force, Hyperlite, Mystic, Drift Action Cameras, Hybrid Wake and of course ExPix all setting up camp alongside the banks of the lake; we had ourselves one pretty sick event!
Saturday morning and competitors lined the dock for the riders briefing as spectators made their way through the trade village and then the action got underway. With 13 categories to get through, from Mini Boys and Girls, to Open Men and Ladies, and just about everything in between, and over 80 riders it was full on, back to back riding.
There was some spectacular riding and outstanding performances from a number of athletes and their efforts paid off as they bagged themselves a spot on the podium. But in the Open Men’s a fall by favourite Nick Davis blew the category wide open leaving Freddie Carter, Declan Clifford and Lewis Cornwall to battle it out for the podium places.
So the results are as follows:
1. Kieran Owens
2. Max Stone
3. Oskar Stone
1. Darci Goulty
2. Saba Yorke-Davies
1. Lottie Harbottle
2. Tabby Goulty
3. Darci Goulty
1. Joey Battleday
2. Scott Rosewell
3. Liam Peacock
1. Chloe Goudie
2. Katie Batchelor
3. Laura Christian
1. Jack Battleday
2. Ryan Peacock
3. Harry Eames
1. Sarah Kingdom
2. Heather McNamee
3. Sharmini Kurup
1. Richie Hiney
2. Richie Murie
3. Wayne Fuller
1. Phil Lee
2. Lewis Hurst
3. Lee Mart
1. Tor Young
2. Steph Caller
3. Sophie Cordery
1. Declan Clifford
2. Freddie Carter
3. Lewis Cornwall
1. Ricky Cataldo
2. Connor Floyd
3. Rory Findlay
1. James Harrington
2. Taylor Dell
3. Freddie Carter
Huge congratulations to the 2013 Cable Wakeboard National Champions:
Dec Clifford, Tor Young, Sarah Kingdom, Richie Hiney, Phil Lee, Chloe Goudie, Jack Battleday, Lottie Harbottle, Joe Battleday, Darci Goulty, Kieran Owens, Ricky Cataldo & James Harrington.
For all the images follow the link to the UK Cable National Galleries. or check out the selection below. Please note only 100 thumbnails are showing but there is a slideshow of over 250 to click through.