Ozone Edge Goes Back to Back for the Win at Maui Kite Fest
The second annual Maui Kite Fest was successfully completed over the first weekend of June with high winds and lots of stoked kiters going fast in the races and jumping big in the freestyle competition. Kite HI, aka the Maui Hawaii Ozone Team, crushed it in the Race and Big Air competitions, triumphantly defending their title in the Men's Open Race division as well as having the highest jump and longest hangtime of the event that sent the crowd into a deafening roar. Friday started with a cool party in Paia, during the evening legendary reggae musician Mishka played an incredible set and put on an entertaining show. Saturday started early with a big beach cleanup, there was a good turnout of volunteers picking up the plastic debris that the sea and waves had brought in. We then got straight to the races and big air competitions. There was also the intention to hold Hydrofoil racing but organizers decided against running multiple disciplines so Team Kite HI headed out with their trusty twin tips to handle the insane winds and put on a show for the crowd.
With 30+ knots of wind, the team chose to ride the Ozone Edge V9 7m-10m kites for both the big air & races, along with the Amp V1 9m which was perfect for big powered kite loops. Standouts of the event go to Garfield King for throwing the biggest unhooked loops on the 9m Amp, Gonzo McDonald with his megaloops on the 7m Edge, Corey Gallagher with his huge inverted backroll on the 8m Edge, and Jon McCabe on the Edge 10m winning the Races, along with sending and landing the biggest jump in competition (16m at 10 seconds with a triple loop landing over the beach, which doubled the height and hangtime of the other competitors). There were also the two grom brothers visiting from Bulgaria, Tery & Martin Zamfirov, that were absolutely crushing it with low kiteloops on their 7m Amp, 6m Enduro, and 4m Uno during the freestyle event (2nd place finish and best front roll kite loop). They are destined to be world champs if they stay with kiting.
The event capped off with a traditional Hawaiian luau and awards ceremony with an epic sunset enjoyed by all.
Aloha, Kite HI
Pictures from fellow Maui Ozone team riders: Martin Caprile, Tiffany Nunan, & Lena Stroheker