1st DAY OF THE MASTER OF THE OCEAN 2023 STARTS WITH PLEASANT CONDITIONS, HIGH SPIRITS AND TROPICAL BEATS!
CABARETE, Dominican Republic- 23rd of February, 2023
The first day of the 18th edition of the Master of the Ocean 2023 started with fair blue tropical skies and moderate conditions for the athletes in a paradise setting at the competition site. The day kicked off slightly behind schedule as the registration event during the afternoon and night before was a colorful success. It was held on Wednesday the 22nd at the Cocotazo Café on Kite Beach with a traditional Dominican Folkloric Drumming Group that came to entertain from Puerto Plata and much fun to be had by all.
The Master of the Ocean Competition is an extreme elite competition of 5 watersports: surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddling and wing foiling. It is a unique watersports decathlon in the world that consists of Team, Overall and Expression Session Categories. There were small to moderate conditions with 2 to 4-foot swell and 12 to 17 knots of wind that remained pretty consistent throughout the day of the 23rd.
The first Overall Wing Foil Heat got underway at 11:00 am after the Skipper´s meeting at 10 am and official Dominican Flag hoisting ceremony at 10:30 am. Bobo Gallagher from the Paradise Island Team, 13- year old overall Hawaiian athlete and one of the youngest of the competition, showed power, flow, style and versatility for his young years coming in first position. He was followed by veteran athletes Yannick Mittas and Linus Erdmann from the Condor Team of Germany.
The second Overall Wing Foiling heat displayed the talents of famous Swiss Athlete Balz Mueller from Team Edelweiss, a multiple world champion and pioneer in Wing Foiling, who came in first. Balz carried out some impressive backloops and transitions on his wing foil which impressed the crowd on the beach. He was followed by Francis Gonzalez Martinez, a seasoned Dominican Republic overall rider, and ¨Action Man¨ Brian Talma from Barbados who stylishly surfed long waves with his wing foil. Two Overall Kitesurf heats followed with Dominican Republic pro riders Francis Gonzalez Martinez, coming in 1st place in his heat, and Joselito del Rosario standing out during the heats with solid moves such as kiteloops, handle passes and one foot jumps. Hawaiian Bobo Gallagher came in 1st position in his heat with fluid surfing while attempting many tricks on both twin tip and foil boards in the small conditions as the surf was not big enough for the full completion of many moves.
The first heats of the day were followed by Kite Team Heats with the Edelweiss Team from Switzerland coming in 1st place and pulling off many versatile tricks for the crowd in the spectacular crystal blue venue. Condor from Germany also put on an impressive display of talents and skills for the spectators. Dominican Republic´s Teams Cocotazo and Mango House will be part of the Repercharge Heats on the 24th and will have more chances to shine in changing conditions as nature always rules. The afternoon had a rerun of heats with the participation of French/Dominican Cabarete local Victoria Bramtot, our youngest Overall Kitesurfing athlete at 11- years old, who showed a very advanced skill level for her age! We also had a great display of powerful kitesurfing in waves by local kitesurfing veteran and co-owner of Cocotazo Café, Jose Luis Ciriaco. The remaining afternoon remained sunny and slightly windy yet not windy enough to be able to carry out an Overall Windsurfing heat. As a result, day ended at 5:30 pm with the crowd thoroughly enjoying the tropical sunshine accompanied by tropical beats from local DJs.
Despite the light to moderate conditions, crowds were delighted with the first day of the Master of the Ocean 2023. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the first Overall SUP and Overall Surf heats after the Skipper´s Meeting at 7 am and increasing wind conditions for the 2nd round of all wind sport heats in all disciplines. Friday, the 24th of February, is community day with a myriad of community and environmental activities for children and adults in conjunction with Happy Dolphins DR including a recue drill demonstration by Kymera Boards and Inspire DR, a coral nursery demonstration from GIZ and Iberostar and environmental talks by community, marine science and conservation experts.
We want to especially thank our sponsors Condor, Edelweiss, Copa Airlines, MITUR, Banco de Reservas, Corona, Millenium Resorts and Spa, Viva Wyndham Resorts, Natura Cabana, Tubagua and the German Embassy in Santo Domingo for helping us make this first day of Master of the Ocean 2023 a success. Look out for community day and more action and amazing world class performances from international and local talents tomorrow!