Johnno Keys wins 2012 Red Bull L2L with the Ozone Edge
Name - Johnno Keys
Age - 40plus
Years kiting - started in 2000 - 13 years - Loved freestyle until did my shoulders in 2009 - Love waves in WA & Indonesia - took up racing so I can kite in under 15 knots totally powered on my 17m Ozone Edge
About the L2L and my history with the race…
2010 - Result 4th on surfboard 60 starters - Alex C the french speed champ smoked us all by 3minutes. I was in lead pack of 2,3rd & 4th & then crashed on finish line with 50m to go - Moral of story - don’t don’t go for glory on finish line and crash. Johnno get a faster board & kite.
2011 - Result 33rd 110 starters - Got my Ozone Edges & made a custom race-board especially for race. On start line Ahhhhhh a newbie racer tangled me at pin end next to start boat by looping through my lines - untangled and started 8minutes late passed 77 other kiters to finish - My board really fast. Moral of race - Get a clean start.
2012 - 1st - 40seconds off record - 110 kiters wind perfect at 18 to 22knots so bag up a 13m Ozone Edge with race bar and race lines. Got my new slalom race board with a few tweeks from last year. I have no start mojo after last year - so decide to go 300m down wind from race start boat and plan to start slow and race around pack down wind and see what happens after that. 1min to start the start line is chaos with 110 kites trying to get a good position - I leave beach with 10seconds to start and get a slow start 8 seconds late in 25th place - sheet in and accelerate instantly up to 100% race speed looking about 20m infront to see all chop coming at speed. I pass all of the fleet at 1.5km and don’t look back for 12km. At 12km the Lead L2L boat decides to go upwind around a private vessel and a another large 30m dive boat and then go wind again of a huge ship anchored in shipping lane - I blindly race into the resulting chop, backwash and general washing machine of these 3 vessels and nearly stacked 2 times. I looked behind and the 1st time and see fleet was about 1.5km behind and closing as my trip around the ship waisted heaps of time ( makes a great money shot from Helicopter as my kite nearly touches the ship)
Back to race and Johnno Head down again accelerate up to race speed and with 7km to go I then enter a huge floating carpet of weed & weird chop for the next 1knm and nearly stacked a couple of times so decided to slow to 85% and make sure I made it over the line. DALE Stanton who got 2nd was now about 1km upwind and I speed up to cover him. The last 5km was pretty fast and flat with a few big crazy cross chops from the lead boat. Dale was trying 100% to pass me but I had him covered - Then BANG - Cross the finish line with Dale 150m behind. Cool. What a buzz. To much fun.
Plan achieved in 2012. A fast board - A fast kite - A clean start - No crashes in race - No crashes on finish line.
See You all again next year