Lewis Crathern Kitesurfer – February Update
Cape Town has been even more incredible then usual! I have had so much kitesurfing in my body I feel great. Off the water things have been brilliant. BEST kiteboarding are out here in full force, all the team riders, designers and marketing people etc. I have made some great relationships and really feel part of the team. Here are some of the things I got up to in January….
Commentating South African Championships
At the start of January I got an invite to run the commentary from Taro who runs the South African Kitesurfing Tour. The first leg was down in Langebaan where the conditions were absolutely brilliant. It is not often you can run a wave event down that way but the waves were massive! Eventually with the good wind forecast all three disciplines were covered- that’s Freestyle, Racing and waves. The last stop of the SA nationals was in Big Bay (which would be the same location for the RedBull King of the Air but more on that later) After the first event in Langebaan I knew most of the riders names, this is really important as a commentator as you can’t speak fluidly without easy name recognition. What was great about commentating these events is that I felt it brought me closer to the South African Kitesurfing scene. I have been coming here for years now and know feel really part of the local scene. After the Big Bay event I took on the prize giving which was brilliant fun, the South African’s really have some promising talent. Thanks Taro for such a big effort putting the championships on!
Kiteworldwide Clinic with BEST Kiteboarding
Along with Youri Zoon I took 8 clients for the week in an amazing packed kitesurfing week designed to improve their kitesurfing skills. We went everywhere, Langebaan, Muizenberg, Kite Beach, Big Bay- even a damn in the mountains to go kitesurfing. The idea of the week was to let people in a little bit to what we do as professionals when we are in Capetown as well as giving tips. We took them too our favourite places we kite and showed them the other things you can do. One of my favourite parts of the day was each morning when I would prepare a presentation on a subject like jumping. I also used a whiteboard to draw a detailed map of where we would be kiting and what to expect. Working with people is becoming one of my real passions and I made some great friends from this week. Thanks for having me Juergen.
BEST Kiteboarding South Africa Demo
BEST South Africa combined with the BEST team to lay on a bellter of a day for the public. All the kites were set up just in front of the shop on KiteBeach and people came through out the day to test the kites and speak to the team on the beach. It was one of the best days of wind so far this trip blowing a good 30 knots which picked up to about 35. At 5pm Youri, Gisela, Sam and myself went onto the water to put a show on, it was blowing really strong in the end it went down great! Afterwards it was all back to the shop for a question and answers session with all the riders as well as the designers. I think this sort of contact with the general kitesurfing audience is brilliant, I was so happy to be there all day.
Clinic With Jo Wilson
Jo Wilson asked me to pop by to Langebaan for a guest clinic the other week. I had no idea what I was in for but it felt like a good thing to do so I said yes and it ended up being a super day. The group were all at a similar level and my goal for the day was to get them to jump well. I started with a small presentation/questions session at the house they all share, then we moved onto the water for the rest of the day. I saw each person get at least a couple of meters in the air it made my day. Jo is actually one of the main reasons I ever came out to Cape Town, she always encouraged me to come when I was at home complaining about the bad weather in winter. So one day I did and I never stopped coming back! Thanks Jo!
Redbull King of the Air 2013
The Redbull King of the Air came back again after 8 years and what an event it was. I can honestly say it was one of the best days I have ever had. Kitesurfing and the general public were brought together in a way that I have never seen. This event is different to the normal ones it focuses on who is going the biggest with the most risk and height. I really fancied myself for this event as strong wind is my favourite but I could only walk away with a top 5 finish (5th) out of 24 riders. I rode well throughout the day and really learnt a lot on how I might change tactics for next years event. I am not satisfied without being on the podium thats my goal each year at this event. I also commentated the event which is a lot to juggle but I like the challenge and I loved being part of this special day delivering it to the people.
RedBull really pulled out all the stops for this event and I really will gain some good exposure through it. After the event I went on a 3 day road trip invite only with other Athletes Ruben Lenten, Aaron Hadlow and Luke Mcgilwie. This was to make a TV program around the event and on Kitesurfing in South Africa in general. It was unbelievable, helicopters with cameras, small cranes everywhere, jet ski’s and people in the water. It is going to look epic when its put together in the next month! I’ll keep you all updated.
Take it easy, Lew