09 July 2012 - 22:33 Extreme Winds Hit St. Peter-Ording in day 3 of Beetle Kitesurf World Cup
KITESURF, PKRA Beetle Kitesurf World Cup, Day 3 -- 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.
PKRA Press Mon, July 9, 2012 10:05 pm
Day 2 - A Quintessential Racing Day in Germany
The second day of the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup consisted of racing as a main focus and the cancelation of trial heats due to light winds and stormy weather. Arriving in the morning to see what would be in store, competitors gathered to hear from Race Director, Olaf Van Tol, as he explained the course diagram and the overall plan for day two. A straightforward course was laid out and the riders went on to prepare their gear and begin the first race of the event.
A fleet of over 35 took part in competition today. An impressive spectacle with not a single tangle throughout the day, racers provided onlookers with quite the show, exhibiting perfect racing form with tight racing and close finishes. Interestingly, the end results of the three races carried out were highly mixed – not one of top ranking riders earned the same placement twice. In race one, John Heineken (USA) eventually gained a substantial lead, separating himself with great distance from the pack. Riccardo Leccese (COL) stayed close with Bryan Lake (USA) and Olivier Dansin (FRA) not far behind. Difficult at times to tell the exact placement from the beach, the top racers finished in exactly that order, followed by the barrage of competitors behind them.
Race two allowed competitors to try out different tactics with the advantage of one race under their belt. Considering this, the fleet split apart at many points, as competitors hoped that their new lay lines would put them ahead. Lake eventually completed this race first as Heineken crossed second and Ozog Blazej, the young Polish competitor earned an amazing third place against the best racers in the world.
The third race proved to be the most surprising, as several top ranked riders including Heineken and Lake fell back in the fleet after taking one much longer tack than their fellow racers. While they hoped this would put them in the lead, it only worked against them in the end. In combination with shifting winds, this challenging race mixed up the rankings once again, as Leccese finished first, followed by Dansin and Julien Kerneur (FRA). Lake admitted at the end of the race that he took the wrong approach on race three, having gone too far out with Heineken; however, he seemed not to be incredibly worried, and as usual, his concentrated yet relaxed attitude took precedence over any disappointment of this last race of the day.
Leccese, on the other hand, made known how happy he was with this round of racing, saying “There is still a long way to go, but I am really happy with my races today. The last race was good for me because some of the top guys were further back.” He went on to explain that he wants to stay focused regardless of how well he did today, finishing first in the overall rankings.
Also a surprising outcome of the day was female racer, Christine Bonniger’s steady wins in each race. Elated about her consistent victories – especially in her home country - Bonniger excitedly stated, “I can’t believe I am winning because Katja is so good!” Katja Roose (NED), the currently first ranked female racer in the world, achieved second place in each race. German competitor Kristin Boese and Nuria Goma (ESP) also seemed close at times, with Goma eventually earning third place for the days final rankings.
Upon the completion of racing for the day, the wind seemed acceptable to start freestyle trials; however, with a storm arriving on queue and rain pushing in, the wind became more variable, which forced the cancellation of the freestyle portion for the day. Tomorrow, some of the best wind of the entire week is expected with the addition of some swell and changing wind direction. Individuals following the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup can look forward to plenty of action and the live broadcast of the event at live.prokitetour.com.
PKRA Press Sun, July 8, 2012 8:39 pm
Day 1 - Windless First Day in Germany
The Beetle Kitesurf World Cup carried on today with no wind and a sense of brief relaxation matched with anticipation, as riders prepared for a full 8 days of competition ahead. According to the forecasts, good wind will be present for the majority, if not for the entire event. Considering this, today proved to be a day of mental and logistical preparation. Racing participants made sure that their gear was properly registered, while freestyle riders could be seen scattered throughout the gigantic event site, catching up with old friends and enjoying the warm, (mostly) sunny day. Riders also discussed the rules of the new Airstyle discipline and how it should best be utilized to help progress the sport.
Truly unique to this event is the scale at which all vendors and sponsors are arranged. To refer to the beach here at St. Peter-Ording as an “event site” doesn’t quite do it justice – a “small village” would in fact be more fitting. Lining the outer edges of the village, kite and surf companies display their gear and play host to lounging and relaxation, while food carts, clothing companies, and DJ booths make up a large portion of the area as well. With a sizeable dance floor, skate ramp, climbing wall, numerous tents, and special VIP sections, the spectators and riders had no problem entertaining themselves throughout the day.
In anticipation of the coming days, German competitor Mario Rodwald commented that this event is always a great time, saying “It’s a lot of work, but tons of fun as well. Many of my friends come, and whether it’s windy or not, it’s nice to be here”. He went on to explain that he often comes to St. Peter-Ording when he’s home and really enjoys the conditions here. Gisela Pulido (ESP) also revealed “This is probably my favorite event of the year. Usually I am in my own zone when I compete, so it’s nice to come here with more time and be able to hang out a little with friends and compete with so many riders.”
Tomorrow, riders will arrive to the beach at 10am for the first skipper’s meeting of the day. Wind is expected to range from 9-20 knots in the southeast direction. If lighter, racing may prove to be the focus for the day, while Monday will likely stand out as the ideal opportunity for freestyle trials to take place.