With the sunshine and warm temperatures the wind arrived as well at the second day of the ISAF kiteboarding format trials in Santander, Spain. After the morning briefing, the whole kiteboarding fleet headed over to Playa Sardinero the prepare their equipment and to be ready as soon as the wind kicks in.
Unfortunately it took until 1300 before the wind stabilized in direction and strength to allow a course to be set. The race committee announced to firstly go for two standard windward/leeward course races to have a baseline before testing all the new course options on the agenda.
Both races went underway in light conditions between 6 and 9 knots on a two lap course with a leeward gate to give everybody an idea of todays kiteboard course racing abilities. Then the race committee quickly changed the course to a standard downwind slalom with a reaching start - in the meantime the sailors headed out to the race courses of the multihull and skiff evaluations to race these nice new boats. Coaches and spectators were impressed on the board speeds and upwind angles.
A full round of Slalom went underway then with the reaching starts proving to be tricky, but a lot of action on the gybing marks and also some crashes and tangles.
In the later afternoon the whole fleet and the ISAF staff headed back to the CEAR sailing center then to get feedback from the riders on the formats tested today and different options that could be taken into consideration.
Tomorrow will see the evaluation of the two new racing formats short track and enduro in different configurations. After the feedback from the riders the evaluation panel will then look into further testing of the most successful formats.
In general we receive overwhelming interest here, not only on the land were some riders showased their equipment in the morning to the multihull and skiff sailors as well as coaches and MNA reps, but also on the water were the kiteboarding races draw a lot of interest from the supporting boats for the multihull and skiff evaluations.
Racing continues tomorrow with a good forecast for the whole day which should allow to finish the first step of the trials and then investigate further racing and scoring options.
The ISAF kiteboarding format trials will end on Sunday March 25, and the ISAF evaluation panel will then prepare a report to the ISAF midyear conference in Stresa, Italy.