Praia de Alvor (27 June 2009) – A very exciting and productive day for the whole PKRA team wraps up as another thrilling day of events unfolded here in Praia de Alvor in Portimao.
The morning started out very clear with the sun warming the event area to about 20°C. Around 12:00 noon, a high overcast moved in but eventually moved out of the area after two hours where sunny skies prevailed for the rest of the day. Wind speed was between 10 to 14 knots and remained onshore for much longer than everybody was expecting because it usually switches directions between 2:00 – 3:00 pm.
The compulsory riders meeting went right on schedule at 12:00 pm with the first race starting at 1:00 pm under a constant south-westerly wind. By the second race, the wind picked up even more to a maximum of 14.5 knots. Lunch break was held at 3:00 pm after which Race director Olaf Van Tol saw the conditions were favorable for a freestyle event so the round robin continued from the previous day until the last 4 heats of the men and the last 4 heats of the ladies remain. The day concluded around 8:00 pm.
Once again Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha, FRA) dominated all three races and now has a total 4.2 points. Still in second is Charles Deleau (North, FRA) with 20 points followed by Sean Farley with 26 points. Abel Lago (Spain, RRD) dropped to number 4 overall while Jesse Richman who only managed to finish 8th at best dropped to number 5 and is now tied with Renaud Madier (FRA) and Sylvan Hoceini (Optimum, FRA).
Meanwhile, there were some new faces in the top 10 standings while some of the veterans had troubles such as Sean Farley (North, MEX) being disqualified on the first race due to being over the startling line early. Charles Deleau also had his share of mishaps when he had a tangle with another racer in the second race but got a redress.
Michael Gebhart (Ozone, USA) made a strong showing today in the first two races and will be a competitor to watch out for in the future.
In the ladies division, Steph Bridge (North, GBR) is still strong on top of the scoreboard with a total of 4.2 points while European Course Racing champion Fabienne D’Ortoli remains in second place with 15 points. Nayara Licariao of Brazil completes the top 3 with a point behind D’Ortoli. So it has been a Bridge – D’Ortoli battle once again for the top podium spot as it was in the European championship. EETV asked Bridge what it was like during the competition:
“Fabienne beat me in the Europeans. It was quite close but I needed a slightly bigger kite out there really. It was under 12 knots - the wind was super light. But I’m super excited because we got this new board from North and the new Rebel kite – we also got some long lines and it’s making a big difference particularly when the winds are a little bit on and off. But the board is really nice to go sailing on. It’s not just like it’s for racing but a really nice, easy board to use, great in light winds and super comfy. I love this board! I would go around the world with this board,” exclaimed Bridge.
Over at the Kite Masters Freestyle event after Day #3, Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) and Michael Schitzhofer (Naish, AUS) had 2 points each in Group 1. In Group 2, Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) and Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) both had 2 points after defeating their respective opponents. Abel Lago and Jesse Richman (Cabrinha, USA) had 2 points each in Group 3 while Charles Deleau and Randy Hereman (NED) both got 2 points in Group 4.
In the ladies division, Karolina Winkoska (Naish, POL) and Steph Bridge qualified into the semifinal as well as Jalou Langeree (Naish, ED) and Pauline Bousard (FRA) who will be battling each other in the second semifinal slot.
Overall, a very productive and spectacular day for racing and freestyle completed day #3 of the Portimao Kite Masters World Tour 2009. Tomorrow's skipper meeting is again at 12pm and first possible start at 12:30pm local time.