When the invitation was first presented to go to the inaugural BVI Kite Jam I had no idea how much fun the event was going to be! Sir Richard Branson and the Necker Island crew pulled out all of the stops to create an outstanding gathering of kiteboarders in the awe inspiring setting of the British Virgin Islands (BVIs').
The 2010 BVI Kite Jam was filled with daily activities and great evening parties! The kick off party, held on the main beach at Necker Island, set the stage for the remainder of the week. A live band, great food, bottomless drinks, and a great vibe put everyone in attendance in the proper island mindset to thoroughly enjoy what the BVI Kite Jam had to offer.
During the first two days the wind did not cooperate for kiteboarding. However, event organizers Charlie & Scotty had activities planned to keep both competitors and spectators alike entertained. From catered lunches on private beaches, clinics from the pros, sumo wrestling suits, and even a 14 mile catamaran race with the 38' Sunsail cats (that provided housing for most of the competitors and media staff).
Once the wind kicked in late in the day on day 2 the kiteboarding began. The wind was still light but pro riders like Susi Mai, Gretta Kruesi, Tuva Jansen, and even Sir Richard Branson himself hit the water for a fun Pomato Point sunset session. WIth amazing BVI sunsets even a light wind session can prove to be a fun one!
On day 3 we found the best wind of the event! By 7 am the wind was already cranking into the low 20's (mph). A downwinder was organized and at one point over 60 kites were on the water! The riding was being documented by two helicopters, three boats, and countless other photo and video crew. I am sure you will be seeing the footage of that memorable downwinder popping up for the months to come! The highlight of the downwinder for me was getting to session a shipwreck jib with a crew of riders; Andre Phillip, Tom Court, & Chris Burke just to name a few, with Tracy Kraft shooting the entire session. Pure Caribbean bliss!
During the remainder of the week Mother Nature did not provide us with any more ridable wind. But, we made the best of the conditions and sessioned the BVI Kite Jam rail and kicker in the Eustacia Sound being pulled behind a small inflatable Zap Cat. Tom Court and Brian Wheeler(Kiteboarding Mag) threw down inverts and spins off of the kicker while Dre, Chris Burke, and myself hit the wall and flat bar until the sun was dropping behind the hills of Virgin Gorda in the evening.
On the final day of competition the surf came up and riders were able to seek out hidden BVI waves to session in small groups. Some of the crew surfed Moskito Island right while others searched out waves on Virgin Gorda. Tom Court, Andre Phillip, and I scored two waves on Necker Island, just a short walk from our first class rooms, that only break a few times a year and had one of the most unforgettable surf sessions ever! The final day was topped off with a surreal beach party on Moskito Island with a "tight and bright" theme complete with DJ, fire dancers, awards ceremony, and LOTS of bright clothing!!
Each day had a catered lunch and dinner at a number of resorts and beach bars on the various islands in the northern BVI. A special thanks goes out to: Necker Island, Cow Wreck Beach Bar, Anagada Reef Hotel, Potters by the Sea, The Bitter End Yacht Club, & The Sand Box for their hospitality! Also the BVI Kite Jam sponsors: BVI Tourist Board, Billabong, Liquid Force, Cabrinha, Heineken, Fiji Water, Monster, Cape Air, Sunsail, Digicel, Kiteboarding Magazine and Green Technology BVI.
Thanks again to Charlie, Scotty, Richard Branson, and everyone else involved in the 2010 BVI Kite Jam!