It was an early start for the rider’s on day 4 of the VKWC in St. Peter Ording, with the temperatures feeling somewhat lower than the previous days here. The slalom racers prepared their gear under the overcast skies and got ready for a morning full of rapid racing action.
The first rounds of the men’s and women’s third slalom elimination were run successfully. We witnessed an exciting final for this 3rd elimination, after frenchman Julien Kerneur (FR/Airush) and his team mate Oswald Smith (ZA/Airush) went over early and were disqualified. The second start of the heat was incredibly tight with Florian Gruber (DE/Ozone) in the lead followed closely by Marvin Baumeister (AUS/Flysurfer), Jannis Maus (DE/North) and Olly Bridge (GB/North). Maus overtook Baumeister at the 2nd mark by using a smart strategy and taking the inside. Bridge then managed to do the same right at the finish line bringing him to 3rd place behind Maus and a commited Gruber who gained some distance on the third tack and finished well ahead of the others, which gave him a well deserved 1st position. The german rider Emmanuel Norman (DE/Flysurfer) tangled with the young moroccan talent Elias Ouahmid (MOR/North), which meant he was unable to repeat his good score from yesterday and ended up in a 6th position followed by Norman.
The B final was also full of excitement especially with Aaron Hadlow (GB/North) whilst riding a twin-tip winning over Rolf Van der Vlugt (NED/Airush) who was first after the second mark but then got confused and went too far downwind. Aaron took advantage of his mistake and managed to grab the lead.
The current overall results stand with Florian Gruber in 1st place, followed by Marvin Baumeister and Rolf Van der Vlugt.
The women’s B final was also packed with action. A massive and unfortunate tangle took place at the start line involving Rita Arnaus (ES/Best), Semira Bernnat (DE/Cabrinha), Jana Schader (DE/Cabrinha) and Sabrina Schlossnikel (DE/Ozone). Cosima Sommer (DE/Best), Sonja Bunte (DE/North) and Nina Schumacher (DE/Ozone) used this to their advantage and managed to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The B Final was just as exciting with Annelous Lammerts (NED/Slingshot) ending up in front of the top ranked girls Katja Roose (NED/Airush) and Steph Bridge (GB/North). Lammerts was competing on a twin-tip and managed to go faster in the jibes thanks to the increasing winds. It was a tough fight for 2nd place but it eventually came to Roose, with Bridge coming in 3rd. The three women are currently holding those same positions in the overall slalom rankings.
The continuation of the freestyle qualifiers for today was a battle between two generations; Anther Racca (MX/Airush) agaisnt Mike Blomvall (SE/Future). Blomvall has been competing for over 10 years already, and although he is no longer a regular on the tour, he still wanted to come here to compete at St. Peter Ording. Racca in contrast, is one of the youngest up and coming riders, who won the Youth Cup in Costa Brava this year in the Under 17 category. Experience proved vital to Blomvall, as he managed to pull off a good heat despite the gusty and light conditions. Unfortunately, Racca was unable to put his heat together well, so Blomvall advanced.
Also advancing directly to round 3 are Ariel Corniel (DR/Naish), Arne Bolts (DE/Flysurfer), Florian Gruber (DE/Ozone) and Mike Schitzhofer (AUS/Best).
At 6pm, the heats were called off due to the declining winds. Tomorrow looks like it will offer up great conditions, so the rider’s meeting has been called for 8am with the first possible start at 8.30am. We look forward to another extraordinary day of kiteboarding!