Tamatoa Gillot

Over 40 kitesurfers have gathered to race 40km in open sea, from Island paradise Tahiti to joint sister island Moorea. Organised by Moorea kiteboard club in extreme weather condition, strong wind (30kn plus) and 3 meters waves.

The race is a down wind course; going with the wind is a real challenge. It is really hard to keep the kite in power without over speeding and no edging with the board. Strait down! Such races are great to compare flying quality of kites. For that race I choose to be over powered with the 11m Edge II and an asymmetric speed board.

The technique is simple 40km looping the kite and playing with the great depower when feeling over speeding. It was incredible to be able to control so much power on my 11 edge2 in so much wind, never loosing contact with the water. Searching for the best line in open sea to not fight the waves but going with them, catching the next one after another.

I was going faster than the wave speed in open sea. Thanks to my Edge II that made it possible. It was almost effortless and after only 15 minutes I had a comfortable advantage over the other riders.

Only 18 riders manage to finish the race. A few of them got tangle lines (kite inverted) after crashing the kite in the water, others lost their boards and couldn’t body drag back up wind. My 11m Egde II  allow me to finish the race in 1hour and 2minutes. 12 minutes in front before the second.

Here are the results with the times for the 3 best:

1) Tamatoa Gillot 1h 02mn 15s
2) Moerani Marlier 1h 14mn 08s
3) Nicolas Quintana 1h 16mn 11s

Source: Ozone

“Today I got my gear, and I was doing a little better. It’s actually a brand new board that I was riding. I’m not even that used to it but I was improving on my angle although it’s not even closed to Charles’ angle and I’m below Sami’s angle as well. Overall, speed over course I think I’m pretty fast on that board so I was able to catch up quite a bit on the downwind run.

The first race I was in third most of the way until the last downwind leg and that’s where I passed Sami so I came in second behind Charles. On the last race, I got ahead on the downwind leg since the beginning then I led pretty much the second or third part of the race. Towards the end Charles caught back up going upwind and he came in for the win towards the end,” said Farley.

“Unfortunately I only went from being third on what was not my gear to second today, but that’s good enough as long as I keep jumping up a position and hopefully tomorrow there will be two first at least,” continued the current overall PKRA World Course Racing points leader.

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PKRA Portugal

With an awesome support from the kiteboarding community around the world, the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) – the globally recognized professional kiteboarding organization is once again here in Portugal to host two major kiteboarding events – the Kite Masters Portimão World Tour 2008 and the second annual Kiteboard Course Racing World Tour.

The former, dubbed the “most challenging” kiteboarding competition brings together some of the best freestyle kiteboarders competing in a different group format while the course racing competition is a true test of wit and endurance where some of the hardest-hitting kiteboard-racing actions of the PKRA World Tour unfolds.

These premium events will run until the 13th of July here at Praia de Alvor, Portimão, south of Portugal.

Today marked the opening day of these prestigious events with a warm, perfect weather greeting the competition, although the much sought-after wind which fuels the games was late to arrive. After a long period of waiting, the games started at 4:00 pm with the course racing events hitting the waters, finishing the first to last race over a period of 3 hours.

The races took about 15 – 20 minutes each under light and variable winds of 8-16 knots.

“After a long wait for the wind, we finally got some gust coming through and decided to go for a 4 o’clock start,” said race director Olaf Van Tol.

In the highlights of today’s races, French legend and North Kiteboarding’s Charles Deleau (FRA) won the last two races, only loosing the first race to Best Kiteboarding’s Sami Gali (ESP). The two-time world champion now leads the pack in the men’s division with 3.4 points followed by Gali’s 4.7 who had an early lead in the first race.

“I had a very impressive day. We tried the new board for the first time in the competition so we’ll know where we are compared to the other ones. My best race was the first one, then in the second race I dropped dramatically in the middle because I was sinking in a small board which made me change boards in the third race,” said Gali, who currently ranks 3rd in the course racing standings.

Another North kiteboarding legend, Sean Farley (MEX) is currently in third place with 10 points. The second race proved to be the most challenging for the racers with only eight competitors crossing the line out of 17.

In the women’s division, Best Kiteboarding’s Gina Esteva (ESP) had two early leads, winning the first two races ahead of North’s Steph Bridge (GBR) and Cabrinha’s Fabienne D’Ortoli (FRA) who finished second and third overall respectively. Bridge, who won the 2007 Course Racing World Championship crossed the finish line first in the last race ahead of the five women in the event.

“We started the race in super light winds but ended up with stronger winds so I finished with a 3-2-1 position for the three races, improving in each race,” said Bridge.

The Kite Masters Portimao World Cup 2008 is presented by the GEST Group under the general direction of Erich Steffen with Eduardo Piloni as the event coordinator. The event is sponsored by the City of Portimão and supported by Radio Comercial, Lipton tea, Planet Kiteboarding and Expoarade.

Source: PKRA