2007 Mille Lacs Kite Crossing Summary and Results

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2007 Mille Lacs Kite Crossing Summary and Results

Post by Tighe »

Early in the week preceding the event, the conditions were looking rather sketchy. Scott Chapman was the first to see that all to evident bull’s eye starting to form on some of the long range forecasts. This big low was forecast to come flying out of Colorado, sweep through Nebraska and Iowa and head up through Wisconsin. Snow was forecast as well as significant winds as the isobars formed some nice corduroy across the state. The stoke grew more and more through the week as every newscast started to announce The Storm of the Season.

It was exciting to talk to so many people on their way to the event Friday. Many were wanting to get up there prior to the dump on Friday night. Nathan, Denis, Hunter and Eric were busy spraying the rails for the terrain park in Eric’s garage.

Prior to the snowfall the surface was pretty slick. Todd Hanson was giving demos of his revolutionary Switchblade product. With his blade on his traditional snowboard he was riding at full speed and hucking big air and landing super smooth. Almost identical to water riding. Very impressive. Everyone was pretty stoked on it.

Unfortunately, the snow didn’t come in on Friday night as expected. We woke to heavy snowfall, a fierce wind and another day of pretty slick conditions. While the day wasn’t ideal for riding, I don’t think it killed a bit of stoke as everyone got inventive and had fun playing in the wind. People were walking upwind and shooting downwind behind trainer kites in sleds, shovels, on their backs, on their butts. I heard that Denis pulled off the first ever handle pass on a shovel! There were a few who were riding Switchblade enhanced snowboards or Magna Traction skis.

The snow continued all day and all night. Peter Hill and quite a crew had built a kicker and had made a snow break out of hay bails to create some snow drifts. Jan Marie had organized a swap meet in her room at the hotel, which allowed some exchanging of gear and turned into quite the social hour. Bryce brought a keg of his home brew into the pool area and kept the cups full for all those in the hot tub. Saturday night Banquet provided by the Y Club was a grand feast as usual. So many great stories being told. Some good laughs. Never seems to be enough time to catch up with everyone. The social hour continued to the Blue Goose, and many hit the dance floor and liquid refreshments : )

We woke to deep heavily drifted snow. The snow on the lake was anywhere from 4-12 inches, with an occasional hole down to the ice. These conditions were ideal for trying anything as even the most intense impact was well cushioned. The snow was still coming down hard though seemed to be lightening up. It was hard to pull people away from the epic freeride session to attend the riders meeting.

With the visibility being a major unknown, a course was set by the race director Mike Fox. It was decided that we would go out about 5 miles and loop back twice. This would minimize the spread of the riders if the visibility was to get worse. The start is a timed start with each rider getting their own start time as they go through the start time. As with all the previous years the start is always so exciting. 30+ kites straight up waiting for the horn, and then all of them drop into the wind as the riders take off. The tack was almost exactly 90 degrees to the wind. The visibility opened up perfectly as the race began. It was a classic Minnesota race; out through a little fish house village on the lake, past a small audience of dudes on snowmobiles, and out into the big white unknown. Very cool. The horizon was a thick purple line between the white surface and the light grey sky. The surface was just windblown enough that skis could ride up on top at speed and snowboards carved nicely. The 20-30mph wind that had been blowing with the snow over the past 24+ hours created some huge drifts out in the lake especially behind some of the ice houses. The wind had subsided a bit to about the middle teens so 12-17m kites were the choice of the day. There was a lot of waves and hooting as riders on each tack passed eachother. The stoke was on full tap.

After the race there was a great freeride session in all the fresh powder. There was a crew hitting the kicker that Peter and crew had built the day before. Lots of smiles and plenty of stoke. It was hard to leave such great wind for the banquet but we all knew many had long drives ahead of them.

Top Awards went to:

1. Jeff Cole, Slingshot
2. Joe Levins, Slingshot
3. Rob Evans, Cabrinha
4. Peter Hill, Slingshot
5. Bryce Johnson, Cabrinha

1. Kurt Walstrom, Best
2. Jon Stroh, Gaastra
3. Nathan Borer, Slingshot
4. Dave Cleveland, Best
5. Eric Paulson, North

Laura Maher, Slingshot

Yard Sale Award:
Roland Rioux

It was unfortunate many people were concerned about the conditions and decided not to attend. The ice reports during the early part of the week discouraged many national team riders from attending, and the local big dump of snow kept many local riders from hitting the road. Those that did make it were blessed with the best conditions of the season.

