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Mondial du Vent 2014

Registration Day and with gusty conditions, the riders really got a feel of what was to come on Friday here at Mondial Du Vent. With wind speeds registered on the beach ranging from 29knts to 42knts, only a few freestyle riders who had arrived early braved the conditions.

Karolina Winkowska was out testing the conditions on her 5m Slingshot. After last year’s 50knts she appeared to be coping very well and later pronounced she wasn’t scared if the wind was of a similar strength at competition time!

Up on the speed strip and the Americans Robbie and Morgan Douglas were out. For them the wind was frustrating as it switched angles frequently and the waves ran along the beach making for interesting riding. Morgan ended up ‘tail walking’ (see the pictures) whilst Robbie kept changing kites.

If the conditions are the same for both the PKRA and the Sosh Speed competition then there will be some big crashes in both areas!

The Saturday following registration day brought with it a calm and sunny day; perfect for the ceremonies and the walk about with the dignitaries but just not good enough for competition. But on the plus side it did give us time to catch up with things from the previous week.

Waking on Sunday morning to a solid 20knts, the wind continued to build throughout the day, the competitions started and things really ramped up a gear! The PKRA managed to kick off bang on time with the trials and there were a few surprises along the way in the gusty wind. The biggest one was Youri Zoon; just back to competition from a knee injury, he failed to make it through the heats when he hurt his knee agian; a huge cause of concern, leaving Valentin Garat to go through to the main event. With the first round of the singles completed, the remaining riders got chance to rest before taking on the seeded competitors in the morning.

On the speed strip competition was very close and although nothing on the positions has been confirmed, we can say that a new course record of 46.25knts was set by the American, Robbie Douglas. Keen to show he is still in the game after losing the overall kitesurf speed record to Alex Caizergue over the winter, he blew the competition away for the fastest speed. However with Alex being consistent with 3 x 2nds, Antoine Albeau with 2 x 1sts, and both Antoine and Robbie each having a lower place too, it's all to ride for on the second day.

On Monday the strong winds from the weekend drop slightly but, as they were still very gusty, the PKRA riders found it difficult to choose the right kite. And even when they thought they’d got it right with the wind appear then disappear throughout their heats it proved difficult as they went for their tricks. The female singles final was once again between Karolina Winkowski and Guisela Puilido. Whilst Guisela seemed to choose the right moments to do her stuff, Karolina wasn’t too far behind but in the end Guisela took the win.

Aaron Hadlow had been riding well all morning with a comfortable win over Liam Whalley then he went on to meet Marc Jacobs in the Semi’s. This was the heat where last year Aaron lost out when a dubious decision on a flag discrepancy led to the heat not being rerun as it should have been. But there was no repeat of last year as Aaron stormed through to the final this year. In the final though it was all over to Christophe Tack who had a blinder, landing everything he tried. Whilst Christophe had struggled in earlier heats with the strange wind, it was Aaron who had the problems this time so Tack took the singles!

Up on the speed strip politics and safety was being hotly debated. With windsurfers congregating at the end of the course, kiters were left with no room to exit the gate. With one or two close misses and one kiter hitting a windsurfer, the rules were changed ….but the same still happened. During the last heat things almost came to a head when Robbie Douglas had to abort a run as he dodged three windsurfers, just after the start gate and another kiter had to bail and ended up just clipping a windsurfers sail as he tried to make his way to the beach .......

So after the day’s runs Antoine Albeau was in the lead with Robbie 2nd and Alex down in 8th

Check out the pics from Monday below



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