Sotavento, Fuerteventura – July 20, 2009. It’s down to the third day of the event in the beautiful beach of Sotavento and the sun was out once again, warming the competition area. The mandatory riders meeting commenced at 12:30 pm with the strong wind showing no signs of dying down as it packed a sustained speed of 25 – 30 knots. There was a large crowd gathered at the beach cheering for their favorite riders.
Event director Olaf Van Tol went for the continuation of the men’s heats. After more than an hour, the wind slowly died down so the competitors were really struggling to stay upwind in the competition box. The men’s heats lasted until about 2:00 pm so the event director announced a short lunch break while waiting for the wind to come back. After an hour, the wind picked up again but not as strong as it was in the morning and the heats were continued. The riders went on their next larger size kites but it didn’t take long for them to switch back again to their smallest kites as the wind continued to pick up. The day wrapped up around 4:30 in the afternoon.
This phenomenon literally happens every year during the competition where there is at least one day where the wind almost dies down to a point where it’s almost impossible to kite. A little later, the wind picks up speed again and comes back to its full strength or even stronger. When this happens, the wind is super gusty and very hard to kite normally let alone to do any tricks.
After the day’s events, some of the riders decided to stay out on the water to train along with a few judges who also hit the water on kite or windsurf equipment and took advantage of the wind conditions. By 8:00 pm, the wind had almost completely died down.
Day 3 Highlights
The men’s heats continued from yesterday’s events with heat #22 between Tom Court (North, GBR) and Sam Light (Naish, GBR) hitting the water. Court executed his tricks with lower kite position and cleaner landings and got the judge’s nod. In the same heat, Russian rider Petr Tyuskevich (Flexifoil) had an easy ride against Jo Ciastula (Airush, ESP) in very tough gusty conditions. Tyuskevich went on to stop Court’s climb up the ladder in their heat #26a encounter with a higher technical level moves.
In the second group, Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) sealed the win in heat #25a against Dominican Republic champion Ariel Corniel (Ozone) because of a mishap. Just moments before the heat, a line broke on Corniel’s bridle so he had to sail back in and grabbed a larger kite. Rondina took the opportunity to perform a variety of powered switch moves to take the win. The Italian rider then continued his charge towards the podium, beating Polish rider Victor Borsuk (Naish), outclassing him with several powered and technical tricks.
It took an Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) to stop Tyuskevich from climbing up the competition ladder in heat #28a with a variety of powered moves coupled with lower kite angle and speed in and out of the tricks.
Australian Andy Yates (Slingshot) took his share of the win in round number 4 of the first group by beating Tour veteran Tom Hebert (Airush, New Caledonia) in heat #28b. The talented Aussie rider easily won with a higher technical difficulty score, speed and power by landing a 313-5, grabbed non-inverted slim chance, mobe 5, regular and switch kgb, s-bend to blind air pass, blind judge with aerial handle pass, and front mobe. Court landed a mobe, shifty 360, slim chance and front mobe.
In the second group, Cesar Portas (North, ESP) won over Seb Garat (RRD, FRA) in heat #29a with cleaner trick execution, height and power.
After a brief tangle before the start and a short delay in heat #29b, Michael Schitzhofer (JN Kites, AUT) and Rondina became a little flustered but the Italian rider managed to go earlier and performed convincingly well in the heat. Rondina landed a regular and switch slim, 313, blind judge and a kiteloop over Schitzhofer’s blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313 and slimchance. A higher technical score and more switch moves for Rondina decided for the heat.
Tomorrow’s spectacular finals is happening at 2:00pm after the 1:30pm local time riders meeting.