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Kite Foil League, Seabreeze Invitational - Day 1

by Kite Foil League 18 Jul 07:45 BST

The Seabreeze is in and racing is on! Perfect Long Beach weather made for a busy Saturday on the water, and chaotic chop on the race course. Tight battles throughout the fleet defined the day, but it quickly became clear that event leader Markus Edegran was in a class of his own.

With 23 kites on the line today, starts were close and some high risk maneuvers resulted in bumper-kites. In race two, Neil Marellini and Leif Given were taken out due to a tangle, while several others involved in the incident managed to just sneak away. Will Cyr, showing an especially strong starting approach today, won around the first mark several times, and hung onto the lead at the bottom gate, but each time Markus Edegran closed the gap.

Out of the gates, Edegran generally took a conservative approach, but his bow down mode allowed him to hang with the leaders and slowly begin to reel them in, always rounding the top mark within striking distance. Edegran often gybed early downwind today, forcing those leading him to make a difficult decision about whether to extend to lay-line or match, and this tactical move paid off several times with big gains on the downwinds. With the fleet spread out more on the second beat, Edegran's speed really shined, working high modes into strong positions, or low modes into favorable shifts.

The only rider able to take a race win off of Markus today was young gun Noah Runciman, who has been training hard in his hometown of La Porte, Texas. The rumor mill all week said that Noah was going fast, but today's confirmation sees him sitting second overall.

Xantos Villegas, who focused on downwind training with Edegran after the Delta Pro, also looked strong against the fleet today, hanging tough in the first part of several races and rallying to the front at critical moments.

Delta Pro winner, Evan Heffernan was a bit off the pace today after breaking his foil in training this week. After a last minute gear switch last night, Evan is focusing on learning as much as possible at this event, commenting that Long Beach is a great opportunity to work on speed, while the Delta Pro at Sherman Island emphasized boat handling and tactics.

The Masters and Grand Masters divisions are strongly contested this weekend, with 12 riders across the two. Mike Martin had the hammer down today, to continue his winning ways from the Delta Pro, while Amil Kabil held down the second position for the second event in a row. Behind them points are close, with local SoCal kiters Chris Slagerman, Trevor Nelson, Davey Beard and Steve Lee trading races and pushing each other around the track.

Tomorrow will be another big day with the classic Long Beach sea breeze set to return for the final day of racing. For more information visit www.kitefoilleague.com!

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