Florian Gruber: jumping the Pingtan obstacles | Photo: Schwarz/IKA

Florian Gruber and Jingle Chen claimed the inaugural 2017 TwinTip:Racing World Championship slalom-boardercross titles, in Pingtan, China.

The event was sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and featured an innovative format with obstacles and four-minute downwind races that will be adopted at the 2017 Youth Olympic Games.

For the first edition of the TT:R worlds, there were 65 kiteboarders from 17 nations competing in three divisions: Men, Women/Girls, and Boys.

Gruber had to fight hard and keep his composure to secure the world title. In the last day of races, the German rider, who had already won the course racing crown last year, knew who his main rival was.

"In the morning, I was in third place with the same points, so we had some tough racing out there. In the last race, Martin was doing well, but I could keep him behind me, said Florian Gruber.

"I had a good start and, on the first reach, I was always winning. That was definitely my goal. Once you have that spot, you're out of trouble and, behind, others have to take care as you're in control."

On the women's side, 17-year-old Jingle Chen was able to channel her local knowledge and support from fans to her performance in the water.

"I'm so happy that I could win here because I'm the local girl. I know that the stronger winds are better for my style of racing, but still, I was a bit nervous and excited beforehand, so it was great to come out on top," revealed Chen.

2017 TwinTip:Racing World Championship

Men
1. Florian Gruber (GER) - 3 points
2. Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 6 points
3. Julien Kerneur (FRA) - 7 points
4. Theo Lhostis (FRA) - 9 points
5. Narapichit Pudla (THA) - 10 points

Women & Girls
1. Jingle Chen (CHN) - 11 points
2. Elena Kalinina (RUS) - 16 points
1. Kirstyn O'Brien (USA) - 19 points
4. Alexia Fancelli (FRA) - 22 points
5. Benyapa Jantawan (THA) - 23 points

Boys
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 3 points
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 5 points
3. Sarun Rupchom (THA) - 6 points
4. Remel Trentillo (PHI) - 13 points
5. Hiro Karamon (JPN) - 14 points