Mondial du Vent - 2009 PKRA France 

The kick off event for the Official 2009 PKRA World Tour is in the beautiful city of Leucate, situated at the southwestern coast of France. The weather started out cold and wet with the temperature dropping as the day wore on. The wind, however, was a no-show for the day showing little promise of improvement during the rain squalls that swept through the area in the morning. Average temperature was about 10° Celsius with periods of heavy rain until about noon which kept the crowds indoors until late afternoon when the weather finally started to improve.

Yesterday’s registration was a huge success with over 47 competitors from 14 different countries that have come to compete in the best and most recognized official world tour of kiteboarding that is known as the PKRA. Registration started at approximately 16:00 and concluded around 19:00 local time.

Today’s skipper meeting got underway at 10:00 where Sami Gali, PKRA Head Judge, introduced the panel of 6 judges for this event and covered regular pre-competition information such as format and judging criteria. There was also an announcement that a riders meeting would be held at 14:30 to discuss the events that have transpired since the tour concluded last year in Chile.

During the riders meeting PKRA Tour President Mauricio Toscano and Vice President Paul Caswell gave a full description of the PKRA, IKA, ISAF discussions and why the PKRA ended up seeking separate recognition from ISA as an alternative to the failed mediation between the IKA and PKRA. It should be noted that the mediation party, ISAF, was not considered an impartial mediator since ISAF represents IKA as one of their own members and could not offer an objective view to the concerns that the PKRA raised from the beginning of the negotiations.

The opinion from the athletes was that of overwhelmingly support and agreement in the PKRA’s management decisions. Other business covered in the meeting was nominations for the new riders committee. A vote will be held on Tuesday where only five athletes from the total nominations will be elected. The riders committee will discuss matters over the course of the 2009 tour year that concern the athletes such as rules, judging guidelines, points and discards.

Later in the day, with clearing skies, the crowds ventured out-doors and flooded the event site to try and get autographs or a glimpse of the best kiteboarders in the world who make up the official world tour of
kiteboarding. At 17:30 there was a opening ceremony where some of the top riders where recognized on stage including Aaron Hadlow (5-Time PKRA World Champion, Flexifoil, UK), Kevin Langeree (Naish, NLD), Gisela Pulido (2-Time PKRA World Champion, Airush, ESP), Sebastian Garat (RRD, FRA) and Alex Caizergues (F-One, FRA).

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Richard Branson with Denni Parkinson 

Sir Richard Branson has decided to kiteboard with the naked model Denni Parkinson on his back.

The world entrepreneur, owner of the Virgin Group, thought his female friend was in her bikini. At least, it was the official explanation by Branson.

The images were later published in the Vanity Fair magazine.

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Kiteboarding is kicking off in China 

China has just had it’s first ever Kitesurfing Competition, held in China’s Tropical Island  – Hainan -  The event was a great success.

Cabrinha International Team Rider David Hastilow was there as a special guest and was extremely impressed with the organization of the event. 

As with all competitions, the only thing you can’t control is the weather and unfortunately the wind didn’t quite hold for the event.  Despite this each rider persevered with what wind they had, creating a spectacle for the massive media representation.

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