2009 PKRA Greece at Paros 

The sun was peaking through the clouds this morning as the racers made their way to the beach to prepare for today’s course races.

Race director, Van Tol announced at the 10:00 am rider’s meeting that he and his crew set an even longer course than yesterdays.  The riders had to race in the form of a zigzag, making this a very artistic, and stylish course.  It was an amazing view to see all the colorful kites from the helicopter that hovered above the course this afternoon.

The wind was still pretty light as the first race of the day began, but the riders prepared themselves for the lighter wind conditions as they pumped their 12-14m kites.  Cumulonimbus clouds started to cluster as the racers made their way through the first cycle of the first race.  It is very unusual and nearly unheard of having rain during this time of year in beautiful, warm and sunny Paros.  Sometimes you just can’t predict the weather.  Weather facts state that monthly rain precipitation averages for the month of September here in Paros, Greece are between 0.01 and 0.00 cm, making today’s forecast surely uncommon.  If we only could have caught the culprit who must have been doing some sort of rain dance on the beach last night…

Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha) finished yet again in the number one position followed by fellow French native Julien Kerneur (Takoon).  Kerneur is a rider that Sroka must keep an eye out for as he keeps creeping his way up the ranking list, finishing in the second position in the past three consecutive races. German rider Dirk Hanel (North) finishes third in today’s race.  

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Kitesurfers cross the Bass Strait for the first time 

Australian kitesurfers Ben Morrison-Jack and James Weight have crossed the Bass Strait to set a new world record in the stormy waters of Tasmania.

They've just concludes a 12-hour trip across 259 kilometre of strong winds and currents.

Just one kilometre from the mainland, the wind dropped off and the two close friends had to swim to Apollo Bay - SE Australia - to reach their goal.

It was the first kitesurfing, non-stop, unassisted crossing of Bass Strait.

In March, windsurfer Alison Shreeve failed to complete a similar crossing, after suffering from mild hypothermia and cramps, just 80 kilometres of the Victorian coastline.

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2009 PKRA Greece at Paros 

Today marks the kick off of the world kite-racing event held on the beautiful island of Paros, Greece.

A few years have past since the last PKRA event was hosted in Paros, but this year will prove to be an impressive comeback and perhaps a more familiar destination in the pro tour lineup for racing as well as freestyle in the years to come.

Registration began at 9:00 am this morning under mostly overcast skies and temperatures averaging 21 degrees.  The registration process lasted a little longer than planned in hopes that more female competitors would participate. 

Acting as the new PKRA Press Secretary (Jacqueline d'Entremont), how better to get an up close and personal view of what goes on in the exciting world of kite racing than to actually participate. I nervously signed up for the race in hopes of giving the only registered female a riding companion. Shortly after my inscription four local Greek women registered making a total of 6 female racers and 17 men.
 
The mandatory riders meeting commenced at 12:00 pm with the first possible start at 1:00 pm.  Riders rushed out on the water with their 9-11m kites, eagerly anticipating the signal to indulge in the nearly perfect wind conditions.

Race director Olaf Van Tol and his crew set a short 7-minute course for Day 1, but promises he has a few magic tricks up his sleeve to set some pretty interesting and challenging courses for the following days.

This was certainly not a challenging day for French racer Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha) who dominated all four races but was closely shadowed by German rider Dirk Hanel (North) whom would nearly overtake Sroka on a number of occasions.  It was a constant neck-to-neck battle between these two very powerful riders. North rider, Pierre Romain (FRA) who finished 4th in the first race of the day, raced his way to the 3rd overall position.

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