Despite record heat topping 100 degrees at the famed Huntington Beach Pier in California, more than 100 athletes, 350 surf/skate clinic participants and 100,000 spectators braved the scorching temperatures attend Boardfest 2007. The US’s largest event of its kind celebrates anniversary number five when Boardfest returns over Labor Day Weekend 2008.
“It’s very gratifying to watch Boardfest grow each year and exciting to know that our fifth anniversary is just around the corner," said Event Director Cherie Whyte. “What started as just a concept for women has now blossomed into a major regional event with national impact. To have 100,000 spectators during a stifling heat wave is truly a testament to how far Boardfest has come in such a short period of time."
Against the backdrop of near perfect surfing conditions and heavy snowfall, 22 year-old professional snowboarder Chanelle Sladics took 'girl power' to new heights in winning the first-ever Go211.com Boardfest Triple Threat, a cross-over sporting competition featuring surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. Sladics defeated pro skateboarder Heidi Kreis and pro surfers Holly Beck and Allison Arvizu to capture the endurance-testing title.
"Wow, this is like a triathlon," Sladics said. "You've just got adrenaline to keep you going. You're going from one thing to the next. This event (Boardfest) is really a dream come true!"
The Huntington Surf & Sport Pro-Am shortboarding final featured four World Qualifying Series (WQS) rated surfers competing in glassy four to six foot hurricane-driven waves - some of the best contest conditions in recent memory.
Carlsbad's Kyla Langen defeated Courtney Conlogue, a semifinalist at the recent US Open of Surfing, with Erica Hosseini coming in third and Kim Mayer fourth. In the longboard division, Portugal's Cristina Pires took the victory over Kamalehua Keohokapo. Kaleigh Gilchrist won the 16-and-under amateur division, while Shelby Detmers took the 13-and-under competition.
While the surf was pumping and the snow falling, the Sketchers concert stage was entertainment central at Boardfest; featuring a number of acoustic performances, dance troupes, DJs and Polynesian dancers!
Battling three times the number of snowboarders from 2006 and raucous fans on the adjacent pier, Mountain High team rider Nirvana Ortanez was victorious in the Jeep Snow Zone rail jam competition.
Her winning ride was a 'switch backside 270 to 180 out on the fun box and a front-side stall to fakie on the quarter-pipe'. “The comp was really fun," said Ortanez who also competed in the pro surfing division. “Boardfest had a lively vibe and I was super stoked to be there. There were a large number of really solid female riders and the crowd on the Pier made the whole experience worth the unseasonably warm weather."
On land, Hanna Zanzi won the pro-am skate competition for the second consecutive year. Located close to the water’s edge and adjacent to the Snow Zone, clinic girls and competitors alike spent quality time on the 100 by 60 foot custom-built Go211 street course, made in Germany of Finnish Birch. A massive mini-ramp added a new and exciting competition element this year challenging both the skaters and the Boardfest Triple Threat competitors.
Where action sports, music and life collided, Boardfest ’07 offered something for every level of involvement, weaving professional and amateur surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding competitions featuring top women athletes, surfing and skateboarding clinics, makeovers, education, games, entertainment, activities, motivational speakers and attractions.