Los Barriles sits on the Sea of Cortez halfway between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. Known mostly for its fishery, this area enjoys wintertime winds that funnel down the Gulf of California from the north.
Windsurfers started migrating to the area when the roads started improving in the last decades of the 20th Century. Kiteboarders followed. In the early 2000s, races started popping up, like the Ventana Classic, an hour and a half north of Los Barriles at La Ventana near La Paz. Kiteboarders and windsurfers race in divisions from the shore of the peninsula 13 miles across the white-capped Canal de la Ventana to Isla Cerralvo and back.
The Lord of the Wind events on January 18 through 22 in Los Barriles are kiteboard and windsurfer course races, downwind slaloms, freestyle, big-air competition, “bordercross,” and a SUP race. The male and female participants with the highest cumulative points will be crowned Lord or Lady of the Wind.
The Lord of the Wind organizers are working on making the 2018 Lord of the Wind the host for the qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games later that year. The competition is open to professional and nonprofessional kiteboarders. Entry fees are $150 for Pro divisions and $75 for Open divisions. Aside from the daily races, there are social events each evening, and on the beach daily, spectators will find tents and booths where they can buy food, drinks and clothing, the latest kite equipment, and even information on Baja real estate.