KPWT Brazil

Excitement is at a high in anticipation for day one of competition, of this fantastic 7th event of the KPWT 2009.

Registration invited over 70 international riders from numerous countries to this wonderful Kitesurfing Mecca in the North of Brazil, Cumbuco.

This is the 7th stage of the 2009 Kiteboard Pro World Tour. The finale is set for Morocco in December and all the riders will be looking to up their rankings here in Brazil and make the final push for the 2009 World Championship title.

Cumbuco boasts miles of perfect beaches for wind sports. The sun shines all year round and the wind is guaranteed from June through to January.

Jesse Richman (HAW, CABRINHA), Jan Marcos Riveras (DOM REP, STARKITES), Michael Schitzhofer (AUS, JN), Abel Lago (SPA, RRD), Petr Tyushkevich (RUS, FLEXIFOIL) and Leander Vyvey (BEL, JN) are some of the few names that have registered for this event and it promises to bring some exciting heats to Brazil!

Among the ladies, Kriss Kinn (US, BEST), Gisela Pulido (SPA, AIRUSH) and Kari Schibevaag (NOR, OZONE) have all made the journey to Cumbuco.

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Alex Caizergues

November 1st was the first official racing day of the 2009 Lüderitz Speed Challenge.

It began early with the event organizers helping prepare the timekeeping equipment to begin racing at 4:00 pm when the wind speed was expected to be at its highest. Nature wasn’t in a co-operative mood… similar to what happened last year, there was an unusually high tide covering the whole beach.

This year, however, it also managed to break apart a big part of the chop-killer, so the first priority was to get that fixed.

Some fast thinking and faster action had everything ready to go in time. Though the wind was blowing fairly lightly - less than 30 knots – race officials decided to open the run regardless as it’s still great practice for the competitors.

The wind peaked as expected at about 4:00pm and decreased gradually after that. The tide also began to recede as the wind began to drop and the racing finished up around 6:30pm.

Most riders were using their larger kites (10 to 11m2), but still managed to get well over 40 knots (which was a major achievement in perfect conditions only a few short years ago). Alex Caizergues, Rob Douglas and Christophe Prin Guenon led the field with 43.11, 42.92 and 42.10kt respectively.

Congratulations to Sylvain Hoceini who is celebrating his birthday. He turned 41, like the speed he managed to record today. Too bad he wasn’t turning 55!

The light conditions didn’t stop Felipe Johannpeter from setting a new Brazilian speed record of 38.15 knots (subject to ratification by the WSSRC). Congratulations Felipe!

Light wind is expected for the rest of this first week, so most of the riders are settling back to patiently (but nervously) await the next wind cycle.

Good news is that a lot of video is being produced about the various speed sailing events, allowing a global audience to witness the breaking of national and international records, both here in Lüderitz and beyond.

Some great video footage of the first week of training was shot by Paul Railton of ‘Super Sport’ and has been put online (intro to the event with some stunning scenic footage and epic crashes, summary of Day 1). Now Paul is joined by a specialist team that has produced some outstanding documentaries on the life (and sport) aquatic, ‘Image Movement’.

The team of Gilles Boussion, Vincent Clap, Daniel Cherchi and Chloè Vallier have come down to Lüderitz to record footage from this year’s Speed Challenge for their feature on speed sailing.

They have been following the current world outright speed sailing record holder, l’Hydroptère, as well as former long-time record holder, windsurfer Antoine Albeau, and the English sailboat contender, Sailrocket, which is arriving today from Walvis Bay, Namibia, after recording an unratified time of 49.3 knots. This film will be released in early 2010.

Here is a list of individual results from the day. All times are subject to WSSRC ratification.

1-Alexandre Caizergues: 43.11 kts
2-Rob Douglas: 42.92 kts
3-Christophe Prin Guenon: 42.10
4-Sylvain Hoceini: 41.85
5-Jerome Bila: 41.48
6-Geoffrey Mascarell: 40.14
7-Taro Niehaus: 39.59
8-Manu Taub: 39.57
9-James Douglas: 39.36
10-Basil Cambanis: 39.14
11-Charlotte Consorti: 38.36
12-Paul Railton: 38.19
13-Felipe Johannpeter: 38.15
14-Tim Turner: 33.97
15-Peter Bjarke Olsen: 33.77

KTA Tour

After a quite day three, which focused on fun/demo wakeboard sessions and riders clinics from Dimitri Maramenides newly of Epic kites and Maelstorm, the final day saw a complete change of wind again and this time it would be blasting!

Riders and spectators alike were treated to competition riding at its best with a wind speed average of 26-28kts throughout the day once it started to blow through. With the course racing already in the bag from the earlier days, the final day was able to concentrate and complete all its freestyle competitions.

So the day would see the first KTA Greater China comp for local riders, the KTA women’s freestyle and the completion of the double eliminator for the men.

All rounds had their great moments that produced screams and shouts of support from the Chinese crowds, most of who had never seen kiteboarding before. Great performances were put in by Zhoung Bin Xin, Lin Wen Liang and Zhang Huabao as they battled their way through the local event, with Bin Xin in the end taking the top place as China’s first freestyle winner.

Great performances also from the women were to follow and although there was not a high number of entries, it was good to see the girls put up a strong performance, with Hill Siu from Hong Kong taking the honours.

By the time the international men’s freestyle event hit the water to complete the second part of the double eliminator the wind was now at times gusting towards the mid 30kt area, although it settled down once more for the majority of the heats.

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