Day 2- Exciting Day of Racing and Trials Action
Competition from day two of the Think Blue Kitesurf World Cup got underway this afternoon in light onshore winds. The wind built steadily and the day’s action began with slalom racing followed by the continuation of the freestyle trials. Ultimately, one round of slalom was completed, and six heats of men’s freestyle trials heats were run.
With sunny skies prevailing, the wind had shifted to onshore, which created choppy conditions. By 2:30 pm, the wind had increased and the slalom racers took to the water first on their big kites and boards. While most riders chose directional boards, some chose to use light wind specific twin tips for the long reaches between marks on the three-buoy course.
With the largest fleet seen on the tour this year, many of the qualifier races experienced exciting buoy-roundings and tight finishes. A dramatic men’s final race saw Julien Kerneur (FR) taking the hole-shot with defending world champion Brian Lake (US) close behind. On the leg between the second and third buoy, Lake overtook Kerneur, when at the second mark, Lake had difficulty slowing down and turning his kite at the buoy, which allowed Kerneur to navigate a tighter line around the mark and grab the lead. “It was pretty painful to watch Julien overtake me, but I learned from it” Lake commented on the race.
The women’s final race was equally as exciting, with Christine Boenniger (DE) making it first to the first mark followed closely by Katya Roose (NL) and Annelous Lammerts (NL). After some very close jibes with the fleet tightly grouped, Roose took over on the inside at the second mark as Boenniger crashed, allowing the other competitors to take over with Lammerts securing second and the current points leader, Bibiana Magaji (EE), finishing third.
By 4 pm the round of racing was complete and the wind had increased enough for the freestyle competitors to be powered on 14-16m kites. With the riders in the trials eager to secure a spot in the main event, the whole crew was going for it with some impressive riding going down from some big names, as well as from some lesser-known new-comers. Due to the onshore conditions, riders were landing big tricks in the flat, but very shallow water next to the beach, putting the action right in the faces of the thousands of spectators lining the shore. In the end, six heats were run to completion before the wind began to drop, forcing the abandonment of two heats, at which time the competition was called for the day.
Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for light winds to continue with a chance of an afternoon increase. Riders meeting is set for 10:30 am and a first possible start at 11 am.