After a quite day three, which focused on fun/demo wakeboard sessions and riders clinics from Dimitri Maramenides newly of Epic kites and Maelstorm, the final day saw a complete change of wind again and this time it would be blasting!
Riders and spectators alike were treated to competition riding at its best with a wind speed average of 26-28kts throughout the day once it started to blow through. With the course racing already in the bag from the earlier days, the final day was able to concentrate and complete all its freestyle competitions. So the day would see the first KTA Greater China comp for local riders, the KTA women’s freestyle and the completion of the double eliminator for the men.
All rounds had their great moments that produced screams and shouts of support from the Chinese crowds, most of who had never seen kiteboarding before. Great performances were put in by Zhoung Bin Xin, Lin Wen Liang and Zhang Huabao as they battled their way through the local event, with Bin Xin in the end taking the top place as China’s first freestyle winner.
Great performances also from the women were to follow and although there was not a high number of entries, it was good to see the girls put up a strong performance, with Hill Siu from Hong Kong taking the honours.
By the time the international men’s freestyle event hit the water to complete the second part of the double eliminator the wind was now at times gusting towards the mid 30kt area, although it settled down once more for the majority of the heats.
All the riders pushed the limits showing some great power and height in their jumps, along with a good mixed bag of unhooked and hooked tricks. Each round was a sceptical in its own right, with riders well matched and often throwing move for move. Some great performances were returned by Karem Balik (Turkey) and Dogue Delos Santos (Philippines), with Deivis Maciulis (Estonia) catching the attention of the judges with high powered F16’s and S bends. AJ (Thailand) gave a tidy performance keeping good control in the gusts, landing a range of cool grabs in his performances. Sadanovi Tsunekawa (Japan) rode to his limits also and never lost that smile throughout any of his heats, which summed up the feeling of the KTA.
The top performances of the day though lay between Ken Nacor (Philippines) Yo (Thailand) and Sadat Celenk (Turkey) who battled hard from the first rounds to the end, great style, power and range from all of the boys and hats off to Yo who came through from the losers side of the double eliminator in a series of blinding rides to end up in the final against Ken Nacor.
The final lived up to expectations as each rider pull out all the stops. Yo with an explosive range of unhooked power moves against Ken’s wide verity, of grabs, loops and handle passes. It was to be one close call for the judges, but in the end Ken’s consistent smooth moves with every landing stuck beautifully was to put him ahead of Yo.
With the final day on the water done, the riders and KTA crew met for the closing party and prize giving ceremony at FNCN’s truly amazing and unique sportswear shop in downtown Xiamen. A big thanks to FNCN for a night to remember, with food, many a drink and some amazing break dancing, all topped off nicely of course with the more than happy riders collecting their prizes and enjoying their moments of glory as the winners in the first round of the KTA. All covered throughout by Fat Sand Productions and China’s CCTV5 Sports channel, along with a battery of news and magazine photographers. So look out for all the online, print and TV coverage of the Xiamen event.
Full results listings and photo gallery of the KTA China will be posted later this week as we all gradually return from Xiamen and back to more accessible internet – so keep checking the official website www.kiteboardtour.asia
Top three places for each discipline
KTA Greater China
1. Zhong Bin Xin
3. Zhang Huabao
1. Li Peng
2. Zhang Huabao
3. Ye Hui Ling
1. Ken Nacor
2. Yo – Pudla Narapichit
3. Sedat Celenk
1. Hill Siu
3. Dianne Hanlin
KTA Course Race
1. Pudla Narpichit Yo
2. Lai Hong Phi
3. Sedat Celenk
2. Hill Siu (did not finish)
3. Dianne Hanlin (did not start)
Mega thanks also to the KTA sponsors especially our headline local sponsor FNCN, with support from the China Kiteboarding Centre, Ozone and X Beach Entertainment. Plus of course our headline tour sponsors Evason Six Sense Spa, with tour support sponsorship from Cabrinha, Phuket Design, SueMe and Maelstorm. Also not forgetting out media partners Fat Sand Productions, Action Asia, Kiteworld Magazine, Kiteforum and KeepClicking.