KTA Christmas Race Special: girls are faster than boys

Narapichit "Yo" Pudla, Kathrin Borgwardt, Doque Delos Santos, and Lisa Nikitina won the Raceboard and Twin Tip divisions of the KTA Christmas Race Special, at Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand.


The 2013/2014 Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) season is underway. In over three days of intense racing, Pudla and Borgwardt scored bullets in all the Formula Raceboard heats they contested.

One of the biggest surprises of the event was the victory of Lisa Nikitina, in the Twin Tip class, which was run in separate alternate races from the raceboard class, allowing indefatigable riders to contest both divisions.

Nikitina, 23, a relative novice to racing, scored four bullets in the event's concluding third day, outpointing the experienced Borgwardt. Perhaps more remarkable was her feat crossing the line first in one race, beating all the men racing in the same fleet as the wind dropped and her weight advantage told.

"I'm very happy, and a bit surprised. "In one race I even got a first place and beat all the guys, including 'Yo'. I feel I've learned so much about racing and tactics in the past few days: where it's best to be on the course and how much to point upwind or go off the wind, depending on the conditions", says Nikitina.

Doque Delos Santos, the reigning KTA Twin Tip champion, has every reason to be pleased with his performances which helped him walk off with a win for the first round of the season.

In the Raceboard category, the wind that started out at around 16 knots and dropped progressively to just over 10 knots, which played to Pudla's advantage because of his slight stature.

"You have to look out over the course to see where the gusts are coming. That's the game. When I feel a gust I'll try to point higher going upwind and when it drops I bear off a little and go for speed", adds Pudla.

Borgwardt completely dominated the Raceboard class, in the Women's division. "It's been a great competition. We had five races on each of the final two days. It's great when you get a lot of races. So, I'm happy".