#kitesurf – On the 7th of March 2014 UCD Kitesurfing club descended upon Duncannon in County Wexford for the first ever Kitesurfing Intervarsities. With a promising forecast there was great excitement on the Friday night to what lay ahead. We awoke on Saturday to a fresh 17 - 20 knots of wind and we couldn't wait to get out on the water. After a filling breakfast everyone rushed down to the beach to pump up their kites and get changed into wetsuits for the day.
The beginners were the first to launch their kites and with the help of the instructors from Hooked Kitesurfing they quickly grasped the necessary skills to move on to more technical kiting during the evening. While the lessons on land were taking place the advanced riders took to the water to quickly show off their skills and warm-up for the competition. An attempt was made at running a big-air competition in the hope of seeing some huge leaps into the sky but unfortunately Mother Nature did not supply the necessary wind.
The call was made to move straight into racing heats. The first of the heats saw DIT, Trinity and UCD battle it out across the waters of Duncannon beach with some exciting action.
An unfortunate start in one of the heats for UCD kiter Colin Torpay who got tangled up in another racers lines at the beginning of a heat. After a few close heats the final race saw the following racers compete: Brian Digan - TCD, Ryan O'Hare - DIT, George Kosinski - UCD, Patrick Haller - UCD and Kevin Doherty - UCD.
In a tight battle at the start of the race Ryan O'Hare got the early lead and blasted towards the mark at the far end of the beach with Brian and Patrick hot on his trail.
At the back of the pack Kevin and George fought to get ahead of each other. In the end the final result saw Ryan O'Hare winning it for DIT with Patrick Haller coming a close 2nd and Brian Digan right behind him in 3rd.
The girls of UCD Kitesurfing also showed impressive skills throughout the weekend dominating the ladies racing final. Although there were great performances all around, mention must be made of Gabriela Drewniak who demonstrated a vast improvement in her kiting ability and also won Club person of the year. James Ryan of UCD won the prize for Rookie of the Year with his dedication over the winter. With the competition wrapped up everyone took to the water to enjoy the rest of the days wind. The results of the days racing were announced after dinner at Roche's Bar with the final score being UCD 5, DIT 3, TCD 1.
Sundays forecast was much lighter than expected and unfortunately we could not get out on the kites. After some creative thinking UCD helped created a new sport- Stand Up Kite Boarding (SUK-Bo). Thanks to the help of Patrick Haller we also did a few wakeboarding runs along the seas edge with Patrick's car. Overall the weekend was a resounding success for the first ever Kitesurfing Varsities and we hope to see it continue and grow in the future. A special thanks to the guys from Hooked Kitesurfing, TCD, RCSI and DIT Kitesurfing Clubs in helping us organise such a successful event. George Kosinski, P.R.O - events manager.