The final day of the 2013 Pingtan Kiteboarding World Cup brought great wind and many great races. The day started with the TT races with Julien Kuerner dominating the discipline, but many local riders enjoying the race. Later in the afternoon, two slalom races were run with Bryan Lake winning both of them — and the slalom event. Paula Novotna was in great form, winning both of her races and the event for the women. The evening brought a lively closing ceremony at the Pingtan Dragon Phoenix Resort Honor hotel with all the riders in attendance, cheering on the winners.
Three races of the TT racing series were run; the course was set up with an upwind reach and a downwind leg around the mark to the finish line. A large fleet arrived to compete in the discipline and all three races were very exciting. Julien Kuerner from France dominated, but it was a stellar opportunity for many riders to compete in their first PKRA event. On the women’s side, it was Kay Su who won the TT Race series.
After a lunch break the slalom racers took to the water, and two races needed to be run to reach the third discard. The big question was whether or not Ariel Corniel from Dominican Republic was going to be able to hold his second-place ranking against Julien Kuerner and Oswald Smith. While Bryan Lake won both races, Ariel Corniel did just enough to secure his second-place finish, in an upset with some top riders. The conditions were still quite rough, with big waves coming through the course making it challenging for the slalom racers.
In the evening, all riders gathered for the prize ceremony. Winners were announced and given their winnings. Alex Pastor did not win the event, but won the overall freestyle title and a podium spot. Christophe Tack won his first event ever on the PKRA in a spectacular manner — landing some the biggest moves we have ever seen on tour. Gisela Pulido solidified her lead in the points ranking for women and Bryan Lake kept dominating the slalom season. Paula Novotna upset Christine Boenniger for the first time this season in slalom, despite the fact that Christine is still leading the points race.
This was truly an incredible event with Tack landing a flat seven in his heat, Hadlow returning to the podium, Bryan Lake dominating the slalom field in 3 meter waves, Reno Romeu setting a Guiness World Record, Alex Pastor winning his first world champion title and a crash-course in Chinese culture. Everyone was truly overwhelmed by how good the conditions were and riders are looking forward to coming back here next year. Not only did China provide great kite surfing but also $80,000 in prize money and some amazing memories.
For a complete list of final standings, event video and photos, visit the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.