For the sixth day of action here in St Peter Ording, Germany, the conditions didn’t look promising. Instead of taking to the water, the kiteboarders of the PKRA decided to hold meetings about the judging system in the Freestyle discipline and the rules applying to Course Racing. By the middle of the afternoon the wind picked up to around 8 knots, which was enough to start the only race of the day, Race 11.
The Freestyle-judging meeting was set up to discuss several points:
– Scoring individual tricks from 0 to 10 according to the existing judging criteria but putting more emphasis on the quality of execution. The judges now have to note the name of the trick as well as the score.
– Only taking into consideration the 5-7 best tricks from each rider (Men & Women’s divisions)
– A panel consisting of five judges in which the highest and lowest scores are withdrawn for the final tabulation.
All these different issues were discussed and debated with the riders and final decisions will be made after voting in Brazil.
Meanwhile the Course Racers had a meeting of their own about different rules:
– The wind limit was discussed and set to 6 knots combined with suitable conditions, the current and the direction of the wind being the most important factors.
– The board limitation was discussed (190cm by 60cm) and will be voted at the next AGM (annual general meeting) of the IKA (International Kiteboarding Association) to decide whether to go for a production class only or also accept custom boards.
– The same thing applies for the number of kites to be registered at the event. Right now it’s set to 3 per event for budgets reasons and could go to 4 or 5 kites.
At 3pm the wind was fairly light but higher than 6 knots confirming the new rule to start the course racing discipline. The three leaders of the ranking were on the exact same kite, a 17 meters, and kept on crossing each other throughout the course. Kerneur (FRA, Takoon) remembered pumping with his legs by pushing on the board to gain some speed and managed to go faster than the others on the last reaching tack, he went on to win the race.
Olivier Dansin (FRA, North) tangled right on the start line due to Bram Hoogendijk (NED, Peter Lynn) who looped his kite into Olivier’s as he got blocked by the fleet and tried to get away. When this kind of mistake happens the rider needs to scream “Protest” on the water in order to fill out a proper protest form once the race is over. At the end of the day all protests are discussed with Markus Schwendtner, IKA representative, who then decides the legitimacy of the protest.
In the girls division, Katja Roose (NED, Airush) was happy to finish first again and confirm her recently acquired top spot overall for this event after 11 races. She reckoned that she played well with the shifting winds, tacking as they were changing to get to the upwind buoy. Meanwhile Steph Bridge (GBR, North) commented that she rode well but didn’t go as fast as she thought she should and is now thinking about going on a diet…
Results Race 11:
1. Julien Kerneur (FRA, Takoon)
2. John Heineken (USA, Ozone)
3. Adam Koch (USA, Ozone)
1. Katja Roose (NED, Airush)
2. Steph Bridge (GBR, North)
3. Christine Boenninger (GER, Flysurfer)
John Heineken (USA, Ozone) and Katja Roose (NED, Airush) are now sitting in first place on the overall ranking of this event.
Tomorrow afternoon the conditions should be good enough to start the Freestyle discipline again.