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Sroka still leads courseracing at PKRA Brazil

Low overcast clouds hovered the event area during the start of the second day of Kite-Racing Brasil 2009 organized by the Gest-Group, led by Eduardo Piloni. Rain cooled the day off early in the morning and lasted until about 10:00 am. The strengthening wind blew the clouds away and the skies started to clear before the riders meeting, which was held at exactly 11:00 am. By the start of the first race at 12:00 pm, the skies were totally blue and the wind had picked up strength to about 18 to 22 knots. The cheering spectators at the beach added to the day’s excitement and fun.

The seaward flow of the tidal river was very strong in the morning due to an ebb tide, which made it quite challenging for the race officials to set the marks for the course. The crew was able to keep the buoys in position by using double anchors.

The course was more challenging today since the upwind mark was upwind of the surf so the racers had to battle their way out into the ocean through the surf to get to the weather mark (windward). They then had to get back to the river again through the surf (downwind) to round the second buoy before racing at full speed up the river to the third mark. Then the competitors raced at full speed back down the river to the ocean and battle back upwind to round the windward mark down to mark number two and finish between a flag on the beach and the starting boat.

Race Director Olaf Van Tol said, “It was quite an exciting day, reminiscent of the old days of the Pan-Am cup where they’d be racing their boards thru big surf. That’s the sort of flashback I got from today.”

The average time for the first person to complete each race was between 12 and 15 minutes but the top five finishers were very close overall.

Two races were held between 12:00 pm and 1:45 pm before a lunch break was announced. The wind picked up further strength during the break and many of the competitors changed to smaller kite sizes before hitting the waters. The red flag was raised again at 3:00 pm and two more races were held before finally capping up the day at 5:00 pm.

Frenchman Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha) still leads the pack, dominating three of four races while local champion Pedro Montenegro (Best) crossed the line ahead of everyone in the third race of the day after Sroka failed to finish. Sebastien Salermo (FRA, Gin Kites) and Victor Adamo (BRA, Naish) are now tied in third place overall with 19 points each.

No change in the ladies’ standings as Nayara Licariao (BRA, Best) still dominates the scoreboard followed by fellow Brazilian and Best teammate Carol Homsi who trailed in second place overall.

Tomorrow's skipper meeting is set at 10:00 am with first possible start at 10:30am local time.

Tomorrow also starts the Brazilian National Championships, which will conclude on Sunday for the Freestyle event. The racers will start the day and try to finish 3 to 4 races by 1:00 pm at which time the beach will be turned over to the freestyle riders and see some of the best Brazilian riders show the judges and the public their best.

The PKRA Course Racing events in Brazil and the 2009 PKRA World Tour are sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) – the worldwide governing body of kiteboarding under the flagship of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).