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Essex Kite Club, East Beach Open

On the 3rd of August Essex Kitesurf Club held the first club freestyle event. The clubs aim is to run three events ebo2through the summer and crown a mini series champion. The big advantage for a club event is that it allows us to run at short notice on a good weekend forecast, so the announcement was made that the event would run in August and low and behold the firstweekend delivered 20mph conditions and sunny skies.   Although it was a club event it was free entry and open to anyone outside the club, all you needed was BKSA insurance. Run on a voluntary basis I gathered three reliable club members to help out on the day, the format was to keep it simple and fun. Heats were judged on overall impression where smooth riding, technicality and clean landings would see you advance, So whether you ride hooked in or unhooked riders could compete on even terms.   Never running a freestyle club event before we wasn’t sure how many entries we would get, so you can imagine how surprised we were at registration when over 25 turned up! mostly locals but a couple of riders from Camber including  BKSA rider KevinMatthey and BKSA all-rounder Will Rose as well as a crop of talented Southend riders. Heats were based on round 1 three man heats with the winners advancing and the losers getting a second chance in round 2, from then on it was a knockout basis to the final. With such a mix of levels and ages we decided to mix everyone in together and when the competition was finished counted back to find the top three beginners and intermediates giving us the results in all three categories.   With different styles of riding and abilities we saw some very entertaining and close heats, notably Kevin Matthey versus Dave Freeman, for Kev it’s all about unhooking and power, for Dave super smooth transition kiteloop combos. Also worth a mention was Ash Garwood who eventually went on to win with some smooth 313’s, blind judges and kiteloops, all stomped with clean landings. It was also great to see the beginner and intermediate riders really push themselves and have some fun, because that’s what the event was all about.   After 3 hours of heats we finally ended up with an overall winner so after a quick free ride we headed back to the beach for the presentation with certificates for the finalists of all classes and a bottle of champagne for the overall winner.   a bunch of winnerssmall   Pro Men 1st  Ash Garwood 2nd Dave Freeman 3rd  Joe Hockley   Intermediate 1st  Paul T 2nd Dean 3rd  Adam   Beginners 1st  Paul N 2nd Peter 3rd Graham