The first day of the Burn Kitesurf World Cup in Turkey started today with two ladders of slalom in the morning and finished with 23 heats of kite masters. Oswald Smith and Christine Boenniger dominated the finals in slalom, and no one set themselves apart in the kite masters heats yet. Smith, Corniel, Serin, Scholte, Kerneur amongst others might be possible winners — but after a full day of competition, it’s still anyone’s game. The winds remained steady around twenty knots all day, with nice, small waves providing kickers for the freestyle competition (kite masters). All events were run through waves, which brought a new element to competition for racers.
The morning started with a few last minute registrations and then the first race was started. The men’s fleet was stacked with 22 top riders like Lake, Grubber, Bridge, and Smith. The conditions were challenging for the racers that are accustomed to racing in light winds and flat water. Jibing around marks positioned inside the wave’s brought a new challenge to many riders. Kerneur, Bridge and a few other riders opted for a twin tips in the first race to adapt to the bumpy conditions.
Kite masters is a competition format that combines technical tricks and big air. A score is given for big air and another for freestyle tricks. The total of both gives you a final score. Riders must be very good all-around competitors to do well in this discipline. The format is run in a round robin, meaning all the riders run multiple heats. At the end of 30 heats, the top 4 are selected to go into a final, giving all riders ample opportunities to get on the water and showcase their skills against a variety of adversaries.
Competition is heating up. The event will resume tomorrow and two winners of the PKRA Burn Kite Masters in Istanbul will be crowned. More slalom races will be run. Keep up to date on standings by visiting the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.