Rob Douglas

It was a phenomenal Day 1 – Kitesurfer Rob Douglas (US) goes smoking into the lead, and shatters the previous US speed sailing record with a 47.639kt run. Once teething troubles were sorted out with equipment on this first day of the Lüderitz Speed Challenge, and everyone had settled into the relentless blast of the wind, there was no end to the high speed runs.

Rob had a great result for a relative newcomer to the international speed sailing scene, although Frenchmen Alexandre Caizergues and Sebastien Cattelan are hot on his heels only .33 and .46 knots slower. Windsurfing great Bjorn Dunkerbeck set a personal best times of 44.78 knots, even in slightly broad conditions not perfectly suited to windsurfers.

Says Rob Douglas: “I started out slow, and things got better for me as the wind picked up and the water improved. It was rough in the beginning, so later when it got smooth it felt like I wasn’t going any faster.” He’s so far very happy with his equipment. “The Cabrinha kites were great,” Douglas comments, “And the Amundson boards keep pleasantly surprising me.” A key factor was fins, which the team had been struggling to working on. “We’ve now found the fins we like from Curtis – they’re fast with lots of grip.” He’s happy so far with his equipment, although the water conditions on the Lüderitz speed strip call for more rocker and a bit more flex on the board. “Not sure how we’re going to work it into the programme from here,” he says.

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PKRA Canada 2008 

The fourth day of the PKRA 2008 World Tour stop in Canada, part of the on-going Festival of the Wind concludes with the freestyle double eliminations in the bag.


Just like the past three days, the weather was warm and sunny but there was no wind when the event was supposed to start so it was postponed until 10:00 in the morning.

As the day wore on, the wind slowly started to pick up speed so by 2:00 pm, the organizers moved the judges and the competitors to the same spot down the beach where the event started during the first day. The first heat went into the water by 3:00 pm.

Luckily as the day progressed, the wind continued to pick up. The competitors were on their largest kites during the start, however, they eventually downgraded to their 12-meter kites for the men who were sufficiently powered up.

Mario Rodwald (North, GER) went up against Reno Romeu (North, BRA) in the 28th heat of the Freestyle with the Brazilian kiteboarder taking the win with switch moves and a higher technical difficulty score. In the same heat, the man from Down Under, Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) defeated French rider Sebastien Garat (RRD) with more powered tricks and a higher technical variation score.

Tremendous powered moves including a regular and switch KGB and front mobe to blind for the Aussie gave him the win against some solid regular and switch slim, regular and switch back to blind air pass for Garat but unfortunately not enough overall technical difficulty mark cost him the heat.

In the next heat, Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) defeated Michael Schitzhofer (JN, AUT) in a close 3-2 decision. Pastor edged the Austrian kiteboarder with slight technical advantage, landing switch variations of slim, mobe and back to blind air pass and topped off the heat with a KGB to blind.

Schitzhofer landed a regular and switch slim, KGB, mobe and kiteloop slim. New Caledonian Tom Hebert (Airush) defeated Cesar Portas (North, ESP) also in the same heat, beating the Spanish kiteboarder over power and super clean execution plus throwing in some grabbed moves for a convincing 4-1 victory.

After coming in from the back of the draw, Yates defeated Romeu with more powered moves and variation moving one step up the ladder. Even though Romeu landed a switched slim and front mobe plus front mobe to blind, KGB, blind judge with aerial handle pass, mobe, 313 and kiteloop slim, they were not enough to beat the 18-year old Queensland native.

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PKRA Canada 2008 

It’s the second day of the PKRA 2008 World Tour in Canada for the Festival of the Wind with the day starting out very early – very early in fact that even Mother Nature wasn’t even awake. The result was no wind as forecasted. Since the wind was more out of the North, a decision was made to move the competition to the North shore where both the wind and location were more favorable. As a result there was a wind and change of venue delay until 10:00 am so race director Eric Troostheide decided to go for an 11:00 am start.

Day 2 Highlights

The men’s Freestyle singles picked up from where it left yesterday with an early show of exciting kiteboarding action and an opening heat between Reno Romeu (North, BRA) and Alvaro Onieva (Best, ESP) in heat #13. Onieva displayed more variety and powered moves, landing a blind judge, s-bend, regular and switch back to blind air pass, regular and switch slim, double s-bend, kiteloop handle pass and 313 against Romeu’s blind judge with air pass, 313, mobe 5, slim and KGB. Current world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR) defeated Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) in the same heat. Both riders displayed strong moves packed with high technical score and power but Hadlow’s switch variety gave him the edge.

Fresh from his win against Hosp yesterday, Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE) had a good showing in this heat, defeating Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) in the 14th heat with a regular and switch variations of KGB, front mobe and slim, a huge double s-bend and shifty 3. Pastor landed his own regular and switch moves plus a mobe, front mobe to blind and s-bend but not enough to match Blomvall’s greater technical score and switch variation plus power.

Meanwhile, Kevin Langeree’s (Naish, NED) fight to the throne continues with a win against Tom Hebert (Airush, New Caledonia) in the same heat. Hebert displayed several switch variation but the power and execution of Langeree gave him the win, including a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, regular and switch KGB, double back mobe, double s-bend, indy grab, non-inverted slim, s-bend to blind and mobe. Langeree then went off to defeat Blomvall in the semi-final with an exceptional show of talent, landing a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, regular and switch KGB, regular and switch front mobe, s-bend, non-inverted slim and kiteloop handle pass. Blomvall lost with less switch moves, less power and variety.

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