Things are shaping up for todays start to the 2010 IKA Course Racing Championships, held in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Despite the chaos that the Icelandic volcano ash caused, more than 50 competitors made it to the registration desk yesterday evening. Most affected by the flight cancellations seem to be the French, Danish and German teams.
Several competitors have been around in Corpus Christi already for the past few weeks for training and tuning equipment. The favorites include the likes of 2009 world champions Sean Farley (MEX, North) and Steph Bridge (GBR, North) as well as the top US riders Damien LeRoy (Cabrinha), Adam Koch (Ozone) and Jesse Richman (Cabrinha). The top riders from Europe like the leader of the IKA world rankings Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha) and Dirk Hanel (GER, North) will give them a hard time for the places on the podium.
In the women’s fleet it looks like the battle will be between defending world champion Steph Bridge and runner-up Kari Schivebaag (NOR, Ozone) as well as Kristin Boese (GER, Best). The locals Melissa Gil (Cabrinha) and Sandy Parker will try to defend stars and stripes against the Europeans.
The wind seems to be back for todays kick-off races after a small break beginning of the week, and first information from the Race Committee is that the course will be windward/leeward, either one or two laps depending on the wind conditions. The Race Committee aims for finish times of 15-18 minutes, allowing for 16 races with 4 discards throughout the four days of racing action.
The event is taking place in conjunction with the Texas Boat show, which is attracting several thousand spectators. The races will be held off McGee Beach and continue until Sunday, April 25.