No Wind in L’Almanarre
After an action-packed third day of competition at the Gold Games in Hyeres, France, competitors and spectators entered into day four, unsure of what to expect. With a light wind forecast but a steady breeze blowing at around 10am, race director Olaf Van Tol instructed the riders to ready their gear for a 10:35 first possible start. The course was soon changed and the marks were set; however, not long after most riders made it to the starting point, the wind began to die back down to an unacceptable 6 knots. With so many kites now on the water, rescue boats and jet skis were ready to carry out a massive rescue mission, one that turned out to be not quite as large-scale as expected.
Disappointed by the wind variability, competitors returned to the beach and the meeting area to wait once more, enjoying lunch and the pleasant atmosphere. As the day continued on, there were brief moments where it looked as if the wind might pick up – only to die back down again, clouds and sun moving in interchangeably.
Interestingly, protests from day three changed the rankings slightly, moving Olivier Dansin (FRA) into second overall, and John Heineken (USA) into third, with Riccardo Leccese (COL) still holding in first place. Adam Koch (USA) commented that, while he would have of course enjoyed more wind for the event, he loved to be able to ride flat water for a change and compete against an ever-improving fleet of racers.
Freestyle riders Sebastian Garat, Ariel Corniel, and Eudazio Da Silva also sat patiently around the rider’s area. Garat joked that he has often been unlucky in coming to L’Almanarre as far as the wind is concerned; however he still enjoys the area and has instead taken advantage of the bustling nightlife of Hyeres and nearby Cannes instead.