In the second chapter of FORWARD, Youri Zoon is back on on track and shows the local kinds in Cape Town that kiteboarding is fun.
Even with the title in his pocket, he is still searching for new possibilities to defend his world title. These new tactics bring great opportunities, but sometimes even bigger risks. Youri has to decide: is this the time to take a leap into something new? Is he willing to open himself to a new way of kiteboarding to push his riding to a higher level?
PKRA footage courtesy of Seventh Frame (7f.tv)
Thumbnail photo by ydwer.com
The first day of competition at the MINI Kiteboard World Cup was slow building, but by four in the afternoon the thermal winds had turned on and the slalom was set to start on the Riviera Nayarit. Bryan Lake and Warenka Smunty both won their first finals in spectacular fashion. The heats were close in the beginning but by the end of the day both finals were decided on the last leg of the race. All the riders were happy about the new format and are looking forward to more racing tomorrow in front of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The 22 men ladder was set up so that the top 4 men of the first 4 heats would advance out of the first round, then the top two would advance through the quarters and semis to make a 4 men final. In the first heat of the day the favorites, 2012 world slalom champion Julien Kerneur and Sean Farley both advanced. The next heat Adam Kock and Kevin Langeree also advanced. Kevin was on a twin tip and was perfect on the start but Adam just had more board speed and easily advanced to the next round. Heat 3 Adam Withington and Gunnar Biniasch battled for the lead and Alex Pastor came in third. In Heat 4, the last heat of the round Bryan lake dominated the field and advanced.
The quarter finals had no major upset except for Farley who was disqualified for taking out Basave in the second heat, all the other favorites advanced to the semis where the competition started heating up. The first semifinal Kerneur and Kock easily qualified for the final and had to wait for the very competitive 2nd semifinal to finish. Ramirez and Biniasch gave Lake and Whithington a good run but could not finish in the top two to advance to the final.
The Lake, Kock, Kerneur and Withington final was close right from the start. All four men had perfect starts just a couple of meters apart. Adam Kock took the lead from the start and had to hold off Lake for much of the race, with Bryan trying to cut inside at the marks to try to get a lead. Their kites made contacts a few times but unless you are reckless you can push the limits in Slalom racing. Kerneur had some troubles at the first mark and Whithington capitalized on it to secure a 3rd place finish. Lakes aggressive kiting paid off when he was finally able to take the inside line at the last mark and accelerate to the finish line, Adam held the lead most of the race, but Bryan’s strategy paid off with a win.
The 7 girls had a winner take all race. The girls were a little slow at the start but once the race was underway it was very exciting. Erika was just a couple of meters early and had to be disqualified. Then it was a close battle between Warenka and Arroyo all the way to the last leg when Warenka was able to grab the lead and win the first women heat and final of the day.
Tomorrow the ladders will be a little different with two six men semifinals and one six men final.
he FRP2 will span the globe following the UK crew riders Aaron Hadlow, Tom Court, Sam Light and James Boulding. We will hit some different countries, new locations and ride with the local crew’s wherever we go…expect to see some action from more riders in this kiteboarding movie
Competitors woke up to another beautiful and clear day in paradise here in Noumea, with a slight breeze and the possible promise of contestable winds. Showing up prepared and ready for anything, the event site quickly filled up for the first skippers meetings, at which time they were left to wait until conditions improved.
While several riders were able to make a few tacks, this just wasn’t enough to warrant the beginning of the trials for this final PKRA stop. As a result, most of the day was spent SUPing, relaxing, and chilling by the pool – all the while, keeping the coming on-water battles in mind.
For the women, this event puts everything on the line in the battle for the title. Prior to the last event in China, the battle for 1st and 2nd was between Gisela Pulido (ESP) and Bruna Kajiya (BRA). But now, coming off a win in Fuerteventura and last week in China, Karolina Winkowska (POL) stands out as a serious contender for the title. Essentially, the placing that each women earns here at this last event will provide their placing in the world rankings.
For the men, first and second place is between Youri Zoon (NED) and Alex Pastor (ESP). Tied coming into the last event, they were even in the rankings. Now, after a win by Youri in China, he has the advantage coming into this event. With a solid point spread between the 1st and 2nd ranking and 3rd and 4th ranking, the battle for first is only between these two fierce competitors. Whoever wins here in New Cal will reign supreme as the 2012 World Champion.
Similarly, the battle between 3rd and 4th is very close, with Alberto Rondina (ITA) retaining a slight lead over the 4th ranked 2009 World Champion Kevin Langeree (NED). Kevin demonstrated that he is still a force on his first season back after being injured. Rondina, on the other hand, has been continually climbing up the rankings year after year to be a familiar face in the top five. Ultimately for Kevin to oust Alberto from his 3rd place ranking, he needs to beat him by at least two places.
An exciting twist in the battle between first and second and third and fourth is the fact that we have a top-level rider competing here that was not present on the tour all year. Tom Herbert (FRA) will compete in his first event after taking a break from the tour. Tom likely has the ability to disrupt some of these title battles if he turns out a really good heat, which is sure to make for some interesting action.
For tomorrow, the forecast looks to be improving and the wind is shifting to the more normal direction; however it is still not expected to be classic, strong New Caledonia conditions until possibly Saturday and Sunday. Once the battles begin, fans and followers can tune into the live stream at www.live.prokitetour.com, or follow updates on the PKRA website and Facebook page.
Light wind characterized the second day of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe in La Baule, France. The focus of the day was on course racing. The race set up was adapted due to these light winds. Race competitors gathered for the first possible signs of wind and suitable conditions. The breeze did begin to pick up slightly throughout the day to 7-10 knots, giving riders the time they needed to begin pumping up their kites and readying their gear.
With 7-12 knots of wind, racers entered the water in the morning at 12:15 pm, hungry for a day full of racing action. At this point, Adam Koch (USA) and Steph Bridge (GBR) held first place positioning, and hoped to keep it that way. Mostly all competitors raced with kites up to 17 meters.
For rider Adam Koch (Ozone, USA) it was another great day on the water, finishing first in the fifth race. So, Koch is holding his first place in the current overall standing, followed by Julien Kerneur (FRA) on second and Riccardo Leccese (COL) on place three.
In the girls division, the first race of the day and the fifth in total, Steph Bridge (UK, North) got beaten by Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha) on first, Elena Kalinina (RUS) on second and Katja Roose (NED) on third. Taking a big risk, Steph Bridge continued to hold her placement in front. With Caroline Adrien close behind and Katja Roose on third.
During the women fleet, the wind died slowly. Disappointed by the wind variability, competitors returned to the beach and the meeting area to wait once more, enjoying lunch and the french 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.
To attract and to animate visitors and fans on the beach, we organised some E-Skating Competition powered by Gliss Evolution. Spectators also checked out the varied products of MINI on the boardwalk.
Tomorrow, wind is expected of up to 12 knots, so competitors will arrive to the meeting place at 9am for the day’s first meeting. Stay tuned Facebook for the latest information throughout the day. To view pictures of the day, check out the daily pictures link below.
Photogallery of Day 2 HERE
Results for MINI European Course Racing