Final day of the PKRA France in Leucate

The closing day of the PKRA France Mondial du Vent came to an end on another calm day.  After three days on intense competition with 61 riders from over twenty countries, it was time to give the prizes and awards to the winners.  Gisela Pulido and Alex Pastor were crowned Mondial du Vent champions.  Pauline Valesa and George Dufty were given the rookie of the event awards.  This competition had some of the strongest winds that we have seen in the history of the PKRA and the riders made it look easy.

This competition was marked by a three characteristics:  it had one the biggest fleets of freestyler riders with an incredible amount of talent, the return of Aaron Hadlow to the pkra after a 3 year break and some incredible winds.

The womens ladder was full of new talent like Pauline Valesa the rookie of the event and Annabel Van Westerop who made a great run in the double elimination to get to her best finish ever on the PKRA in 4th.  The top three had a great battle and it was Gisela Pulido who defeated Kajiya and Winkowska to win her first event of the year and end the four event winning streak of Karolina.

The mens side was reshuffled by the return of Aaron Hadlow, who in the second round eliminated the World Champion Youri Zoon and went on to finish 3rd.  Marc Jacobs and Alex pastor took the top two spots like in Dakhla and are in a great position at the start of the season.

The next stop of the season is in Mexico for the start of the PKRA Slalom season and Freestyle exhibition by some top riders like Alex Pastor and Kevin Langeree.  The next freestyle event will be in Marsala, Italy on the Island of Sicily. The warm lagoons and strong thermals will be a perfect spot for the 3rd stop of the year.  Go to www.prokitetour.com to see the latest contest news and schedule information.

You can see all the heat scores from the entire event here.


Light winds in Leucate and 2013 Rankings PKRA France

or the fifth day of the PKRA France, the wind stayed light at the Mondial du Vent. Riders took full advantage of the warm weather to go for SUP sessions or take a cruise down to the cable park. The town of Leucate is being a great host providing activities for visitors and competitors to enjoy the conditions and event site. Many riders also spent time talking with Dave on the live stream and making time for interviews with national and international press.

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At the beginning of the season the ranking of the riders is based on two factors; the results from the current year and the past year. This means that if a rider has done well over the first two events but has a poor ranking from the year before, the rankings will not be as high, however it also works the other way if a rider did well the year before and had a bad first event his ranking might still be good. Ranking is crucial because the top eight men and four women are preceded into the main event and get a bye in the first round.

In 2013 the level of the top 40 riders has been extremely competitive and the qualifiers to make it into the main PKRA event have become tougher. Our next stop on tour is in Marsala, Italy and the top eight men and women have already been chosen. The rest of the riders unless they are part of the two lucky wildcards given to the local organizers will have to go through the qualifiers.

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Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

The American team arrived in Leucate, France 4 days day’s early to prepare for the Mondial du Vent speed event, the largest kitesurfing event in France. The team: Rob, Morgan, Jamie Douglas and myself were on a mission to see if a new course record could be set in the waters of La Franqui. The weather forecast was perfect as the Tramontonia wind was about to hit hard for 4 huge days! 30 to 40 knots with gusts of 45knots. Perfect conditions for speed sailing. Flat water

Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

…. Strong winds….Good wind angle…. and the worlds fastest speed sailors in one location.

The day before the event kicked off we had winds 30 to 40knots one the course so we got a early jump on the competitors as we got to train on the course. Tuning in our gear, checking line length, fins sizes, foot strap positions making sure our gear was ready for the up coming days. Raining and cold, the brothers were all looking very fast as they have been training in Martha’s Vineyard over the past few months with temperatures in the 40’s. They felt right at home. I started to feel comfortable maybe to comfortable, as I crashed hard at 40+ knots, cart wheeling across the water snapping my neck like never before. The worst crash I have ever had in my carrier. Reality Check! Never the less I was fine but was going to start the racing with a sever whiplash in the approximate area of C5 and C6.

Race days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

50 minutes into Heat 1 after a slight technical delay, Rob Douglas landed the first shot with a blistering 44.61 kt average and a new speed record for Leaucate. Antoine Albeau 20 time world champion windsurfer answers back in heat 2 with a bullet after Rob made a costly mistake. I had a good start sailing consistent heats with a 6th and 7th hanging on to my Cabrinha Switchblade 7m.

GPS miles sailed: 65 Nautical Miles
GPS V MAX: 50 Knots

Day 2:

Rougher water and 35 to 40 knots the American team started to find their groove as Morgan and Jamie made their climb up the leader board and Rob holding strong in the battle for top spot with two 2nd’s. I sailed my throw outs early, as I could not find my groove as I battled to wrap my head around 40knots.

Day 3:

Last day of the Tramontonia wind, Rob was .9 points out of first behind Antoine. Morgan, Jamie and myself were holding strong in the top 10. I started to get more comfortable with the windy conditions and dropped two 3rd’s in on the fleet. Beating Rob and Antoine in the 6th heat. Antoine and Rob continued to trade bullets and in the end it was Antoine 1.3 points ahead after 7 heats.

Thanks to: Cabrinha kites, Lynch Associates, The Black Dog, GoPro, Oakley, Meanline Fins, Dakine, Alex Aguera, Cornerfive, NP, Gorilla Rigging. A big Thanks to Pascal Maka for inviting team USA to the Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup”.

Kindly, Damo

Sosh Cup Results:

Rob Douglas: 1st kite 2nd overall Best speed over 500m: 44.61 knots. (Course record)
Damien LeRoy 3rd kite and 5th overall
Morgan Douglas 6th kite and 11th overall
Jamie Douglas 9th kite and 15th overall

Mondial du Vent Leucate France Registration

The best riders from all over the world are here in Leucate to win the Mondial Du Vent on the second stop of the PKRA 2013.  This is the 17th edition of the Mondial du Vent and the 6th with the PKRA.  Winning this PKRA event brings a lot of prestige due to the history of the event and the extreme conditions. This week will be no exception with the winds forecasted to be 30 knots for the first three days of competition.

The top riders came out in force with Youri Zoon, Alex Pastor, Karolina Winkowska, Gisela Pulido and many more.  The big surprise for this event is the return of Aaron Hadlow to PKRA competitions. He is a five-time world champion and regarded as one of the pioneers and top riders in the sport.  61 riders have registered for this event, 50 men and 11 women from over 20 countries will be on the water.

The main event of men has 24 spots available, 8 are for the top preceded riders, 2 are for the wildcards chosen by the organization; for this event it will be Sebastian Garat and Paul Serin, and then the 40 other riders have to compete for 14 spots.  Qualifying for a PKRA event is already a competition on its own and a tough battle with lots of pressure.  The way the qualifiers work: the first round will consist of 10 heats and the winner of each heat will be qualified for the main event and the 30 remaining riders would have to go to two more rounds to qualify for the final four spots.

The town of Leucate and the organizers of the Mondial du Vent have once again set up a great village and venue for the competition.   The wind forecast is absolutely brilliant and we should have some amazing action right from the start at 9:30 AM Saturday morning.

The entire competition will be broadcast live on www.Prokitetour.com where you can follow the results and heat scores and also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news updates.

The live feed will start at 10 AM on Saturday morning April 20.