PKRA Canada 2008 

Just a few days after the successful German stop of the PKRA 2008 World Tour, the guys and gals of the only kiteboarding authority in the world are back in action. For the first time, the Tour is being hosted by Canada and will be held until September 13 at Green Shore Park, Summerside at Prince Edward Island. 

This Tour stop is the only North American venue of the PKRA and is being participated in by professional kiteboarders from seventeen different countries who will be testing the wind and waves of the Canadian shores. The PKRA competition is part of the much larger Summerside International Festival of the Wind which is being held from the 9th until the 13th of September. The festival will also include a visit by tall ships from across the globe, a Round-The-Island race and the top class Summerside Roots Folk Music Festival giving the event an all-week-long showcase of kiteboarding action, fun and entertainment.

Day 1

Today marks the debut of the PKRA 2008 World Tour in Canada with the men’s Freestyle out to test the Canadian waters first. The day started out nice, sunny and warm. However, fairly light wind prevailed for most of the day plus there was a low tide which prompted a series of postponements before the Freestyle. As the day wore on, the clouds moved in and so did some small rain showers towards the end of the day.

The mandatory skippers meeting started at 12:00 noon. At 2:00 pm, an opening ceremony was held at the park with the Minister of Tourism and other local government officials formally opening the event. After a few wind delays, the men’s Freestyle started at exactly 3:15 pm.

However, since the tide was out and there was no possibility of running the heats in front of the competition event, the game was moved 500 meters down the beach where there was more water plus given the wind direction, it was a more favourable spot.

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Kevin Kearny 

The kite surfer who was sent flying through the air during Tropical Storm Fay, speaks out about what happened and whether or not he would do it all over again.

Against the advice of his friends, 28-year-old Kevin Kearny decided to go kite surfing during the extreme winds of Tropical Storm Fay last week.

While tethered to a giant kite, kite surfers use the wind to whip them across the water and into the air. When Kearny hit the beach last Monday, a fierce gust of wind slammed him to the ground, picked him up and catapulted him into the side of a building.

"I do not remember flying across the street, I think I hit the sand first, got knocked out and went flying across street from there," he said.

Amazingly, Kearny's only significant injury was to his back. His throat was damaged when doctors tried to induce a coma. But now he says he's feeling great, and would do it all over again. "I regret it a little bit but I learned in the end what's important is life next time i'll be out there but i'll be packing up a little earlier."

Next time, he says he'll take one additional precaution. "I do have a snowboard helmet that's can also be used as a kite surfing helmet. I'll be wearing that for the next tropical storm."

Kearny has about four years of experience kite surfing. He says if he hadn't been knocked unconscious, he might have been able to push a button on his harness that would have released him from his kite.


SOURCE: News Channel 8

PKRA Germay 2008

The riders meeting was held at 10:00 am, right on schedule. The wind was offshore so race director Olaf Van Tol decided to go for one more racing event to wrap up the competition so the freestylers were released at 12:00 pm and because the conditions were not favourable during the morning.

The race got underway at 12:30 pm which turned out to be quite a nice race to cap off the Germany Tour stop. The wind at the start was up to 18 knots then it became really gusty and there were a lot of crashes around the safety boats. A lot of racers were getting towed out of control in the downwind and even in the upwind. It took 28 minutes for the first place competitor to complete the course.

Once again the North team dominated the race with a first and second place win for Dirk Hanel (GER) followed by Sky Solbach (USA) and Sami Gali (ESP) representing Best. Although Charles Deleau decided not to race on the final day he remained on top after 10 races, thus earning the Course Racing World Championship title.

After the event, a handful of athletes were seen on the water giving an expression session including Robby Naish who was at the beach along with WBO Champion Wladimir Klitschko who joined in to please the crowd.

COURSE RACING FINAL YEAR SUMMARY:

It all started in Mexico last March at the opening games of the PKRA 2008 World Tour. Right from the very start, the North team asserted their dominance in the racing events with Sean Farley taking the lead early, winning 7 out of 9 races earning a total of 4.9 points. Teammate Charles Deleau grabbed 2 wins to finish 2nd place with 14.4 points. Sami Gali of Best Kiteboarding came in close at third with 17 points. In the women’s event, North racer Steph Bridge won 5 out of 9 grabbing the lead early with 7.5 points while teammate Angela Peral crossed the finish line ahead of the ladies in the last three races managing to stay in 2nd place with 10.1 points. Cabrinha’s Susi Mai finished third with 21 points.

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