Velocity Games is an internationally recognized action sports event founded in Texas in 2003 and considered "the most publicized windsports event in the nation," by Kiteatlas.com. The five-day event is held annually on Memorial Day Weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Windsurfing Capital of the contiguous United States. Corpus Christi, Texas sits along Corpus Christi Bay in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Velocity Games was originally created as a vehicle for the U.S. Open Windsurfing Regatta and the U.S. Open Kiteboarding Championships. Although the events are recognized worldwide and covered by the major windsports magazines, they typically attracted a viewing audience of less than 5,000 spectators. In the first year under the Velocity Games umbrella, the events attracted more than 50,000 spectators, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
The Velocity Games event was almost cancelled before it began when one of its co-founders, Peter Nordby, was killed in a kiteboarding accident six months before the event was set to launch in May 2003. The organizers put the event planning on hold, but due to the urging of the windsurfing and kiteboarding communities, the planning resumed in time for its scheduled Memorial Day Weekend opening date.
The Velocity Games differentiated itself from other popular action and extreme sports events, such as X-Games, with its watersports focus and its scenic waterfront venue. The featured events: the U.S. Open Windsurfing Regatta (in its 16th year in 2003) and the U.S. Open Kiteboarding Championships (in its 4th year in 2003) were joined with several new events, including the BMX Pro SkyJam and the Benjamin's Pro Sk8Jam." Other events included an extreme fashion style show called Thrashin Fashion as well as several music stages featuring regional bands primarily from the South Texas area. Velocity Games also hosted various national acts, including A Perfect Circle. The event also featured the MTV Rock Wall Challenge, with MTV Road Rules star Mark Long as the celebrity challenger.
Due to the success of the Velocity Games in its inaugural year, a serious traffic problem ensued at the event site and the City of Corpus Christi required that the event be moved in future years to a location with more parking accessibility. After the first year at the Cole Park/Oleander Point site, the event was moved less than a mile north to McGee Beach.
After being managed by its founding company ¡idea! Worldwide for the first three years, the Velocity Games event was handed off to its non-profit Board of Directors, which was originally appointed by its Chairman, Michael R. Reyes, the owner of ¡idea! Worldwide and the Velocity Games trademark. Reyes along with Peter Nordby, and Doug Ahrens are credited as the co-founders of the Velocity Games.
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