2009 KPWT France in Dunkerque

An exciting event on the KPWT 2009 schedule began today with registration. 50 international riders made the trip North to Dunkerque in France and registered for their respective disciplines.

Dunes de Flandre boasts 700 hectares of dunes and is blessed with a 15km beach of fine sand and great conditions for kitesurfing. Rotonde du Kursaal, the first European Kite Park, will host the KPWT team and its riders for the week ahead.

Local rider Antoine Auriol (FRA, KITELOOSE) registered today and has only fond memories of Dunkerque after coming second in the national competition for Windsurfing when he first started his love affair with wind many years ago!

Jesse Richman (HAW, CABRINHA, OVERALL TITLE 2008), Leander Vyvey (BEL, JN, FREESTYLE VICE-CHAMPION 2008) and Peter Tyushkevic (RUS, FLEXIFOIL), were also amongst the internationals that came to compete for the title and overall points on offer!

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Etay Amir

Israeli designer Etay Amir has developed "Soul", a kitesurfing board for paraplegics.

He chose kitesurfing as he found the water sport had potential to create excitement and free movement on the water for physically disabled people.

The use of the wind as a power source means the surfer doesn't require a lot of physical strength, allowing them to participate in extreme sport.

Source: Design Boom

Kiteboard Course Racing World Championship

After seven qualification rounds, six championship races and a final medal race, Sean Farley (MEX, North) and Steph Bridge (GBR, North) took victory at the 2009 kiteracing world championships, held at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

The competitors today looked happy to be in the final day of competition yet nervous about the tight battles forthcoming. The skies were blue on the beach with a thin strip of fog in the middle of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge completely engulfed in the fog. The course was set and wind was up in time for a 2:00 start and the gold fleet took to the water for two races.

The first race saw all racers start on Starboard with Jensen leading the field out to the middle of the bay with Farley and Wasson right behind him. Chip Tacked early and took the inside line. the fleet seemed to notice and all tacked behind him.

While it looked like Chip made a great tactical move, he hit a hole on his way up on the inside and much of the fleet caught up to him. Farley rounded the windward mark first then Leroy followed by Heineken and then Wasson.

At the leeward mark the order remained the same but the riders tightened up a bit. As the racers made their way up to the windward mark it became a race for second with an even heavier battle in the pack behind. Farley rounded first, then Wasson, then Heineken. The tight pack behind came in with Leroy taking 4th, then Hanel then Kafka.

The pack really tightened up in this final day and While the top 3 guys seemed to be pretty dominant, it seemed that the next 10 spots were up for grabs.

The second race saw Chip Wasson getting a great start and Johnny Heineken getting stuffed on the start. Farley was a bit low and Chip got out way ahead. Chip again chose to take the inside line and this time Damien stuck close with him.

They opened up a big lead on the rest of the fleet and rounded the mark way ahead of the field. As they sailed around the leeward mark it was still Chip followed by Damien with Farley trailing pretty far behind them.

The rest of the fleet was even further behind and it was really a race for the top 3 spots as Chip, Damien and Farley worked their way up the inside. Damien Tacked first and Chip and Farley went almost all the way to the beach before they tacked and found themselves struggling through a hole on the inside. Damien hit the finish line first, then Chip then Farley.

The last day of racing left the racers in these positions going into the Medal Heat where points were doubled:

1. Sean Farley 13
2. Chip Wasson 22
3. Johnny Heineken 36
4. Damien Leroy 43
5. Bruno Sroka 46
6. Jesse Richman 60
7. Bjoern Rune Jensen 67
8. Dirk Hanel 67
9. Sky Solbach 72
10. Michael Gebhardt 76

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