Extreme Winds Hit St. Peter-Ording
Today, St. Peter-Ording experienced wind gusts of over 45 mph mixed with rain and rising tides in the afternoon. The weather early on allowed for the beginning of trial heats, which ran through heat #13. After this point, winds were simply too strong to safely carry on competition.
The trials that did take place were incredibly impressive, as the wind was clearly gusty and highly unpredictable. Most riders were over-powered on their 6 and 7-meter kites, as they kept barely enough control to execute some stellar maneuvers and complicated tricks. With considerably more wind swell than the day prior, freestylers battled the rough waters and choppy conditions with both bravery and grace. Johnno Scholte (NED), Tijn Van Esch (NED), Reno Romeu (BRA), Finn Behrens (GER), and Antoine Fermon (FRA) all did especially well, throwing down a myriad of powered tricks, each placing first in their respective heats. Other top finishers included Christophe Tack (BEL), Ariel Cornial (DR), and Ben Bowd (UK), among others.
Aside from the absence of competition, the beach and event site still proved to be an entertaining spectacle, with downed flags, flooded tents, and wind-blown faces everywhere. As the sand hissed over the beach from around 9am on, competitors kept up their hopeful attitudes and willingness to stay huddled inside the massive wind-battered tents for the majority of the day, until it was officially called off at 2pm.
Tomorrow, the wind is expected to ease up, with probable measurements of 15-20 knots. These conditions will likely be ideal for the continuation and completion of trial heats as well as the possible start of single elimination heats. Racing may also take place, depending on the wind levels.