Baja, Mexico- Fantastic winds came blowing down the Sea of Cortez for the big Lord of the Wind Showdown. The competition was to take the fastest kiters in the world against the fastest windsurfers in the world and have an all out duel for $3500 in cash! It was a three mile upwind and downwind course, and the fastest man, woman, or child could take a stab at winning the purse.
During the pre race riders meeting, there was already a preheated battle when the organizers were talking about dividing up the prize money into the different classes. The overall winner would take $2000 and the winnner of the division that didn't win, being kiteboards or windsurfing, would get $1000.The kiteboards spoke up and said nope, we want to take all the money and beat down the windsurfers. So it was off to the water to settle the score.
At the start of the race, the kiteboards opened up with all the confidence in the world, with John Hieneken out in front. Kevin Pritchard was the windsurfers' ace card and had a reasonably safe start but gave up some distance. As the kites battled against the windsurfers, inch by inch, the crafty Pritchard started turning up the speed. With a bit of an extra drive from the earlier riders meeting, Pritchard was holding down his board and sail as best he could to prove to the world who still could make it around a course faster.
And who made it to the top first, non other than Kevin Pritchard, flying his new Ezzy two cam Infinity sails, mounted to his Isonic Slalom board. Knowing that the kites could make up some time on the downwind, Pritchard put the hammer down and went flying off the wind. It was three miles down wind to the finish. At the end Pritchard claimed victory over some of the worlds best kiteboarders by around a minute faster. In fact the first kiteboarder pumped his fist going across the line in stoke for his victory, not even being able to see the young Pritchard, cause he was so far out in front!
"This was a memorable victory. The kiters were so confident that they were going to win, it put a fire under me. I really was just down in Baja to hang out with my brother and his family and do some windsurfing. When they started talking it up, I was like ok, lets do this. I went, got my 8.5 two cam sail, and my slalom board and put it down. The wind was perfect, and they must feel pretty bad getting beat by not even a race sail! It was great, the whole beach was cheering for me, and i think they had heard enough of the kiteboarders talking it up. Even some of the kiters were stoked to see the windsurf still hold the edge! It was really fun in the end, especially since the windsurfing took the victory. I felt like it was a victory for all windsurfers, not just for myself. It felt great!" said Kevin Pritchard.
More photos - http://blog.pritchardwindsurfing.com/blog-mainmenu-44/750-battle-in-baja.html