Bruno Sroka and Steph Bridge win the 2009 PKRA Portimao in Portugal

June 29, 2009 | Kiteboarding

Bruno Sroka and Steph Bridge win the 2009 PKRA Portimao in Portugal

The day started out cloudy with a slight breeze but by mid day the skies cleared and the temperature soared so it was quite hot on the beach since there was little to no wind.

Competitors, who showed up to the beach, were recovering from last night’s party or relaxing while waiting for the wind. Race Director Olaf Van Tol set the riders meeting at 12:00 pm hoping that the wind would cooperate between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

By the time the riders meeting got underway, bad news arrived regarding the engine of the boat being used for the event was stolen. With the wind seemingly uncooperative, plunging quickly to around 4 knots plus the unfortunate news, Van Tol decided to cancel the day by an hour early.

Instead of releasing the riders at 5:00 pm, the race director decided to call the day off by 4:00 pm to give everyone enough time to pack their gear before the awards ceremony at the beach.

Meanwhile, there was a nice swell for long board surfing so Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) took the opportunity to find a surf board and with the assistance of the jetski operator, was towed into the incoming sets.  

Bruno Sroka (North, FRA) won the men’s racing event while Steph Bridge (North, GBR) won the women’s title. Our congratulations to all the winners!

International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner was at the event site as the official IKA representative and this is what he has to say:

“It was a nice event - perfect venue for racing and a perfect venue for Freestyle with side-offshore wind. We were a little bit unlucky with the wind today but that’s the nature of the sport. I think everybody was amazed at what’s possible in racing with the latest event that transpired here, from being able to go in low wind that gave us so many opportunities to go to any places in the world – that was amazing.”

Mr. Schwendtner was referring to yesterday’s events regarding the possibilities of kiting in light wind conditions where most of the athletes added extra kite line to the standard stock line length to give more power to the kites in lighter winds. EETV also got a feedback from the IKA Executive Secretary about how he saw the whole event and what he thought about the recently concluded PKRA Tour stop:

“Generally, the event was perfectly organized, nice warm, good organization; the country is nice and the people are nice. This is definitely a place to come back. I will see you soon in Germany,” referring to the German Tour Stop of the PKRA in July.

The Kite Masters World Tour 2009 was presented by The Gest Group under the leadership of Director General Erich Steffen and Event Coordinator Eduardo Piloni. The events were hosted by the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) – the globally recognized professional kiteboarding organization.

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