11 April 2009
The kick off event for the Official 2009 PKRA World Tour is in the beautiful
city of Leucate, situated at the southwestern coast of France. The weather
started out cold and wet with the temperature dropping as the day wore on.
The wind, however, was a no-show for the day showing little promise of
improvement during the rain squalls that swept through the area in the
morning. Average temperature was about 10° Celsius with periods of heavy
rain until about noon which kept the crowds indoors until late afternoon
when the weather finally started to improve.
Yesterday's registration was a huge success with over 47 competitors from 14
different countries that have come to compete in the best and most
recognized official world tour of kiteboarding that is known as the PKRA.
Registration started at approximately 16:00 and concluded around 19:00 local
Today's skipper meeting got underway at 10:00 where Sami Gali, PKRA Head
Judge, introduced the panel of 6 judges for this event and covered regular
pre-competition information such as format and judging criteria. There was
also an announcement that a riders meeting would be held at 14:30 to discuss
the events that have transpired since the tour concluded last year in Chile.
During the riders meeting PKRA Tour President Mauricio Toscano and Vice
President Paul Caswell gave a full description of the PKRA, IKA, ISAF
discussions and why the PKRA ended up seeking separate recognition from ISA
as an alternative to the failed mediation between the IKA and PKRA. It
should be noted that the mediation party, ISAF, was not considered an
impartial mediator since ISAF represents IKA as one of their own members and
could not offer an objective view to the concerns that the PKRA raised from
the beginning of the negotiations.
The opinion from the athletes was that of overwhelmingly support and
agreement in the PKRA's management decisions. Other business covered in the
meeting was nominations for the new riders committee. A vote will be held
on Tuesday where only five athletes from the total nominations will be
elected. The riders committee will discuss matters over the course of the
2009 tour year that concern the athletes such as rules, judging guidelines,
points and discards.
Later in the day, with clearing skies, the crowds ventured out-doors and
flooded the event site to try and get autographs or a glimpse of the best
kiteboarders in the world who make up the official world tour of
kiteboarding. At 17:30 there was a opening ceremony where some of the top
riders where recognized on stage including Aaron Hadlow (5-Time PKRA World
Champion, Flexifoil, UK), Kevin Langeree (Naish, NLD), Gisela Pulido (2-Time
PKRA World Champion, Airush, ESP), Sebastian Garat (RRD, FRA) and Alex
Caizergues (F-One, FRA).
Tomorrow's wind forecast looks promising with strong winds, albeit, cold and
rainy weather again will only push the athletes to preform their best in
their quests to overcome mother nature in search for the ultimate prize of
over 40,000 Euros that hangs in the balance. Skippers meeting is set for
09:00 with first possible start at 09:30.
The Mondial du Vent 2009 and the Official PKRA 2009 World Tour event in
France is made possible through the efforts and kindness of the Office de
Tourisme de Leucate with VW Utilitaires and Portail Orange as official
partners. ExtremeElements.tv, being the official media partner of the PKRA,
will provide HD-quality video footage of the event. To view the event’s
live results, simply login and register at http://www.extremeelements.tv as
well as commentaries and press releases from the previous PKRA World Tour
years, now officially recognized by ISA.
CHECK REGISTER RIDERS