Luderitz Speed Challenge

The weather system that brings the nuclear 40+ knot winds to the second lagoon in Lüderitz, Namibia, is building. Moderate winds are expected today, building on Friday and peaking on Saturday, with tides at the right level for many hours of competition speed sailing.

The speed sailors are starting to get edgy with anticipation, because with the lessons learned from the first Big Weekend over the 16th to the 19th September, plus good or better wind conditions, plus some redesign work on the chop killer, expectations are high for even more records, especially to best the 50 knot barrier.

Says Rob Douglas (USA – Cabrina, Amundsen, Dakine, The Black Dog, Lynch), current event leader and outright world record holder at 49.84 knots (92.3kph), “We been testing a couple of things today, tomorrow and Saturday we get ready for the fifty.” Douglas and his coach Mike Gebhardt travelled to South Africa’s Mother City for a few days to repair boards and build some new ones. “We’ve got some new boards to test that we built with Cape Doctor in Cape Town, where we are experimenting with ABS construction. We also have some new boards by Cabrinha, who sent some prototypes.”

Frenchman Sebastien Cattelan (Genetrix, Xelerator, Prolimit, Ocean Eyewear, Dabens), currently running in second place, declares: “Maybe we get fifty tomorrow, the day after it’s even stronger. For sure a page of history will be turned.” New Dutch contender, Rolf van der Vlugt (Airush, Mystic, Protest, TUDelft, X-tremeboards), is also upbeat about the conditions: “It’s going to be good. Today we warm up, Friday we warm up a little bit more, Saturday we’re smoking.”

Read more...

Kite accident in Israel

A 23-year old youth was killed Tuesday afternoon while kite-surfing in Sdot Yam, a kibbutz located near Caesarea. He was seriously injured when the wind dragged him into the roof of a nearby house. A Magen David Adom (MDA) team evacuated him to a nearby hospital, where he later died of his wounds.

The youth was kite-surfing with his friends when a strong gust of wind dragged him 150 meters inland and threw him against a kibbutz house. He remained aloft, hanging by his parachute, until his friends detached him and brought him down.

Matan Yodfat, a paramedic who arrived on the scene, described the incident to Ynet: "We found the youth injured on the ground near the building. He was unconscious, and suffering from head, chest, and stomach injuries. We resuscitated him and then evacuated him to the hospital in critical condition."

The youth later died of massive injuries while hospitalized in Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.

Read more...

PKRA Brazil 2008 

It’s the final day of Kite-XTreme Brasil 2008, the second to the last stop of the PKRA 2008 World Tour and then it’s off to Chile on October 4. A typical Brazilian day - bright, sunny weather and strong winds provided for a perfect setting for the Big Air/Best Trick competition. The sun was in full force, literally heating up the event site to a 36° Celsius but the side-onshore wind which averaged between 16 and 18 knots provided a slight cooling effect.

The crowd at the beach was delighted to see the top PKRA athletes perform once again for a spectacular event of extreme kiteboarding competition for the Big Air/Best Trick contest, where the kiteboarder performs a jump and then be placed according to best trick. The performance is judged according to height (80%) and technical difficulty (20%) so it was all about going big.

Most of the competitors rigged their 9-meter kites and performed extremely well with the strong winds and moderate waves setting up perfect conditions to boost some amazing aerial tricks giving the locals a great show. With a rising tide, building wind and kickers, the riders went bigger and bigger towards the final.

The whole event started at 12:30 pm with 4 rounds for the men and 3 rounds for the women. There were four people on the water at a time with the top two finishers advancing into the next round. The day concluded at 3:00 pm which was followed immediately by an awards ceremony on the beach.

Read more...