The 2014 Kiteboard North American Championships wrapped up with French competitor Julien Kerneur and British competitor Oliver Bridge taking firsts in their respective classes. Bridge took first overall in the kiteboard class while Kerneur took home the top spot for kitefoils, finishing eleven points in front of second-place finisher Nico Landauer who took third for kiteboards and second for the kitefoil class. Demonstrating their versatility, Bridge and Kerneur also gained podium finishes in the remaining fleet. Kerneur finished second in kiteboards and Bridge took third in the kitefoil class.
“It was great to win all four races in the formula class,” said 17 year-old Bridge, who won each of the races in the kiteboard fleet.
Kerneur raced a nearly perfect regatta, with eight first-place finishes and two second-place finishes. Both second place finishes were thrown out as his two lowest scores, leaving him with a total of eight points for the entire regatta.
Although the athletes faced inconsistent winds throughout the week, racing conditions improved on the last day. With stronger winds, the true test of the course came from the tricky placement of the kelp, so clever navigation ended up paying off more than just racing fast. “There was so much kelp near the top mark,” said veteran racer Bryan Lake. “Once I saw people were struggling in the water, I went up and all the way around. It ended up saving me a lot of time.”
The 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship required smarter rather than faster racing due to the occasionally light winds and heavy patches of kelp. The technicality in maneuvering around both the race marks and obstacles in the water was a great representation of the talent required of the competitive kiteboarders and kitefoilers of the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championships.
Visit www.sdyc.org/kiteboardna for full results, individual race scores, pictures and aerial footage.
Photos: Bob Betancourt