The first day of slalom was extremely exciting, with many surprising results, high speed racing, spectacular crashes and good fun. Oswald Smith from South Africa and Gisela Pulido from Spain are in the lead after 3 races, with many contenders like Kerneur, Withington, Winkowska and Novotna in close 2nd and 3rd. Tomorrow the wind will be stronger and the racing should be event faster.
The ladders for the men are setup with two semifinals of 7 men with the top 3 riders of each semifinal advancing into the final. The women’s ladder is setup with a super final of five girls. At the end of the event all the result will be added up and the racers with the least amount of points will win. A first place is worth 0.7, 2nd 2 points, 3rd 3 points and so on. All riders get discards after a minimum of three races are completed, meaning that they are allowed to have some bad races and still not lose the competition.
The first race started around 3pm when the trade winds kicked in and it was blowing around 15 to 25 knots. The racers on directional were on 7 to 9 meters and riders on twin tips were on kites between 9 and 12. The action was intense from the first heat and kept all the competitors ans spectators on their toes for the whole afternoon.
The first rounds of race one was completed with Reno, Neto, Kerneur, Smith, Biniasch and Blanc advancing into the final. 3 twin tips and 3 Slalom boards made it to the first final. The final was intense with Kerneur Jumping out to the lead. Oswald was in second but Biniasch got too aggressive and they interfered with each other at the 4th mark leaving the door open for Romeu and Blanc to grab the 2nd and 3rd place with Kerneur winning the first race of the PKRA Fuerteventura event. The women also had a close race with Pulido going out for a great start, followed by Novotna and Winkowska in 3rd.
Replay of Men’s Finals Race #1
Replay of Women’s Finals Race #1
The women hit the water and once again Pulido was in the lead but this time Winkowska was on her tail the whole race, with Novotna in 3rd. The men were up next, race two was the most exciting of the day with Lewis-Hughes taking the lead on his twin tip, Kerneur and Withington were right on his tail until mark 4 when Lewis crashed, Kerneur tried to avoid him and got tangled by Withington who was disqualified. Oswald and Biniasch took advantage of the situation and got a 1st and 2nd, with Lewis in 3rd.
Replay of Men’s Finals Race #2
Replay of Women’s Finals Race #2
The final races of the day, the wind was starting to drop and riders were starting to change kites. Novotna came out fast and lead the whole way followed by Pulido. Titova battle with Winkowska and got a 3rd place finish. The wind dropped event more and the racers were very underpowered on the 7 meters. Romeu tangled with Corniel and was disqualified. Oswald was well in the lead; Withington was on a 9m and passed Kerneur for the 2nd place. Neto finished 4th.
Replay of Men’s Finals Race #3
Replay of Women’s Finals Race #3
Tomorrow the strong winds of Fuerteventura will return and the twin tip boards could maybe have an advantage around the course. It is very hard to say how much wind it will take to blow these bigger slalom boards off the water. Tune in for the Live Slalom races and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you miss any of the action you can always watch the replays.