2009 PKRA Germany 

A lot of the fans were out on the beach this morning in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite kiteboarder in action. Day 3 of the Palmolive Kitesurf World Cup in St. Peter-Ording, Germany was a very successfully day under a bright, warm and beautiful blue sky.

Today’s weather was just what the doctor ordered, lots of Vitamin D for everyone to share.  The temperature reached a high of 22 degrees Celsius, with nearly cloudless skies and fluctuating winds averaging 12 knots.

Smiling, happy people surrounded the event site today and the joyous atmosphere was extremely contagious.

Organizers have made it possible for everyone wanting to shake the stress away by providing fun evenings of music and dancing with live DJ’s every night of the week.

The mandatory riders meeting was held exactly at 10:00 am as scheduled. However, the Freestyle competition, which was scheduled to start at 10:30 am was cancelled for the day by race director Olaf Van Tol because of light winds. Instead, Van Tol announced that the Racing event will be held in place of the Freestyle as racing requires less wind to run.

In effect, the Freestyle riders were released early in the day, which gave them the opportunity to catch up with old friends, share some laughs and have a little bit of stress-free fun before the continuation of the freestyle event tomorrow.

Ruben Lenten (NED, Slingshot) was yet again “On The Loose” making an appearance today at the event site in St. Peter-Ording.  He warmly greeted old friends as well as eagerly excited fans.

The course racers had nearly perfect conditions today, enabling them to glide gracefully across the North Sea with much ease. The races ran smoothly with no major problems other than a disqualification due to line entanglements.

Once again, Portimao KiteMasters Racing champ Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha, FRA) powered his way through the finish line in the only race held during the day.

This time wearing jersey number 3, Sroka is beating an old drum once more, commanding a well-deserved victory and is now at the top of the scoreboard. Local rider Eddy Lansild finished in second place followed by French racer Sebastien Salerno (Gin Kites).

This ties Salerno in second place overall with fellow French rider Oliver Dansin (North) with 7 points each while Lansild moved to number 3 position with 9 points.

In the women’s division, racing powerhouse Steph Bridge (North, GBR) crossed the finish line ahead of the other women putting her in lead position with 2 points overall. Kristin Boese (Best, GER) finished in second while Portimao Kitemasters race runner-up Fabienne D’Ortoli (Cabrinha, FRA) finished in third.

The day’s result did not change the overall standings as Bridge still maintains top position. A total of 23 racers competed in today’s event and all managed to finished within the time limit except for James Johnsen of Denmark who was disqualified because of line entanglement.

The event was called off for the day around 3:30 pm because the wind died down to a grinding halt. Tomorrow’s forecast looks a bit more promising and hopes are still high for the Freestyle competition.  The skippers meeting is set for 10:00 am with the first possible start at 10:30 am.

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2009 PKRA Germany 

The second day of the 2009 PKRA Tour stop being held in the North Sea coast of Germany was greeted by wonderful weather conditions. The sun was out most of the day and sunny blue skies prevailed throughout the morning and afternoon with temperatures peaking at 22° Celsius.

The mandatory riders’ meeting was held outside the riders’ tent area at exactly 10:00 am while the supposedly 10:30 am first possible start was delayed by half an hour due to the unpredictable winds.

Exactly 11:00 am, the red flag was raised kicking-off the men’s Single Freestyle eliminations. Race Director Olaf Van Tol then made a decision three minutes into the first heat to cancel the contest because of diminishing winds. The lack of wind made it almost impossible for the riders to stay upwind even on their 12 to 14-meter kites, much less perform any tricks.

Several minutes later, the wind showed a promising comeback so heat #1a was resumed. Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) had an easy win, landing a switch slim, 313 and a back mobe, defeating Spain’s Forrest Bakker (Flexifoil) who could only land a blind judge in the light winds.

Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) had a decent heat in the second set despite the very light winds, landing several switch tricks, blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, back mobe, front mobe, kgb and a back mobe to wrapped. The Dutch rider defeated Thomas Paris (North, FRA) who struggled dearly in the light winds but was able to land a blind judge and a back mobe to blind.

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2009 PKRA Sylt in Germany 

The best kiteboard riders in the world are in Germany once again for the 4th Tour stop of the 2009 PKRA World Tour. For the fourth straight year, the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) is holding the competition at St. Peter-Ording - the largest beach of all PKRA Tour stops. A total of 60 men and women are participating in this event which will run until August 2 for a chance at over 50,000 Euros in prize money.

Dubbed as the “Best Organized Kiteboarding Event in the World,” the Germany event kicked off day one with the trial elimination round of the men’s division. Cloudy skies with brief rain showers prevailed during the day. The temperature was at a bearable 18° Celsius with the winds increasing at a steady pace averaging approximately 15 knots.

Day One got underway with a 9:30 am riders meeting at the beach. The 10:00 am start was delayed by about an hour due to some technical problems so a second announcement was made by Race Director Olaf Van Tol at 10:45 am declaring an 11:30 am start. There were a total of 49 men registered so 33 battled it out in the trials. Most of the riders were on their 9 to 11-meter kites

Kiteforum.com’s founder Toby Bräuer was at the scene all day for some ultimate board-off performance to the delight of the crowd. The spectators at the beach began to gather in numbers as the day wore on to cheer for their favorite riders and see who would win a spot in the highly anticipated Singles Freestyle competition.

Around 1:00 pm, the weather took a turn for the worse. Overcast skies with sections of cumulonimbus clouds hovered along the beach forming a line of severe thunderstorm with strong winds and rain soaking the competition area. An hour later, the announcer declared that due to the extremely high tides and strong onshore winds, the event site would be flooded and all vehicles parked at the designated parking areas would have to be moved as quickly as possible to avoid having a severely salt water-drenched vehicle.

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