Fleet 8 did a great job with the challenging conditions.

Kudos go out to all the following:
The volunteer staff of Fleet 8, Mike Turner and Jeff Olson, who gave up their weekend to support what we all love.
Mike Fox for all his work, and for making some tough decisions.
Larry Miller for working his butt off as Mike’s wing man, and keeping a great attitude the whole weekend.
Emily and Aaron for making all the garments look great with their embroidery.
Jeff Adamski who gave up his crossing to teach some students.
Peter and others for making one great kicker.
Jan Marie for hosting the gear swap and social hour.
The Garrison Hotel for putting up with all of us
Bryce for bringing his home brew
All the sponsors who supported this event and our community (see the listing below)
Everyone who believed in the event and most likely through this belief brought in the wonderful snow we had on Sunday.

Check out the photos at : http://www.lakawa.com/lakawaphoto/

Full Results
Name Category City & State Elapsed Time
1 Jeff Cole Ski Orono, MN 0:48:25
2 Joe Levins Ski White Bear Lake, MN 0:48:45
3 Rob Evans Ski Orono, MN 0:50:45
4 Peter Hill Ski Minneapolis, MN 0:53:05
5 Bryce Johnson Ski Horace, ND 0:54:40
6 Tighe Belden Ski St. Paul, MN 0:54:45
7 John Zietlow Ski Minneapolis, MN 0:54:50
8 Matt Zanetti Ski Minneapolis, MN 0:55:30
9 Scott Chapman Ski Bloomington, MN 0:55:40
10 Chris Bargsten Ski New Brighton, MN 0:56:14
11 Kurt Walstrom Board St.Paul, MN 0:56:40
12 David Knight Ski Fridley, MN 0:56:55
13 Jon Stroh Board Lakeville, MN 0:57:00
14 Nathan Borer Board Mayer, MN 0:57:45
15 Scott Lystrup Ski Altoona, WI 0:58:10
16 Mike Bares Ski Maplewood, MN 0:58:38
17 Pete Kuhn Ski Hudson, WI 0:59:05
18 David Cleveland Board Howard Lake, MN 0:59:05
19 Eric Paulson Board Aitkin, MN 1:00:00
20 Denis Foo Kune Board St. Paul, MN 1:00:37
21 Todd Hanson Board Cross Lake, MN 1:01:20
22 Alfie Ferreyra Board Des Moines, IA 1:01:55
23 Alex Dittenhoffer Ski Excelsior, MN 1:06:02
24 John Zdechlik Ski Minnetonka, MN 1:06:40
25 Mark Felton Ski Chanhassen, MN 1:08:57
26 Roland Rioux Board Winnipeg, MAB 1:11:10
27 Pat Hinch Ski Bloomington, MN 1:11:10
28 Jeff Gorton Board Delano, MN 1:13:40
29 Laura Maher Ski White Salmon, WA 1:17:00

Best Kiteboarding
Cabrinha Kiteboarding
Garrison Commercial Club
Midwest Mountaineering
Ozone Kiteboarding
Slingshot Kiteboarding
Last edited by Tighe on Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: North of the border

Post by Woody »

Great summary Tighe!

Fleet 8 staff did another awesome job getting the community together building this thing called stoke!

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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Chanhassen

Post by chanrider »

Does anyone know the exact length of this year's course versus 2006?

I was looking at the times and it appears the winning time last year of 1:15:46 was somewhat comparable to the slowest finish recorded this year of 1:17:00.

Not sure if my math works here, but assuming both courses were around 20 miles that would an average of roughly 16 mph for these times?

Again, assuming 20 miles for the 2007 course the winning time of 0:48:25 averaged roughly 25mph? Pretty quick for deep snow!

Also, I was wondering if the 2 lap course (assuming 2006 was one lap) tempted people to bail after one lap. I was very tempted!

I was surprised to see only 29 finishers, does anyone know how many people started the 2007 race compared to 2006 which had 43 recorded finishers?
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Location: Too far North!!

Post by Woodette »

Awesome summary Tighe and Thank you for all the hard work and time you put into your site, so everybody can stay connected and see what's up.. even for the surf/riders who are not very competive (yet :P )

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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:06 pm
Location: Here, Now

Post by Tighe »

Thanks Woodette. Great to see you and I hope one of these events I'm going be able to find more time to chat with you guys. I feel like all I ever squeeze in is a warm welcome and sorry good bye. Next time.

The course length was 17.48 miles this year. You can do the math to see how the speeds were this time. I would imagine it was faster the first year and slower the second year.