After some last minute planning and emergency flight booking by Turbulence, I was packed and off to the airport for the Portimao Invitational freestyle comp courtesy of my fellow Angel Sheryl! Check in was a breeze for a change, flight smooth as, and was then greeted with big hugs from Steph Bridge, Nicky Rudd and co before we sped off to Portimao. Dirk Hanel found us a fab new apartment so we fought over beds and wandered into the village to check out the old spots and some familiar faces. Word on the street was that there had been no wind for two weeks until today so we were stoked!
We’d cruised into town a day early so we had a day of training which was awesome. Nicky and I kited up wind, through the harbour and into the lagoon for a freestyle sesh while the others did some course race training. The lagoon is awesome, still gusty but loads of space and nice and chilled! We eventually kited back down past the stomping course racers fiercely battling it out on their upwind let and collapsed back on the beach for registration!
The first couple of days of competition we had light wind for the first part of the day, so they got some course races done before the wind picked up and went off shore. I had some super good light wind onshore sessions on my Flexifoil 11m AH Pro while we were waiting for the wind to pick up. I tried Karolina’s Balance board, which I am getting next week, and came off the water with the BIGGEST grin on my face! I am so excited to get this new board!
So late afternoon we got to run the first round of freestyle heats. The conditions in Alvor are super flat but also pretty gusty! It is a hard choice of what kite size to take and then you pop for a trick and have no idea with you will go one cm or km! My heats were ok but I was a little apprehensive as I bust my foot in the competition in this spot last year, so I kept thinking I did not want to end up in that hospital corridor again!!
The rest of the week the wind was not so kind and we were not able to finish the freestyle. Lucky for the event and the spectators that they still had something spectacular to watch in the course racing even is such light wind. So we kite bitched for the course racers, soaked up the splendors of Portimao and swam round the cliffs of Alvor off Nelson’s rib from the Alvor Kite School.
We finished the week with some night time party action in town scooting between Bolan Bar and the Sports Bar… thanks guys they looked after us so well! Oh, and apologies to the Sports Bar after my little accident with a vodka redbull and the PA system… oops!! SORRRRY!!!
So a great event again, I really hope to back in Portimao next year for the Kitemasters Invitational as the event has the best atmosphere of anywhere. So a big thanks to the organizers and I hope to see you next year!