PKRA Argentina: dream scenario

It was nothing less than an exciting day here in Bariloche, Argentina. The wind began to pick up in strength early this morning.

The sun came out for short periods, warming the air, however it remained a little colder than the past couple of days due to the stronger winds. Shortly after 12:00pm there were recordings of wind speeds reaching 20 gusting 25 knots.

Freestylers began to prepare for what would be an action packed day. The commenced with the men’s freestyle single eliminations. The Argentines hit the water first giving the many spectators an amazing show. Crowds cheered in amazement as the top named men freestylers showed off their fancy high-class moves.

During the first round of men’s heats, a very close call came for Argentine local rider Eusebio Todeschini (Caution, ARG) who poorly executed a trick that could have cost him his life. Todeschini’s kite was looping uncontrollably while pulling him backwards towards a stonewall pier near the shore.

The tension of the wind in the kite was so strong that the safety leash released itself approximately a meter from the wall enabling Todeschini to be set free from his kite, however he suffers from two broken ribs and a broken eardrum due to this powerful crash.

It was nothing less than a perfect day for Australian rider Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) who defeated Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) in a 5/0 judge’s decision during the men’s final single elimination heat today. Yates is well on his way to winning the 2010 Men’s Freestyle Championship title.

He has been performing spectacularly, executing very complex tricks in extremely difficult conditions. His overall style, and powerful moves have won over most of the judges more than once this year and in this event the only competitor yet to land a front mobe to blind. It will be great to see if Yates can hold on to his game and win the world title.

Although a little disappointed for losing his heat in the final round, Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) had some great prior heats executing tricks with powerful and style. Zoon struggled with a few tricks by crashing especially the slim chance. Zoon takes second place in the single eliminations.

French rider Sebastian Garat (RRD, FRA) was also riding very well today in the difficult conditions defeating most of his opponent enabling him a spot in the losers final against Alex Pastor (Airush, ESP). Pastor has also been riding with great style and execution in hopes to inch his way up the ranking scale. Pastor defeated Garat in the losers final, earning third place while Garat takes home fourth.

In the women’s division, Spanish rider Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP) proved that she wasn’t going to let difficult weather conditions slow her down. Pulido is well on her way to winning the 2010 world title by winning yet another event title this season defeating Polish superstar Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL) who takes second place in the women’s final heat today. Winkowska is one of the most intense and eager female riders on the PKRA tour.

In a brief conversation with Winkowska she mentions that “a little bit of cold water is nothing for me, it just pushes me to the next level”. The 2009 world champion Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) struggled a bit with the conditions earning her third place defeating Kari Schibevaag (Ozone, NOR) in the losers final.

Tomorrow’s forecast looks promising for all racers who had a day off today. The mandatory skippers meeting is scheduled for 10:00am.

Men’s Freestyle Single Elimination Winners

1. Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS)
2. Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED)
3. Alex Pastor (Airush, ESP)
4. Sebastian Garat (RRD, FRA)

Women’s Freestyle Single Elimination Winners

1. Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP)
2. Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL)
3. Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA)
4. Kari Schibevaag (Ozone, NOR)

Rosnowlagh Beach: remembering David North

Last November we lost a friend and fellow kitesurfer, David "Baba" North. David died while launching his kite at Rosnowlagh beach, Co. Donegal. He was thrown into the rocks and died instantly.

On November the 20th, we are meeting on Rosnowlagh beach to remember David. If the conditions suit, we could honour him in a way he would have liked, by a great kiting session.

On Saturday evening the local crew will be meeting for a bite to eat and a few pints, and to discuss stories, memories and experiences – hopefully to help prevent something like this happening again.

Everyone is welcome, whether you knew David well or never even met him. It would be great to see a huge turnout from the local and national kitesurfing community to remember a friend on a cold November day.

11am: meet on Rosnowlagh Beach for a moment and to lay a wreath. After that we can travel to the most suitable spot on the day for a session.

Hopefully the wind will suit Rosnowlagh but if not we can travel to an alternative spot. 7pm – A bite to eat, perhaps in Austies in Rosses Point, and a few pints in Harrys.

Zurich: a future kite company

Kitesurfing is growing in every country of this world.

The number of wind riders also brought a new industry, with new gear, apparel, clothing and sponsors. But, have you ever thought of selling a pension insurance contract with a kitesurfing ad campaign?

Zurich, an insurance-based financial services multinational provider, believed it was a great way of promoting their products. The Swiss based company got the helping hand from a 50-60 year-old kitesurfer to boost its offer on retirement plans.

How about that?