On Saturday, August 25th, 2007, an event took place in Hood River, Oregon, that will forever change the future of kiteboarding events. There were no big name riders, yet hundreds came to watch. There was no prize money, yet riders spent months in preparation just to be eligible to participate. The line for event registration was like a scene outside of an Apple store waiting for the iphone release. And more money was dished out at this event than any other in kiteboarding history. This was Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, an event like no other, that raised over $62,000 for partnering cancer research and awareness organizations.
Warm weather and steady wind throughout the day made for a perfect 1st Annual Kiteboarding 4 Cancer setting. 87 kiteboarders raced 7 hours for $15,000 in sponsor gear from Naish Kites, Slingshot Kiteboarding, Dakine, North Kiteboarding, Liquid Force, Best, Eclipse, Skywalker, and Jimmy Lewis. Florida’s Neil Hutchinson called the event, Full Sail Brewery provided the beer garden, Slingshot and Seattle Kiteboarding Center provided the food, and Dakine, Naish, Liquid Force, Slingshot, North and Best all provided demo kites and gear for riders in the event.
The KB4C fundraiser actually started in June, with kiteboarders raising money for KB4C partners The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, CureSearch: The National Childhood Cancer Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Seattle, to be eligible to win fundraising prizes and kite in the event on August 25th. The starting lineup for the kiteboarding derby on August 25th was determined by how early the kiteboarder started fundraising. Prior to the actual event, participating kiteboarders had raised $40,000 for the cause! Combined with a silent auction, live auction, sponsor contests, and a variety of other fundraising activities, the KB4C Kite Derby raised over $20,000 in one day for a total of $62,000 to be given to KB4C cancer research and awareness partners.
Kiteboarders came from as far as Switzerland, New Zealand, and Florida to be part of the event. Riders kited around two buoy markers; one upwind buoy and a downwind buoy, approximately 500 yards apart. Actual riding distance in tacks equaled approximately 2.5 miles, putting the top distance finishers at riding over 125 miles. The final results:
1. Trevor Smith $5260
2. Lance Koudele $3000
3. Jim Stringfellow $3626
4. Tony Colburn $2430
5. Brett Edelen $1600
Top Distance Finishers, in laps:
1. Phil Holmstrand 51
2. Cory Roeseler 50
3. Alex Bloechinger 43
Top Women Distance Finishers, in laps:
1. Carol Bolstad 23
2. Marybeth Zingarelli 22
3. Keri Castle 19
Top Junior Distance Finisher, in laps:
1. Tucker Sherman 18
Musical guests Dyers Rocket out of Portland, and Energy out of White Salmon, Washington rocked the KB4C stage in front of spectators.
“Thank you so much for hosting that awesome event! I would easily say that was the most positve vibe yet for the summer, heck the whole year. This was the best weekend of my whole summer. Thanks again.”
“Thank you guys for working so hard to get this event going. Best event of the year and the after party was awesome.”
“KB4C was so fun, and really great time..you guys need to be proud…This was a landmark event! The beers, demos, food, weather, prizes…and did I mention the SWAG!!!!???? Really cool…we have a special thing going on here!!
“Wow… ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL EVENT! Will be tough to beat… but YES… absolutely do it again next year!”
“I didn’t think there’s such a thing as well organized bunch of kiteboarders when it’s blowing and everyone is jonesing to get out. I encourage everyone to participate next year, it’s your chance to help such a great cause while having a blast.”
Kiteboarding 4 Cancer thanks our cancer research and awareness beneficiaries for being a part of this event as well as all of the sponsors and donors that made this event such a huge sucess:
And we can’t forget the after-party with Energy and Lifesavas at the River City Saloon!
You can still get your commemmorative KB4C tee shirts on the KB4C Website!