Pran Buri: a place where the surreal is for real

Blazej Ozog, Ken Nacor, Taner Aykurt, Kathryn Borgwardt, Aya Oshima and Sarah Demdoum were the grand winners of the KTA Thailand, held in Pran Buri, one of Asia's top kitesurfing locations.

Fifty four kiteboaders from 20 countries took part in the 10 course races, 7 TT Class races, a full freestyle double eliminator and a Old Skool Expression session. Four days of 20-knot winds pumped the kiteboarding competition.

The key battles throughout the event would take place between Karthin Borgwardt (GER) and Ramona Serea (ROM), in the Women’s race board section, with Aya Oshima (JAP), Sotenn Sparat (THA) and Alice Child (AUS) pushing each other all the way in the TT class.

For the Men’s side, new comer to the KTA Blazej Ozog (POL) was making current Asian champion Yo Pudla work hard, in TT Ken Nacor (PHI) was again showing his new found like for racing was going to continue, even though Max Rice (CAN) and fellow countryman Dilbert Bayog did their best to spoil this.

In the Freestyle division, Aya Oshima (JP) and Kathrin met in a familiar heat, with Aya holding onto her 2nd position from the single eliminator round and going head-to-head once again with Sarah Demdoum (FR). Unfortunately just over half way into the 10 minute heat, Aya lost her kite doing a raley-to-blind.

Taner Aykurt, the Turkish Champion, showed who was boss and took the final. Things stayed this way once again through the double eliminations with the final this time being one of the best in the KTA season so far between Aykurt and Rowinski, a total nail bitter as they hit move for move giving the judges a tough job to decide the final outcome. In the end though Aykurt was to just hold onto his first round place and take his first overall KTA tour stop win.

With the freestyle finished and the finals days racing done the scene opened for the KTA Old Skool Project. Toby Braeuer (GER), the Godfather of Old School, was there to show off his latest tricks while building an interest to what he believes is a base line for the sport of kiteboarding.

Since it was to be a show, judges included spectators, media, riders and the actual judges. Mr. Braeuer won this for the men and Thai local star, Nung Sonchai, took second. The freestyle champ, Taner Aykurt took third with his many board offs and infamous Jesus walk. For the women, it was Kathrin Borgwardt who won first, Jannicke Stav (NOR) who took 2nd and yet another new face, Aina Renolen (NOR), who took third.