Home / All Posts / PKRA St. Peter Ording, Germany, Day 2: Light Wind Racing

PKRA St. Peter Ording, Germany, Day 2: Light Wind Racing

The forty five male and six female course riders were welcomed to St Peter Ording today by beautiful sunshine and flat water. The first race of the day started in light wind conditions, the competitors raced with kites up to 18 meters and extended lines.

We met with Adam Koch (Ozone, USA) at the end of the first race, he was leading until the last minute when he crashed just before the finish line. As he got to close to the beach his fins grazed through the sand resulting in him falling into the water. He was disappointed with this first race since he was leading the fleet for a good twenty minutes and saw the two French riders Julien Kerneur (FRA, Takoon), current leader of the 2011 PKRA Course Racing World Tour, and Olivier Dansin (FRA, North) passing him before he got back on his board to go through the finish line in the third place.

Current World Champion John Heineken (USA, Ozone) had a bad first race: “It was a tough one; I had bad luck and got a garbage bag caught around my fins… I had a couple of mistakes and crashed a lot, I’d love to start a new race to start all over again”.

Results Race 1:

Men:

1. Julien Kerneur (FRA, Takoon)

2. Olivier Dansin (FRA, North)

3. Adam Koch (USA, Ozone)

Women:

1. Katja Roose (NED, Airush)

2. Steph Bridge (GBR, North)

3. Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha)

During the second race it was interesting to see the different strategies that the riders adopted for the last tack to make sure that they didn’t make the same mistake Koch did in the shallow water.

On the finish line the five best riders were very close to each other, Julien Kerneur (FRA, Takoon) took the lead by doing one less tack than the riders. Some of them chose to come from the outside instead of along the beach as this route lowered their chances of hitting the sand with their fins.

In the girls division Steph Bridge (GBR, North) got beaten by Katja Roose (NED, Airush) on the first race as her board got caught in the sand close to the finish allowing Katja to overtake her and take the win. However in the second race Bridge came back strong and won with a good distance between her and the other female riders.

Steph is looking forward to the rest of this week of competition and is particularly excited about the variety of conditions that St Peter Ording boasts. The forecast here can change from light wind and sunny skies to a storm in a matter of days.

She also mentioned that she came in 7th on the men’s ranking in the second race since we’re running men and women at the same time. She’s hoping to stay in the top ten of the men during this event.

Results Race 2:

Men:

1. Julien Kerneur (FRA, Takoon)

2. Olivier Dansin (FRA, North)

3. Adam Koch (USA, Ozone)

Women:

1. Steph Bridge (GBR, North)

2. Katja Roose (NED, Airush)

3. Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha)

Dirk Hanel (GER, North) also enjoys the varied conditions of this spot but remarks: “It’s when you see people riding with 21 meter kites who cannot go up wind anymore that you know it’s time to enjoy a Jevver beer in the Red Bull rider tent and make the most of the attractions at the event site, such as the new Beetle car on display. I’d rather be doing that or browsing the web on the new Internet Explorer 9 than out on the water in bad conditions.”

As the wind died slowly during lunch break we took some time out from the action to discuss the debate going on at the minute between the production class and the open class.

The Production class means that you are using the equipment coming out of the brands factories and therefore used by the public, you are allowed to use one board and choose three sizes of kites for the event.

In the Open Class you can use any type of kite and any kind of board, many riders are using prototypes kites and also hand shaped boards such as US riders John Heineken and Adam Koch or French rider Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha).

There is a rule book for the boards, they have to be less than 70cm width, less than 190cm height, fins are limited to 50cm long and the board shouldn’t be less than 4kg. There is no limitation on the kite size.

The US team thinks that for security reasons there shouldn’t be a restriction on the kite sizes as it could get dangerous if your kite isn’t appropriate for the conditions, especially in very strong winds. They are asking for no limitation in kite sizes.

The final word comes from the IKA who should only allow production class for 2012 with one board and three kites, although there will be a discussion about allowing four kites by the end of the year. The goal is to open Course Racing to any kiteboarder with a low entry budget and have all riders using the same equipment.

There might also be a limit for the wind conditions, the course racers won’t be riding in more than twenty five knots as it gets too hectic on the water.

The Beetle Kitesurf World Cup 2011 is sponsored by Volkswagen, Prosieben, Windows Internet Explorer 9, St Peter Ording, Jever, Quicksilver, Lufthansa, Coca-Cola, Vitamizzer, Addidas, Yamaha, Caterpillar, NJOY, and Kitelife.

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