February 2nd was our first attempt to achieve our goal of Big Air kiting out at Cape Point. I was the first crew to arrive to check the wind at Platboom Beach for an indication of wind strength. It was blowing east-southeast as we needed it to. Unfortunately, it was only coming in around 20 knots. Nonetheless, we gathered at Buffels Bay and ran through our plan of action for the mission ahead. It was about 12 kilometers directly upwind from our launch loca- tion to where our riders would need to be, so Jett suggested towing the kites upwind in the boat, a technique he had learned while teaching kiting in Greece. In case this technique backfired on us, we split up the riders using the old rock/paper/scissors gameplay technique, which granted Jett and Luca a free ride on board the vessel while Graham and Cohan would attempt the launch from Diaz Beach on the Atlantic side. In addition, the camera team also split up to ensure we had all the angles covered. Miles, Maarten and I were to be onboard the boat along with the riders and Alex Vliege, Athlete Manager and trip coordinator. Adam and Andy would hold the fort on terra firma to capture the land angle.
When Graham and Cohan arrived at Diaz Beach, they were faced with the grim realization that there was no wind present at the beach down below. In addition to the super light winds, a three-meter ground swell from the southern Atlantic Ocean was detonating along the coast against the steep cliffs of the mountainside. Meanwhile, on the boat, Miles, Maarten, Luca, Jett, and I smoothly navigated beyond the safety of False Bay and into the big blue sea. It was a suspiciously smooth drive, but we only noticed how light the wind was when we stopped moving the boat. It was unexpected as we were very much in the epicenter of the summer kiting season, and the forecasts were all looking favorable. At the tip of Cape Point, the southeast wind meets the sheer and mighty mountainside and is forced to diverge, blowing cross-shore along the west-facing edge of the peninsula towards Platboom Beach and blowing onshore along the east-facing edge of the peninsula to- wards Buffels Bay beach. I believe this is the reason that in front of the point itself, the wind was not blowing at total capacity.
Jett and Luca hopped off the boat on their 11m and 10m Orbits respectively. The land camera team consisting of Adam and Andy, kept in contact using two-way radios with Miles, Maarten and myself on the boat, capturing the action from there with the iconic backdrop in sight. We got word over the radio that Graham and Cohan would not make it out due to the lack of wind on the shoreline. Jett and Luca managed to get a few tacks in and sneak in a few loops, but the wind was too light for the action we had envisioned. After about two hours out at sea, we accepted that this would be the maximum wind strength and decided to take what we had and head back to shore. We caught word that Kitebeach, Blouberg, had nuking winds that very afternoon, so we raced from Cape Point back to Blouberg in time for a super productive sunset shoot at Dolphin Beach.