The first day of the 2014 Hainan International Kitesurf festival provided a surprised afternoon of wind that allowed enough of a window to run the Chinese Men’s Trials to completion. The re-run of the women’s super final from Pingtan between Gisela Pulido (ES) and Karolina Winkowska (PL) was set to go following the completion of the trials, but the wind showed signs of fading, and the decision was made to call the event for the day.
After this morning’s official opening ceremony, the event site was packed with the weekend crowds. With barely enough wind to keep a kite in the air, the crowds still grew and by 1pm, the wind had increased and the first kites hit the water. Judging by the enthusiasm of the spectators, it was obvious that for many, it was the first time that they have ever seen kiteboarding. With light winds forecast for the day, it was thought that today might be a lay day, but the unexpected afternoon thermal was welcome and at 3pm the first heat of the Chinese Men’s Trials got underway.
Nine Chinese competitors competed in three-man heats. The first place finishers advanced to compete in a final where the top two finishers earned wildcards into the main event. Finishing on top, Li Jin Guang (CN) clearly enjoyed the competition “I’m really happy with my riding. The wind was not forecast to be so strong and it actually filled in quite nicely, so it helped me to ride well. It is so good to have won” he said.
Following the trials, the plan was to do the rerun of the women’s super final from Pingtan. During the trials, both riders had been out on the water warming up in preparation to compete. As signs of the wind fading became apparent, race director Erik Troostheide made the decision to call the event for the day. Winkowska was set and ready to compete saying “I would rather have it over and done with today- the sooner the better, but it’s fine because I checked the wind and it started to go down a bit. So if we would have actually started the heat and then postponed it, that would be worse, so I think it’s a good decision to wait until tomorrow”
Pulido mirrored Winkowska’s sentiment admitting “I don’t really think Karolina or me was really happy that they were going to run the final today. I mean the wind was really light and there was current, it was a hard day. We went out riding, both of us before they started with the Chinese trials and we were both struggling a bit with the wind, I think tomorrow is going to be better, let’s hope.”
Tomorrow’s forecast has improved and it is expected to be up to 16 knots. Riders will meet at the beach for a 10:30 am meeting with a first possible start at 11 am.
Read original article: PKRA News:Day 1- Hainan International Kitesurf Festival