Day 2 of the Mondial Du Vent 2009 in the city of Leucate, France started with a much colder temperature than yesterday. The temperature fell to 9° Celsius with wind chill near freezing point, which provided an extreme setting for the athletes that include some of the best kiteboarders in the world. There was a light rain during the competition but that didn’t dampen the excitement of the athletes and the crowd. In fact, there were more people on the beach today compared to yesterday as the crowd was eager to see their respective favorites back in action.
The skippers meeting was held at exactly 09:00h with the Men’s trials event hitting the waters an hour and fifteen minutes later. After two rounds of trials and the ladder drawing for the Men’s singles, the main event took off at approximately noon.
New Caledonian Tom Hebert (Airush) started off the main event with an awesome display of kiteboarding in the super strong winds providing a spectacle to the crowd on the beach. Hebert, who was up against Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) proved to be the better man, landing huge kiteloops and handle pass moves. Meanwhile, an unfortunate and rare accident transpired in the following heat involving local rider Vincent Tiger (F-One) with his board flying into his face after a failed move causing injury. The French rider was assisted out of the water and was tended by the event doctors before he was taken to the local hospital where he is now listed in stable condition. The competition went on hold for approximately two hours after the incident and the rest of the day saw remarkable kiteboarding from the athletes.
The second heat saw a powered up and psyched Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) going for the moves, landing a blind judge with aerial handle pass, hasselhoff, s-bend to blind, a double s-bend, non-inverted slim, mobe and back to blind air pass. Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE) struggled in the heat with some serious kite troubles, ending his run with just a front mobe and raley. Randy Hereman (F-One, NED) had an easy win in the same heat against local rider Thomas Paris (North, FRA) who landed a krypt.
Spanish rider Cesar Portas who ranked 8th overall last year had a strong start, displaying solid riding in the third heat defeating another local rider Mickael Neral. Brazilian Reno Romeu (North) also had a great start, landing a variety of solid moves versus Victor Borsuk (Naish, POL) who managed to stomp a non-inverted slim, 313 and mobe 5. Romeu’s solid variation, overall power and a higher technical difficulty score earned him the win.
In the 4th heat, Eli Zarka’s comeback to the PKRA World Tour was short-lived. Unfortunately for the Israeli rider, he was up against last year’s world number two – Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) who went on with his famous bag of super-powered tricks including a 313, blind judge with aerial handle pass, slim, hasselhoff, back to blind air pass and a huge kiteloop – all executed in 30-knot winds. Benjamin DuPont (FRA) also defeated Johnno Scholte (Slingshot, NED) in the same heat with smoother style and cleaner landings.
Heat #5 was an easy win for Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) who was in his home turf against North rider Dan James (GBR) while the man from Down Under Andy Yates (Slingshot) had his day carved out for him, winning over Russian rider Sergey Delmesov (LF Kites) with more powered moves and variation.
World number 5 Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) took an easy win in Heat #6a against Italian Erik Volpe (Hairus) with more technical difficulty and powered moves, landing an easy blind judge, back to blind air pass, s-bend to blind and a kiteloop – enough to beat Volpe’s blind judge with aerial handle pass and big airs.
While everyone else were landing old-school moves, Lewis Crathern (Slingshot, GBR) displayed some radical moves and style enabling him to win over another local rider Antonin Rongim (Best) with a blind judge, flat 360 off the small rollers coming in and huge kiteloop-backloops.
Meanwhile, Russian Petr Tyuskevich cleanly landed a blind judge, s-bend to blind, blind judge with aerial handle pass, flat 360 and a slim in the 7th heat, easily edging out Stefann Maselli (Advance, ITA) who managed a kiteloop and big airs. Austrian Michael Schitzhofer (JN Kites) also had his share of victory, winning with higher technical difficulty score against Sam Light (Naish, GBR) while Thomas Teixeira (RRD, BRA) took the last victory of the elimination round versus Matthieu Judie (Cabrinha, FRA) with a higher technical riding score plus cleaner landings.
In the second round, Mario Rodwald (North, GER) lost his kite during Heat #9 enabling Hebert to run away with the win and went big with a high handle pass mobe plus huge kiteloops against Rodwald’s blind judge 3 and 313. Strong riding from Zoon earned him another chance for the third round, beating Hereman with higher technical difficulty score. Zoon landed a clean blind judge with aerial handle pass, back to blind air pass, front mobe, s-bend to blind with air pass and a non-inverted slim while Hereman landed a slim, backroll and a raley.
In the 10th Heat, Romeu (ranked #11 overall) had an upset win against world number 8 Portas in a strong showing of kiteboarding skills, winning via technical difficulty and variation. The Brazilian champ landed a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, flat 360, back to blind air pass, mobe and blind. Another highlight of the day came courtesy of world championship contender Kevin Langeree who had an easy win over DuPont in Heat #10b, who jump over the crowd and got a lot of cheers in return.
The 11th Heat saw Garat taking advantage of the icy weather condition and strong winds busting out Yates who seemed out of sorts in the cold weather. The French rider took the win with a blind judge, front mobe and mobe 5 against the Aussie’s 313, blind judge and slimchance. Also in the same heat, Pastor ended Crathern’s run with more technical difficulty score and variation, landing a blind judge with aerial handle pass, non-inverted slim, s-bend to blind and kiteloop while Crathern managed only a raley to blind, blind judge and a few kiteloops with his Slingshot.
Finally, the last heats of the day gave Tyuskevich and current World Champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR) a win a piece against their respective opponents despite the biting cold. Shitzhofer lost to the Russian champ with less technical score while Teixeira bowed down to the reigning world champion.
The competition wrapped up for the day at 17:30h when the wind subsided completely causing the 5th heat of the women’s event to be cancelled for tomorrow. The mandatory skippers meeting is set for 09:00h with first possible start at 09:30h.
The Mondial Du Vent 2009 and the Official PKRA World Tour 2009 in France is brought to you by the Office de Tourisme de Leucate (http://www.leucate.net) under the partnership of VW Utilitaires (http://www.vup-france.com/) and Portail Orange (http://www.orange.fr/). ExtremeElements.TV is the official media partner.