Registration of the 2011 St Peter Ording Grand SlamAug-19-2011
130 riders from twenty two countries have come to the biggest PKRA stop of the year in St Peter Ording, Germany, to battle it out on the North Sea. We started with an opening ceremony in the event village set up on the beach. A fleet of riders waving their flags announced the opening of the event in front of a huge crowd, ready to see some major kitesurfing action tomorrow.
For ten days the best Freestyle and Course racing kiteboarders in the world will be battling out in a series of heat. Attracting over 150,000 spectators each year the “St Peter Ording Kitesurf World Cup” is the most widely covered media event on the PKRA calendar, and boasts a total prize money of 52,000 EUR, the biggest of any PKRA event!
With massive crowds, media hype and huge prize money up for grabs, the stakes are set high and we can expect to see great things as Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) attempts to continue his incredible winning streak after taking first place yet again in the last PKRA event in Fuerteventura. Alex Pastor (Airush, ESP) and Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) are following close behind Youri and they will also have eyes set on the men’s freestyle podium. In the women’s freestyle competition Powerful riders Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL) and Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) will be looking to overtake the more technical style of current first place holder, Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP).
This event will also be the come back of 2009 World Champion Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) who suffered an ACL injury last year during the Fuerteventura Grand Slam event. Kevin was leading the tour when he was injured. He has been recovering at home and training hard ever since. He will be one of the biggest contenders for a podium position. St Peter Ording has been a successful stop for Kevin in the past; he won the event 3 times in a row from 2007 to 2009! We met with him during the Kite Masters in Tenerife organized by the PKRA and he seemed very confident with his riding. “I’m coming to St Peter to have fun and assess my level on the tour, I’m in the process of getting back on track and I look forward to being fully in the race for the title next year”
In Course Racing, US riders John Heineken (Ozone, USA) and Adam Koch (Ozone, USA) will be challenging the French leaders Olivier Dansin (North, FRA) and Julien Kerneur (Takoon, FRA) for the top.
As for the girls, Steph Bridge (North, GBR) has come to Germany to see if she can achieve the same result as her first event earlier this year in Thailand where she came first beating Caroline Adrien (Cabrinha, FRA) and Melissa Gil (CRC, Cabrinha).
For the first time ever we will also see the emergence of a new junior category, which allows the under 13’s to showcase their freestyle talent in competition for a PKRA Junior Division trophy. No prize money involved, just a chance for the future kings and queens of kitesurfing to show us what we have to look forward to.
Like every year this event has attracted huge amounts of competitors here to the heart of Europe, a lot of riders will be using this week to assess their competitive riding level. As so many riders have registered we will start with the Freestyle qualifiers tomorrow as good conditions are predicted. The skippers meeting is set for 8.30am.
The Beetle Kitesurf World Cup 2011 is sponsored by Volkswagen, Prosieben, Windows Internet Explorer 9, St Peter Ording, Jever, Quicksilver, Lufthansa, Coca-Cola, Vitamizzer, Addidas, Yamaha, Caterpillar, NJOY and Kitelife.