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Slalom Heats Up. Freestyle Cools Off.

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Although today was a bust with teasing wind for the PKRA event in Germany, yesterday the Think Blue Kitesurf World Cup saw slalom as the main focus with ideal conditions that held throughout most of the day. In side-shore winds and flatter water than the day prior, riders used their biggest boards and kites as winds ranged from seven to twelve knots. In total, three complete rounds of slalom were run, creating some movement in the current overall results.

A fleet of 40 competitors took part in the competition today and offered up quite a spectacle to the hoards of onlookers lining the beach. Onlookers were treated to a show as the inside buoys were placed right next to the shore. With a wide tidal range, the inside buoys were adjusted between rounds as the fluctuating tide and sand bar off the beach made tight lines around the marks crucial. Exciting displays of aggressive sailing were on hand throughout the day and dramatic drag races on the reaches between the marks proved to be the norm.

After finishing a total of five races for the event, riders are allowed one discard.  In the men’s division, Brian Lake (US) was on fire and managed two bullets for the day. Out in front during race four, Lake crashed in the shallow water, costing him the win. Julien Kerneur (FR) was hungry after some frustrating races the day prior; however, he managed to climb up two spots and finish in second overall, after one discard which pushed Florian Gruber (DE) down to third place.

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In the women’s fleet, it was aggressive racing from the top women with Katja Roose (NL) and Annelous Lammerts (NL) maintaining their first and second positions respectively. Christine Boenniger had a solid day and managed to move up a spot, overtaking Bibiana Magaji (SK) to be seated in third-place.  Only 0.3 points separate these top three ladies and each of them remain hell-bent on taking home the first place win.

The pressure is on for the slalom racers vying for the top positions as this talented fleet continues to show threats coming from the lower rungs. With four potential race days remaining in the event, and still, the main event freestyle competition yet to be run, each of the next rounds will weigh heavily for the overall results.

For live broadcast coverage and more photos, visit the PKRA Website at www.prokitetour.com

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