Simon Wichtermann: a title in the bag, finally | Photo: AKSA

Simon Wichtermann has conquered the 2015 Australian Kiteboard Freestyle National Championships, in Dolls Point, Sydney.

The 24-year-old rider took nine years to claim the Freestyle title, but his Backmobe 5 proved hard to beat in the challenging 30-to-35 winds on offer.

"I'm so wrapped to finally get it. I just want to say to all the people starting out in Freestyle to get out there and get to the competitions and have fun. Freestylers are the best people to hang out with," expressed Wichtermann.

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Kiteboarding: know the tricks and pull them | Photo: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull

The 2015 PKRA World Tour has introduced changes in the Freestyle division. The competition zone has been reduced, and the list of "official" tricks is fully identified.

Kiteboarding is getting more spectator-friendly. The PKRA is trying to get riders closer to their audience on the beach. In 2015, the competition zone is a square marked by buoys, and only one rider at a time is allowed to perform tricks in it.

"I think the change of the competition area to a smaller one is something interesting. It will be quite an adaption for the riders in the beginning but I think it's good for spectators and the live stream and it will be a reward for all of us in it," underlines Michael Schitzhofer.

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Francisco Lufinha: always ready to beat his own record

Francisco Lufinha, the man who set the world record for the longest kitesurfing journey, will try to complete a 36-hour kiteboarding marathon in a pool.

The Portuguese kiteboarder is preparing for yet another kiteboarding challenge in open ocean, but he believes he must be physically and mentally fit for the upcoming test.

That is why he will embark on an unusual experience. Lufinha will alternate between a kite board and a stand up paddleboard for 36 hours, in the Oeiras Oceanic Swimming Pool, i.e. between 9am (20th March, 2015) and 9pm (21st March, 2015).

Recently, the training plan established by the physiotherapist Nuno Gameiro has been truly demanding. The day begins at 6am with three hours of workout: one hour of outdoor running, one hour of swimming and one hour of strength exercises, followed by stretching.

Throughout the day, Lufinha sets sail on his kite board; at the end of the day he visits the gym for an hour of proprioceptive exercises and 30 minutes of stretching exercises.

In the 36-hour test, Francisco will have the opportunity to test his gear, helmet, technical clothing and body reaction to the scheduled diet. The entire kiteboarding pool marathon will be open to the public.

In 2013, Lufinha sailed for 307.5 nautical miles (569 kilometers), along the Portuguese coastline, to set a new Guinness World Record. One year later, he Portuguese kiteboarder successfully kite crossed between the Savage Islands (Ilhas Selvagens) and Funchal, in Madeira.