7800 KTA Turkey 2011 powered by Audi A1
Following the success of the first season the KTA was back in action again kicking off with a great opening round in Cesme Turkey. The 2010/11 KTA Asia Tour hit the ground running with a challenging four days of competition, two with cross onshore, two with cross-offshore winds and a sneaky no wind day to party and kick back neatly slotted in the middle.
At the end of it all it was one happy crowd of kiters that left Cesme from the stunning bay that houses 7800 Hotel and Residences which along with Audi A1 has given the riders a unique experience of Turkish hospitality along with the biggest cash prize purse the KTA has been able to offer to date – US$10,000. On top of this, there was also support from the industry with title brand sponsor Cabrinha supplying a further US$10,000 worth of equipment as incentive for the winning riders.
Day one started proceedings with a cracking killer Kiteloop competition, grabbing the attention of the beach crowds at a venue that has not seen kiteboarding action before on its shores. Taking the honours from these opening battles was Merve Ceyan representing Turkey for the women and Robin Snuggs from the UK winning it for the men.
Following on from the Kiteloop competition, the women’s freestyle took to the water with some kicking heats showing great style and power from the riders as they fought their way through the single eliminator to a closely fought final between the UK’s Hannah Whitely and the KTA’s current tour champion Germany’s Kathrin Borgwardt. In the end it was to be Hannah winning first place after a two to one decision from the judges.
The next day was the turn of the guys, who in variable wind conditions put out some very high quality performances, making the most of the conditions as they moved through their single eliminator. It was good to see some great riding from many of the local riders giving some of the sponsored riders a tough time getting by them. Local rider and recently crowned Turkish Champion Tanner Aykurt, showed he was still very much on form as he moved steadily through to the finals to meet one of the events pro-riders Mallory de la Villamarque. Although the wind did at this point turn a little light, the two riders pulled out all the stops with Mallory taking the final leading position.
The singles done, the event then moved over into course racing which this year includes both race board and TT classes. Two races were to take place on the second day, with a further four on the third. The first two races enjoyed the same cross onshore winds as the freestyle riders, but following a no wind day the fourth day was a completely different challenge with the winds turning offshore, making leaving and returning to the beach every bit a challenge as the racing itself.
With everything still very much to play for the riders woke up to the final day of competition in Turkey with the winds still blowing offshore, but building in strength. The final course races of the event set the day in motion with the continuing battles in the men’s fleet between Tanner and his brother Yenner, while over in the women’s side of things the same was being mirrored by Kathrin and Merve. However it was TT rider Sezer Ince that cause the biggest stir of the day when he took the top slot in the first race leaving the race boards firmly in his wake, so not quite all over just yet for the twin-tip boys it seems.
With the winds building and nine races already returned for the tour stop, head judge Stephan Hertig and guest race director from the IKA Markus Schwendtner took the decision to complete the freestyle double eliminator. Brave decision with the tricky beach leave and return, but it proved to be the right move and it was great to hear from the riders that they appreciated the professionalism and confidence of the race team to take on the final days conditions to give them the full finish to both competitions.
The event in the end returned full freestyle double eliminators and nine course races, after opening with a killer Kiteloop competition and then closing out with a final Hangtime season. Even the no wind day was not all sit and chill as you can check out on the photo and video reports of the day, notice when you do the tidy skills of the riders as they wake style it out across the 7800 floating pontoon in the inspired and popular grab a bottle of beer competition!
For freestyle it was in the end to be Mallory and Hannah who hung onto their single eliminator positions to take the KTA Turkey tiles, but not before the final day crowds were treated to some excellent displays of power and technique as the rest of the field from both the men and the women’s competitions attempted to upset proceedings.
So a fantastic start to the season with even bigger things being planned for the future in Turkey, so watch this space as they say and lookout for the first KTA video teaser that will tie things up for the 7800 KTA Turkey. Then next stop Hainan Island in China as the KTA moves on from the first country in Asia to the heartland of region.
For further information on the 7800 KTA Turkey check out the daily video reports, event photos, full results list and rankings on the official KTA website www.kiteboardtour.asia which for the first time also includes the archive of the KTA’s first webcast that went out live during the event.
1. Mallory De La Villamarque
2. Tanner Aykurt
3. Luke Whiteside
1. Hannah Whiteley
2. Arzu Taylan
3. Kathrin Bogwardt
Course Race Men (overall)
1. Yener Aykurt
2. Tanner Aykurt
3. Sezer Ince
Course Race Women (overall)
1. Kathrin Bogwardt
2. Merve Ceylan
3. Arzu Taylan
Course Race Men (TT class)
1. Sezer Ince
2. Erkin Sunal
3. Serdar Kradeniz
Course Race Women (TT class)
1. Nesli Kocakiran
2. Maria Simila
3. Damla Pakize Guokmen
Robin Snuggs – Men
Merve Ceylan – Women
Ozgar Ceylan – Men
Arzu Yaylan – Women