Special THANKS to all the sponsors that make this event possible ! Triple-S Invitational event sponsors include REAL, John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Red Bull, Outer Beaches Realty, Oakley, Kona Brewing Co., Ocean Builders, Watermen’s Retreat, MOJOs Sunset Café, Icelandic Water, Dakine, Surfrider Foundation, Chucktown and Slingshot.
2009 Triple-S kicks off in Cape Hatteras, NC….
The 2009 Triple-S Invitational kicked off on Saturday, May 30th with the official Triple-S Welcome Dinner and Opening Ceremonies Party. The Triple-S Invited riders and the public were treated to a classic Carolina BBQ Pig Roast with all the trimmings outside right on the water at The Slick.
The Welcome Dinner started at 5pm and put the sun down as “DJ Chela” kicked up the music and the Triple-S Opening Ceremonies Party. As the crowd started to wind up, spectators were stoked with a 6 table Triple-S athlete autograph session on the official event poster. Imagine being able to have one poster with signatures from Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten, Robby Naish, Andre Phillip, Greg Norman Jr, Jason Slezak, Sam Bell, Brandon Scheid, Kevin Langeree, Susi Mai, Clarissa Hempel and all the Triple-S athletes, all on one poster! The vibe during the autograph session was off the hook as the excitement (and music) kept building and building! AT 9:10PM it was time to party and the tables were cleared and the dancing began….
The Triple-S Opening Ceremonies Party continued thru until 11pm with rider introductions and a speech from Robby Naish officially kicking off the event. Unbelievable music and dancing continued until 11pm at REAL and MOJOs, and then carried on to the after hours party where DJ Chela threw down until 4am! Needless to say, everyone was loving the 11am riders meeting on Sunday morning!
Launch of the John Wayne Slider
Every year the Triple-S grows, both in athlete participation and excitement, as well as in the event itself, the parties and the REAL Slider Park. This year, John Wayne Cancer Foundation stepped up to the plate and launched a new slider into the park that redefined the standard for kiteboarding sliders worldwide. This new rail was built by The Wake Park Project in Florida, constructed with welded aluminum, covered in HDPE (high density polyethylene). Basically, it is going to last longer than any of us reading this article AND it is perfectly designed, a true work of genius! The new John Wayne rail is 82’ feet long and features a removable gap section in the middle, so it can be set up as an “A-Frame” or a “Gap Slider”. To see it in the water brings only jaw dropping awe…. The only thing even close to the experience of seeing the JWCF in the water is looking at a 100’ maxi ocean racing sailboat pulling out of Newport to set a new Transatlantic record. It’s that tight, that powerful and that perfect. The new John Wayne rail means business and from the second it was delivered to REAL (on three flat bed trucks driving thru the night from Florida) the Triple-S athletes were drooling!
The SW winds filled in all day Sunday and riders hit the water for a “Slicks” session to kick off the event. The first run was an 8 mile downwinder thru “The Planet of the Apes” with high speed tricks, low level/powered wake maneuvers, massive downwind speed, land gaps, dock slides, canal runs and mega kite loops from all the riders. Seeing these guys and girls sending down this infamous run is a true privilege. Triple-S event co-director Jason Slezak guided his friends down the run showing them every nook and cranny of flat water, canals, and dock sliders that make this run the ultimate in the world.
Riders landed at REAL, then enjoyed some deck time at MOJOs Sunset Café enjoying lunch, Icelandic Water and a few Red Bulls to get pumped for the PM session. The entire REAL Slider Park was set up right off REAL, allowing unbelievable spectator viewing with bleachers, music and cold Kona Brewing Company beer flowing off 10 taps. The REAL Funbox and Flat Rail were the first to be set up and riders sessioned them senseless as the new megaladon JWCF rail made its way to the water.
Right out of the blocks, riders were going for distance and style on the new John Wayne rail and screaming at the top of their lungs with excitement. This new rail is so rock steady in the water, offering a wide, perfectly smooth sliding surface. The center section was installed for the first sessions, showing a clear plexiglass center section Susi Mai dreamed of filling with jelly beans! Aaron, Ruben, Brandon, Sam Bell and Greg Norman were the first to ride end to end, and then push the envelope with insane nose presses, handle passes, gaps and more. The rest of the riders followed and upped the anti each run. The riders sessioned the JWCF until the sun went down, uncorking a full day of Triple-S action right in front of REAL. We could write for hours about this session, but the video at the bottom of the page does a better job of showcasing the action.
Kona Sunset Session Parties
Kona Brewing Company of Hawaii partnered with the Triple-S to throw 5 KONA Sunset Session Parties Sunday thru Thursday. Sunday evening kicked off the first of this series with a great sunset, music, unbelievable Triple-S action and cold Kona Brewing Co beer right at the water’s edge! You couldn’t imagine a better place to sit back and watch the action. Monday saw lighter NE winds during the day, allowing for Triple-S rider interviews and media appearances to be completed, and the REAL Slider Park to be prepared for more SW winds on Tuesday. …
Monday night saw the second Kona Sunset Session Party with Camp-F playing live on the back deck right on the water from 7-11pm. Hundreds of people gathered for the sunset, food and beverages from Mojos, then danced the decking off the studs as Camp-F brought the crowd into a gyrating frenzy. The 7 parties / 5 bands concept has really caught fire as the entire Cape Hatteras community, locals, employees, business owners, and literally every tourist on the island is coming by to enjoy the kiteboarding action, live music and unbelievable views and excitement.
The Triple-S week to come…….
The 2009 Triple-S Invitational in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina continues through June 5th. The forecast is in place for good SW winds all the way thru Friday. Tuesday Triple-S action will take place in The Slick where the riders are literally dying to ride the new JWCF in butter smooth water. This is where the envelope will be pushed further than ever before in the sport of kiteboarding. The Kona Sunset Session Parties continue every night this week with Mojo Collins playing live on Wednesday night and then Dub Island Sound System on Friday Night at the Awards Party. There is another outdoor BBQ dinner on Friday starting at 5pm to kick off the Awards Ceremony, so make your plans to get here as quickly as possible to enjoy the rest of the 2009 Triple-S Invitational!!!