Heinekins sweep kiteboard races again 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - WIND WARRIOR Johnny Heinekin from California (centre) celebrates his repeat win at the Canadian Kiteboard Championships in Squamish.
  • Photo by John French
  • WIND WARRIOR Johnny Heinekin from California (centre) celebrates his repeat win at the Canadian Kiteboard Championships in Squamish.

For the second year in a row the Canadian Kiteboard Racing Championships in Squamish were dominated by a brother and sister from California. Johnny and Erika Heinekin took the men's and women's open championship titles at the windsports spit in Squamish last weekend.

Erika placed ninth overall in the weekend competition. American Bryan Lake placed second overall and Stefano Rista of Vancouver followed him. Jessica Sickinger of Toronto was the number two female competitor and Eugenia Gueorguieva of Bulgaria followed her.

Co-race director Don Campbell said more than 40 athletes from around the world attended the event.

"We had really good wind," Campbell said after the event. "It was a little stronger, a little shiftier than we would have liked. That makes the conditions more challenging and for the calibre of racers here it's just fine."

He added that the best in the world like competing in Squamish because the setting is beautiful and the winds are consistent.

"These are all the world champions and people that want to race against them," Campbell said of the sailors who competed in Squamish.

Johnny Heinekin felt he had a good weekend.

"It went really well," he said at the end of the event while a strong ocean breeze swept off Howe Sound at the race site. "Three days, we did 12 races — super long, awesome event with good conditions and great competition."

He said his next event is the American championships in a month at San Diego.

His sister said she's looking forward to the world championships in China this November.

"It was a great event," she said after the awards ceremony. "I love windy conditions and the wind machine turned on and it was a pretty epic competition all around."

Erika Heinekin is in a league of her own and dominates women's events.

"I mostly race against the guys," she said. "My goal was top 10 and I got ninth."

The windsports area in Squamish will be busy again this weekend with an event called Kite Clash scheduled for Squamish. The event will feature some of the world's best freestyle kiteboarders. While last weekend was all about racing the weekend ahead is focused on big air, tricks and rail sliding. The national championship event begins Saturday and continues through to Monday.

Event organizer Thor Kaze said Kite Clash will be more entertaining than the racing last weekend because the competitors will perform their freestyle tricks in clear view from the spectator area.

"Everything is in place," said Kaze.

About 40 competitors are expected at the event, including Canadian Professional Kiteboard Riders Association member Sam Medysky. Kaze said Medysky just got back from the world championships in Germany.

"We're going to do the Big Air on Saturday and the stuff's going to happen from about 12 until 4 and then we're going to do the presentations at the end of each day," said Kaze.

The main competition day is Sunday when Kaze said the Canadian freestyle champion will be determined. He described Monday as a day for new school tricks.

For everyone who attends Kaze said a ton of giveaways are planned. He noted that there will be spectator seating and a parking attendant will ensure the parking on the spit is kept orderly.


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