Youri Zoon 

Today’s weather gave the riders an extra level of difficulty in performing their tricks going into the last days of the Mondial Du Vent 2009 in Leucate, France. The sun was up early in the morning but it was slightly colder than yesterday especially under the shade. Today also saw a lot of onshore wind which added to the cooling effect and a passing rain cloud sprinkled a light shower into the competition area which caused a slight delay in the on-going events.

At exactly 11:00h in the morning, a competition meeting was held to decide the format of the second discipline for the event which was the Best Trick discipline. It was decided that the criteria for a Best Trick for men would require them to perform two handle passes, either both in the air or one in the air and one on the water (surface pass) while a single handle pass criteria was set for the women.

Most of the riders had difficulty with the choppy onshore conditions and had to apply extra effort in landing their tricks. Most of them struggled to complete the required move under the shifty and gusty wind but those who made the final landed some type of double pass move for the men and single pass move for the women who came thru with a superb display of handle passes.

The second best trick of board-off for the men and one-foot for the women led to some huge jumps with plenty of hang time. The strong winds gave the much needed boost to perform these extreme tricks while the small rollers coming in provided an excellent launching pads for the riders.

The event had a total of four heats with four people in each heat. Due to the complexity of the required move, the second round was skipped so the competition went straight to the finals. 

The competition wrapped up for the day at approximately 17:00h. However, most of the riders continued to enjoy their private kite time after the competition. At 19:00h there was an awards ceremony for the Best Trick discipline while the awards ceremony for the Freestyle competition will be held tomorrow at 15:00h.

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Blown Away Festival 

The festival is for kites & wind sports being co-coordinated by the local wind sports club Wind & Wheels in conjunction with North Somerset Council.

Given enough support this event could grow year on year. In the future we may be able to attract more support from local and national business. We have been given the opportunity to use the whole beach from the Pier to Uphill for a weekend during the Easter holidays. We believe there should be some spectacular views of this event from the new 40m big wheel on the beach lawns near the Tourist information centre.

The AKF & friends will have an arena to demonstrate the pleasure of kite flying and promote their long standing club. This arena will be between the Pier and the SeaQuarium with parking between the Tropicana and the SeaQuarium.

STACK will be hosting the 1st round of the UK national stunt kite championship in an arena alongside the AKF. STACK hope to complete 10 hrs of competition over the weekend including individual & pairs, teams flying dual line and quad line kites in both precision and ballet routines.

The BLSA are hosting the 1st round of the national Blokart championships. They will be based at the Uphill entrance to the beach and will race from the windzone all the way down the beach to the kitesurf competition by the Tropicana car park. Blokarts are mini landyachts that pack down easily to fit the boot of your car.

The SuperCup will be hosting parakarting or kite buggy racing alternating with the BLSA blokart racing on the main length of beach. They will be based at the Royal Sands car park, which will be closed to the public for this weekend. Traffic will be directed to an enlarged Tropicana beach car park.

The BFSLYC will be on hand to demonstrate various types of landyacht. They will also be near the Royal Sands car park. (BFSLYC is the British Federation of Sand and Landyacht clubs). Wind & Wheels is proud to be part of this national federation that represents our sport nationally, in Europe and Worldwide at FISLY (Federation International of sand and landyacht clubs).

The 18th & 19th of April has been chosen for the neap tide which give us plenty of beach throughout the weekend, with high tides of only 8.05m at 13.05 hrs on Saturday and 8.09m at 14.54 hrs on the Sunday, giving us enough sea for the kite surfers.

The BKSA are running a charity kitesurf & landboard competition featuring teams of 2 in fancy dress. Prizes will be awarded for: 

Disciplines – Highest jump
Synchronised - Jumping – Moves in 5 mins
Race – Kite landboard – Kitesurf combined
Best Fancy Dress etc.
This will be happening to the left of the Tropicana beach car park.

Hatteras Island, Pamlico Sound 

A Canadian kiteboarder who was soaring about 40 feet above Pamlico Sound was killed when a fierce wind blew in suddenly and made him fall from the sky Saturday.

"The weather came in fast - you could see it on the horizon," said Carl Giordano, marketing director with Real Watersports in Waves. "My understanding is that everyone had trouble getting their kites under control."

It's the first fatal kiteboarding accident on Hatteras Island, Giordano said. He said the man in the accident was not a Real Watersports customer.

Giordano said that when the front came through shortly before 6 p.m., the wind spiked from about 15 mph to about 35 mph in less than a minute.

Eyewitness accounts reported that the man was dragged in the water by the kite after he fell.

"He either hit something physical in the water or the impact of the water is what knocked him unconscious," Giordano said.

Dare County Chief Deputy Sheriff Phillip Etheridge said the kiteboarder had been riding about 70 feet off Bluefish Court near the north end of Avon. He reportedly was face down in the water for about 15 minutes before rescuers could get to him, Etheridge said.

Twiford's Funeral Home identified the man as Timothy Holman, 49, of Sarnia, Ontario.

Giordano said that Hatteras, with shallow sounds and stiff winds, is a top destination for kiteboarding.

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