In twenty years of the annual Mondial du Vent, they reached the end of the first week in the event’s history to have suffered a completely windless spell. We must remember that everything moves in cycles and that next year Leucate will probably be back to doing what the region does best: delivering pumping event conditions. So while the wind Gods have re-set their clocks this time, we look forward to round two of the GKA Kiteboarding World Tour in Tarifa at the end of June. An event at one of kiting’s true meccas, with some lucky credits built up into our wind account in France, we should be in for stacks of exciting heats as the Air Games finally take-off.

GKA Secretary General Joergen Vogt with Lewis Crathern and Aaron Hadlow after this Sunday’s closing briefing, that left the riders and crew all excited for what is to come in Tarifa // Toby Bromwich

This week has of course seen the riders and crew get the chance to come together to agree on the finer elements of delivering this ambitious contest format that aims to find the ultimate rider and crown them World Champion. New school will meet old school on a quest to put on the ultimate show.

Everyone’s excited to see riders like current WKL Freestyle World Champion, Carlos Mario, get to work in the Air Games! // Toby Bromwich

Of course, although there was a distinct lack of wind this week here in Leucate, the Air Games crew, ably and inspiringly led by Jesse Richman, Tom Hebert and a few others have run a series of tow-up training sessions for any of the world tour riders who wanted to learn how it’s done. The climax of those four days being the final show for the weekend crowds today.

The height and hangtime has been off the scale. Although the kites aren’t designed for this (so don’t try this at home), these highly skilled riders managed to tune into the dynamics of the drop and throw some of the wildest kite loops we’ve seen. The free fall as the pilots dropped back beneath the kite had hearts in mouths and caused gasps of astonishment on the beach, but thankfully all riders leave Leucate with huge smiles and safe.

Yes, they’re still new in kiteboarding, but Arthur Guillebert was busting out the mega loop board-offs this afternoon! // Toby Bromwich

So, no result here in Leucate, but a mesmerising show nonetheless. Stay tuned to the GKA Facebook and Instagram feeds, their YouTube channel and of course the website for regular updates ahead of Tarifa.

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