Date line Jhunan and the weekend is full of music, performance and water sports action – it’s the Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli
Green Tourism and Kiteboarding it was an interesting event for the KTA to be invited in on, so of course we jumped at the chance to support things at SPOT the hosts and longtime advocates of kiteboarding and all things watersport for the area. Plus of course we had been wanting to bring event to the renowned high wind shores of Taiwan, which is said to blow for 300 days a year.
The overall festival was delivered for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Miaoli County Government by Sun Fish an up and coming PR company with SPOT hosting and organising the supporting watersports activities, while the KTA focused on the kite side of life.
The Festival’s aim was to bring together a number of environmentally friendly sports and activities for region and it worked well with a Solar powered music stage, trail walking and running comps, the chance to try out surf, skim and stand-up-paddle all running along with the main KTA Kiteboarding Open.
For the kiteboarders there was also more than just the competition on offer, with coaching clinics from KTA Champions Kathrin Borgwardt and Ken Nacor in racing and freestyle. They were in turn joined by a guest visit from the UK’s ‘pier jumping specialist’ and winner of the 2013 Red Bull King of the Air, Lewis Crathern, who passed on his experience to the local riders in a Big Air skills clinic.
This combination of skills training led the way for the KTA to trial a new freestyle format that combined Wakestyle, Airstyle and Big Air. We are calling it Freestyle X (said Freestyle Cross) that allows the riders 8 tricks per heat of which 50% are hooked and 50% are unhooked. We are pleased to report the format went down a storm with the riders, judges and the crowds who loved the big air moves alongside the handle passing. A further bonus was that more riders were encouraged to enter, because even if they were not so technical they still had fun blasting out their best old Skool style.
Very nice then to see mobes and deadmen with slims and whirlybirds going head to head in a kicking session of high wind Freestyle X completion.
Not to be out done of course the TT racers also produced some hard fought battles latter on in day with the two fleets completing 4 races before the wind and the daylight began to drop. Although this was an international open and there was a good input of foreign riders it is fair to say that the Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli was predominantly Taiwan affair and for many this was their first time in full competition. This was fantastic and brought the KTA back to its root aim of getting more local riders into competitions and while for some it was a steep learning curve, others made their mark and showed the latent talent that exists in the Taiwan Kiteboarding scene. Regardless though of outcomes there was high enjoyment factor for both rider and spectators, leaving us to predict a big Taiwanese impact on the Asian competition scene before too long.
For the KTA Kitesurf Open the international riders in the end led the way, with for the men Asian Champion Yo Narapichit Pudla (THA) and World Jr number 2 Chirstian Tio (PHI) controlling both the Freestyle X and TT events. Yo took the Freestyle X ahead of Christian with local rider Tzu Yen Chaung putting in a killer performance for 3rd place. In the TT racing we saw a tie both for first place with Chirstian and Yo along with a tied 3rd place between Yuan Min Xu (TPE) and Jay Ortiz (PHI). This was a situation we all fully expected to be resolved on the second day of competition, but sadly for once the never ending Taiwan wind was a no-show leaving the day 1 standings as the overall event results in the end.
For the women Su Kay (RSA) held off the local challenges in both the Freestyle X and TT racing. Sadly although the Taiwan girls finished in high positions in the TT beating many of the male racers they slightly misjudged the finish line leading to their scores not counting, however we are sure this lesson is well learned and next time they will be making sure every race counts. In the Freestyle X Su went head to head with Anni Tien (TPE) and Megan Chang (TPE), but managed to hold off the strong big air performance from Anni and wake style skills from Megan with a more rounded performance that the judges were looking for to win, with Anni taking 2nd and Megan 3rd respectively.
For full event results got to –
Freestyle X – http://goo.gl/yTx2mg
TT Racing – http://goo.gl/mcgnBN
So to sum up then the Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli great event, great people, great atmosphere and we can’t wait for the next one, than you Taiwan.
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