Summary - Kitesurf World Cup 2008 in St. Peter-Ording
The Kitesurf World Cup 2008 in St. Peter-Ording, Germany, is now officially finished after nine days of exciting kiteboarding competition held at the largest event site this year.
A total of 72 professional kiteboard athletes representing 16 countries competed in this grand slam event including Freestyle, Course Racing and Boardercross. The total prize money for this Tour stop was a whopping € 50,000.00 (US$ 73,800.00.)
The riders meeting was held at 10:00 am, right on schedule. The wind was offshore so race director Olaf Van Tol decided to go for one more racing event to wrap up the competition so the freestylers were released at 12:00 pm and because the conditions were not favourable during the morning.
The race got underway at 12:30 pm which turned out to be quite a nice race to cap off the Germany Tour stop. The wind at the start was up to 18 knots then it became really gusty and there were a lot of crashes around the safety boats. A lot of racers were getting towed out of control in the downwind and even in the upwind. It took 28 minutes for the first place competitor to complete the course.
Once again the North team dominated the race with a first and second place win for Dirk Hanel (GER) followed by Sky Solbach (USA) and Sami Gali (ESP) representing Best. Although Charles Deleau decided not to race on the final day he remained on top after 10 races, thus earning the Course Racing World Championship title.
After the event, a handful of athletes were seen on the water giving an expression session including Robby Naish who was at the beach along with WBO Champion Wladimir Klitschko who joined in to please the crowd.
It all started in Mexico last March at the opening games of the PKRA 2008 World Tour. Right from the very start, the North team asserted their dominance in the racing events with Sean Farley taking the lead early, winning 7 out of 9 races earning a total of 4.9 points. Teammate Charles Deleau grabbed 2 wins to finish 2nd place with 14.4 points. Sami Gali of Best Kiteboarding came in close at third with 17 points. In the women’s event, North racer Steph Bridge won 5 out of 9 grabbing the lead early with 7.5 points while teammate Angela Peral crossed the finish line ahead of the ladies in the last three races managing to stay in 2nd place with 10.1 points. Cabrinha’s Susi Mai finished third with 21 points.
A month later, the Tour went to France for the Mondial du Vent 2008 at Leucate. Farley won 6 out of 13 races, garnering 15.2 points finishing at the top while teammate Deleau won 4 with a total of 16.28 points, taking 2nd place. Gali won Race #8 but only managed to finish three 2nd places including a redress in race #1 and only finishing 6th in the last race but still managed to cling to 3rd place overall with 28.67 points. The women’s division saw a glimpse of what was to expect ahead as Bridge clearly ruling the games, winning 8 out of 13. Meanwhile, Gina Esteva’s kick-off games in the 2008 Course Racing events managed to get her to 2nd place overall after winning 2 races and finishing six 2nd places and three 3rd places. The France Tour stop also marked Fabienne D’Ortoli’s entry to the 2008 races, finishing 3rd place overall.
Then after almost three months of break, the racers once again converged for the Kitemasters Portimao World Tour 2008, this time in the beautiful city of Portimao, Portugal. After five days and 12 course racing action, Deleau would eventually take the top spot after winning 8 of 12 races and even after being disqualified in race #8. Farley finished in 2nd place overall with an 8.8-point difference against Deleau. Gali once again finished 3rd overall after winning two races including race #8 where Deleau was disqualified and Farley not being able to finish. The ladies would once again see Bridge crossing the finish line ahead of the pack followed by Esteva and D’Ortoli completing the top three women racers.
Two weeks later, the racing competition went to Fuerteventura, Spain for the Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2008 for a total of nine races. Even though Deleau was not able to finish one race, he still managed to maintain the overall lead after winning all but two races, gaining an 8.8 lead advantage against teammate Farley. Farley managed to stay in 2nd place in the Fuerteventura races while Bruno Sroka climb the top three with two 1st place finishes.
Meanwhile, D’Ortoli would take advantage of the favourable conditions to finish 1st place overall with 6.2 points, chopping Bridge’s lead with 3.9 points overall. Bridge finished 2nd with 10.1 points while Esteva still made it to the top three with 21 points.
Finally, came Germany for the culmination of the 2008 Course Racing events. There were clear indications that Deleau would eventually bag the 2008 World Championship title even just after five races under light winds where he won all but one and after. Farley had a rough start in Germany after failing to finish 2 out of 11 races, finishing 6th in the second to last race and four 4th place finishes. As a result, Germany’s Sky Solbach (also of North Kiteboarding) grabbed the 2nd place position while Farley finished 3rd overall. On the other hand, the top three leaders in the women’s division dominated the German round with Esteva finishing 1st overall, Bridge in second and D’Ortoli in third.
COURSE RACING FINAL YEAR RESULTS:
1st - Charles Deleau (France, North/Fanatic) – World Champion
2nd – Sean Farley (Mexico, North)
3rd – Sami Gali (Spain, Best)
1st – Steph Bridge (United Kingdom, North) – World Champion
2nd – Gina Esteva (Spain, Best)
3rd – Fabienne D’Ortoli (France, Cabrinha)
Congratulations to Charles Deleau and Steph Bridge for bagging the Course Racing World Championship titles!
BOARDER CROSS FINAL YEAR RESULTS:
1st – Kevin Langeree (Netherlands, Naish)
2nd – Sky Solbach (USA, North)
3rd – Sebastien Garat (France, RRD)
1st – Karolina Winkowska (Poland, Naish)
2nd – Fabienne D’Ortoli (France, Cabrinha)
3rd – Bruna Kajiya (Brazil, Best)
FREESTYLE FINAL RESULTS:
1st – Kevin Langeree (Netherlands, Naish)
2nd – Aaron Hadlow (United Kingdom, Flexifoil)
3rd – Tom Hebert (New Caledonia, Airush)
1st – Bruna Kajiya (Brazil, Best)
2nd – Gisela Pulido (Spain, Slingshot)
3rd – Karolina Winkowska (Poland, Naish)