Light wind characterised the first day of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe and Kitegatta 2012 in Netherlands. In preparation for the competition, competitors arrived to the event site yesterday evening for the registration and to analyse the dutch conditions before the event begins.
For the racing and freestyle discipline, 101 riders will make up the event by representing 15 nationalities, At this event, 42 male and a great participation of 18 female riders will compete in Freestyle action and 41 riders in Course Racings. With the best kiteboarding talents here in Netherlands, the 3rd leg of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe will certainly provide a full range of high action, amazing tricks and nippy speeds in one of the most fantastic kiting location in Holland – Brouwersdam.
Beginning today at 10am with the first skippers meeting, competitors gathered for the first possible signs of wind and suitable conditions. The breeze seemed to hold on, giving riders the possibility pumping up their kites and readying their gear for the first Course Racings. After the sound of the horn, racers battled for perfect positioning and lead spots.
After 3 full races, Florian Gruber (GER) took first leading position with Riccardo Leccese (Columbia) not far behind on second place and others such as Maxime Nocher (FRA) and local rider Rolf van der Vlugt (NED) finishing on place third and fourth.
In the women fleet, Stephanie Bridge (UK) happily earned first for the women with Christine Bönniger (GER) on second and local rider Katja Roose (NED) on third.
As racing has just recently been announced as an Olympic sport for the 2016 games in Rio de Jeneiro, all riders report an increased interest in the sport of kiteboarding, and more specifically kite racing.
For the next 3 days ahead, the wind forecast looks light. But hopefully, it should provide enough breeze for racing and freestyle disciplines to take place. In the meantime, competitors enjoy the Kitegatta area by testing 2013 material or checking out the awesome benefits of a MINI Cooper and a MINI Roadster.