- 25 November 2010 | Kiteboarding
The main focus today was the long distance race, where riders and their gear would be transported one hour away to an island off the coast of New Caledonia, where the race would formally begin and end between the judging tower and a red buoy in front of the main competition site on the mainland.
Riders packed up their 7m and 9m kites, jump into the boats provided by the organization team and were off to the island near 10:00am. Competitors had a small picnic on the island and got acquainted with a few sea snakes known as the Tricot Rayé sea snake, although extremely venomous, these snakes are usually not aggressive towards humans, children normally play with them and bites are extremely rare.
Racers began the long distance mission near 12:00pm. Slingshot rider Michael Siret (Slingshot, FRA) would be the first competitor to cross the finish line with a time of 25:45, following a hair length behind him was Tom Hebert (Airush, NCL) who finished 3 seconds behind Siret in second place with a time of 25:48.
In a brief conversation with Hebert, he mentioned how extreme the conditions were. “At the beginning the wave swell was really big and then towards the middle to the end of the race the chop was pretty bad. I was full power on my 9m and followed behind Siret for most of the race. When he would crash, I would overtake him, and then I would crash and he would take the lead again. I kept yelling at him go, go, go... it was a lot of fun!”, said Hebert. Finishing in third place with a time of 26:38 was Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) while Julien Kerneur (Takoon, FRA) took fourth with a time of 26:46.
Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL) would be the first and fastest female competitor to cross the finish line today with a time of 30:10. In a conversation with Winkowska she mentioned how difficult the race was, “at the beginning of the race I was so super fast, and towards the end my legs could barely take it anymore”. Finishing in second place was the current women’s freestyle leader Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP) with a time of 32:08 followed by Noemie Le Bouteipper (Ozone, FRA) in third with a time of 39:26 and Nina Cavalie (Liquid Force, FRA) with a time of 49:43.
The day wrapped up with a kite loop competition where local competitors dominated the discipline. Mega loop winner was Antoine Monnerville (Ozone, FRA) followed by Sebastien Nguyen (Slingshot, FRA) in second and men’s long distance winner Michael Siret (Slingshot, FRA) finished in third place.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting is scheduled for 11:30am with a first possible start of 12:00pm.