The second annual Maui Kite Fest was just 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 by defending their title in the Men's Open Race division and also having the highest jump and longest hangtime that sent the crowd into a roar. Friday started with an cool party in Paia that legendary reggae musician Mishka played a show during. Saturday started early with a big beach cleanup and then strait to the races and big air from there. There were also Hydrofoil competitions but organizers would not allow both disciplines so Team Kite HI decided to go with their trusty twintips for the comp 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 big air / race, along with the Ozone Amp 9m which was perfect for big powered kite loops. Standouts were Garfield King 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 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 frontroll 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.
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Pictures from fellow Maui Ozone team riders: Martin Caprile, Tiffany Nunan, & Lena Stroheker