Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Tour stop Porugal - PKRA Round 3

Well after having a rocky start to the year of a mixture of good results and bad things seem to be on the up. After being in Barbados I flew back to the UK to then go straight out to the 3rd round of the Kitesurfing World Tour (PKRA.)

The conditions were very similar to what we had inside the reef in barbados (pretty darn choppy with some swell), so I felt pretty confident that I could kite well in these conditions. The forecast however was for no wind!

Forecast are never right and for the first two days we had around 18 knots of wind providing powered up 10m weather (10m Torch 2 - my favourite kite in the collection.)

Well with the conditions in my favour I finally kited nearly as well as I could missing only 2 moves from my repetiore! I went through heat after heat and before I knew it I was on the beach having just finished a heat and i could hear my best buddie and team mate Emma York and Katja Roose screaming from somewhere near the scoreboard. After that they came full pelt running down the beach and launched themselves on me. I had made it through the heat to what I thought was going to be the semi finals, but as it turned out that was the heat that I just did. I had just passed the semi finals and made it to the final where I was to ride against the World Champion Kristin Boese!

Well second at worst - I was stoked, but ready to give Kristin a run for her money. As it turned out that didn't go according to plan! In the second minute of the heat I hit a lull in the wind just as I was going for an unhooked kiteloop and I crashed the move and my kite fell out of the sky. The chop and waves that were previously at my advantage now decided that they were going to rock my kite around and wrap it around itself and allsorts. I was unable to relaunch the kite for the rest of the heat! Shame because I was up for the challenge but missed my opportunity! Still at least it gives me some time to learn some more moves and hope for a next time!!!!

Kitesurfing competitions are run in a complicated, but fair way. A whole complete round is run until there is a winner etc. but after that is complete they run what is called the double elimination. This means that a rider has to lose twice before they go out of the competition. In the double elimination all the riders that went out in the first round battle it out against each other to go against who went out in the second round. The people who lose first round again are in last place!

The people who win that first round then go against the people that went out in the second round. Whoever goes out in the second round is in second to last place etc etc until you reach the final. This double elimination system means that I had to defend my 2nd place and then if I did that it would give me another chance in the final. All very complicated... hope you followed.

Anyhow, I rode against the Ania Grzelinska in the double elimination and even though I rode a powerfull heat with some big kite loops, un hooked raileys and surface handle passes, Ania nipped me to the post with a more technical heat. I ended up still on the podium, but in 3rd place not 2nd!!! I was sad not to have at least stayed 2nd, but stoked all the same! 3rd in the World - can't really complain!

On top of that I came second in the best trick contest landing a bif F16 on my 14m Naish Torch 2 on an 18 inch bar!!!! Was a painful landning, but worth it!!!

Next stop is in Dominican Republic. I'll let you know how things go.

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