The final day at the Gold Games in Hyeres, France, seemed to offer both possibility as well as bleak odds that any more wind would arrive as hoped for.
Keeping confident with an optimistic mindset and the slight chance of early wind, competitors arrived at 8am to be briefed on the plan for the day. This plan turned out to be quite similar to the days prior – wait for the wind to increase.
With all eyes focused periodically on the beach, an eventual breeze finally came through just before noon, taking racers to the water’s edge with their cumbersome boards and most giant of kites. At this time, wind measured 8-10 knots.
As in past days; however, this wind increase was only a tease, as it began to decrease again, leaving riders to wait it out on the beach, hoping for something more substantial. Waiting announcements came and went, eventually providing competitors the assurance they needed to return to the rider’s area and take a break from the sun.
Throughout this waiting period, top competitors such as Nuria Goma and Chris Butzen tinkered with their gear, while Katja Roose and Oswald Smith returned to their computers to watch the recently released PKRA Gold Games videos from 7th Frame Productions (Video 1 & Video 2 ) and catch up on emails.
The always friendly staff and volunteers also kept their usual positive demeanors, almost making it seem as if the wind had never disappeared.
Later in the day, competitors received false hope once again that the wind might push through. Nearing the end of the day, with wind peaking at 8 knots, it became apparent that this waiting game had to come to an end, and at 2:30, organizers officially announced the end of the Gold Games 2012 in Hyeres, France.
Upon being notified just before the announcement was heard over the load speaker of his first ever official win with the PKRA, Riccardo Leccese (COL) was ecstatic, almost not believing his ears.
Congratulations for him were many as he explained how happy he was to have earned 1st place among such a strong and talented group of racers.
Caroline Adrien (FRA) also relished in her first place win for the women in her home country, commenting that this experience has made her very happy. She celebrated her win by taking part in the paddleboard race that occurred just after the final racing announcement.
Finally, at the sight of the Gold Games motocross and skating arena, top placing competitors Riccardo Leccese, Olivier Dansin, John Heineken, Caroline Adrien, Katja Roose, and Jessica Sickinger, as well as Master’s Division winners, Simone Santoni, Tomek Janiak, and Simone Vannucci all took the stage to accept their gifts and congratulations.
With five races producing these final results, every racer looked both incredibly proud and honored to have earned such recognition.
1. Riccardo Leccese (COL)
2. Olivier Dansin (FRA)
3. John Heineken (USA)
1. Caroline Adrien (FRA)
2. Katja Roose (NED)
3. Jessica Sickinger (CAN)
Master’s Division Racing:
1. Simone Santoni (ITA)
2. Tomek Janiak (POL)
3. Simone Vannucci (ITA)