1st of February 2012


by Steve Bodner
It was billed as the ultimate showdown between kiters and windsurfers with 3 events spanning 9 days on the sea of Cortez on southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. While the kiters showed up in numbers, the windsurfers still found ways to keep the bragging rights for another year. At the end of the day- we found we had more in common than what separates us and in hindsight, I'd say it was more a gathering of the tribes- where we all spoke the same language- wind!

After enduring what seemed like a windless (and snowless) fall and early winter in northern California- I made plans for my first trip to Baja California Sur. I hooked up with our local kiting crew who use the events as a testing ground to where they stand in the off season. The Heineken van made the trip down on Christmas eve packed with 6 sets of kiting gear & 4 people. Rock star siblings, Erica and Johnny almost made it only to be delayed on Christmas morning when their front differential fell out and their 4 wheel van quickly turned in a 2 wheel van.

In Mexico- anything is possible and after a 6 hour delay and trading some beer for labor they were quickly back on their way.
I arrived 2 weeks later for the first event skipping the road trip and flying directly into Cabo St. Lucas. Alaska Airlines & Virgin airlines are probably the friendliest airlines for board enthusiast with $50 excess baggage fees per board and quiver bag and no haggling. Part of the reason our local race fleet stopped traveling was the fact that you'd show up to the airport with your board and sail quiver and possible pay $300-500 in excess baggage fees.

The Lord of the Winds Showdown in Los Barriles hooked up with the Travel Channel who was featuring the Sand Masters show at the same time. If you've never seen it, these guys create unbelievable works of art in the sand. Their final creation was a huge sand stage for the Lord of the Winds where Johnny 'Pacifico' Heineken was crowned Lord of the Winds after taking the long distance race. (Windsurfers 0: Kiters 1)

To say there is a bigger emphasis on fun vs a normal regatta would be an understatement. We came in from racing with the race staff handing us a Pacifico as our official check in. The organizers pumped up the the idea a Lord of the Winds showdown in every way possible. The windsurfers won the pre-party with Josh Samperio crushing the kiting and SUP crowd in a 42 sec binge under the beer tap bookmarked my double shots of tequila vs a meek 20 secs performance by the kiters. (Windsurfers 1: Kiters 1)

Read on: http://www.stevebodner.blogspot.com/2012/01/baja-fog.html

BACKGROUND: Steve is a Northern California guy, a multiple US Windsurfing National Champion and the top ranked US sailor on the Formula Windsurfing World Tour. Johnny Heineken's kiting world crown garnered him a 2011 nomination for US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. As for Mexico, that's just a good place to go for relief from the brutal California winter.