It was as windy as it could get at the Kite Racing World Championships in Sylt, Germany. But not only the racers were about to be tested, the freestylers entered the scene as well. The Kitesurf Tour Europe 2011 kicked off with side-onshore winds at 20+ knots.
The riders were struggling with the tough conditions. It was not the wind, but rather the waves that made the landing difficult for the top Europeans. In the semis, Dutch Jerrie Van de Kop faced German champion Mario Rodwald. Just minutes before the end, Jerrie dropped his kite unable to relaunch. Suddenly Roy, Mario's dad, went straight to Jerrie handing him over Mario's substitue bigger kite - a great gesture of fair play and sportsmanship! In the end, Mario in a close decision proceeded into the final facing Tijn van Esch from the Netherlands who defeated Seb Garat in the semis. A great show at the beach of Sylt made the crowd cheer for the riders and in the end local rider Mario Rodwald took the win in the single elimination defeating Dutch rider Tijn van Esch. In the women's competition, Polish rider Michalina Laskowska won the final against Ines Correia from Portugal.
In the afternoon, the racers went out for three races in strong winds and 2-3 meter waves - not really easy conditions to handle with a race board. Nevertheless, the picture on the water did not change from yesterday. The US-team races in another league with only a few Europeans who can follow the speed of John Heineken, Andy Koch and Sky Solbach. Julien Kerneur is such an exception. The Frenchman is the hope for the Europeans to get to the podium in the overall ranking - a tough goal to achieve fighting the competition from the United States.
In the women's races it looks like a close fight between Steph Bridge and Katja Roose. During the first day here in Sylt, Steph was weaker than Katja and Katja managed to win the first races. However, yesterday and today, Steph shows a better performance in stronger winds and bigger waves leaving Katja at second place. Nayara Licariao took third place in almost every race.
Tonight, the poker night with 14 riders and 6 locals will show, who is the leader on the table.
For tomorrow, the double elimination starts at 9.30am, races will start around 2pm. The weather forecast looks like it is gonna be another great day here at the Course Racing World Championships and Kitesurf Tour Europe.
RESULTS MEN AFTER 8 RACES
1. John Heineken (USA) 4.2 points
2. Adam Koch (USA) 9.4 points
3. Brayn Lake (USA) 21 points
4. Julien Kerneur (FRA) 21 points
5. Syk Solbach (USA) 22 points
RESULTS WOMEN AFTER 8 RACES
1. Steph Bridge (GBR) 5.5 points
2. Katja Roose (NED) 10.4 points
3. Nayara Licariao (BRA) 15 points
4. Caroline Adrien (FRA) 22 points
5. Melissa Gil (USA) 25 points
Full results can be found at http://results.extremience.com