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 Post subject: 10 Years Silke Gorldt Surfing
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:36 am 
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10 Years Silke Gorldt Surfing

By now it’s already 10 years: the fatal accident of the reigning German Champion in kitesurfing and top rider of the PKRA World Cup, Silke Gorldt. On the 7th of June 2002, during the Fischland-Darß-Kitesurf Tour in Zingst at the Baltic Sea, a series of unfortunate events led to the death of the 24 years old Silke.

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Today’s safety systems probably would have prevented this tragic accident. Quick-release and other safety components on the kite didn’t exist those days. A pity that such an accident had to get things going, as from this day on the kitesurf industry started investing in safety systems. These have now developed into reliable systems to be found on every kite on the market.

Silke’s accident didn’t only cause the manufacturers to change focus and invest more in the development of the new systems. Also the retail market and the media started paying more attention to the topic safety in kitesurfing. Moreover, the education of kitesurf instructors and instruction standards were improved, in order to avoid accidents. All in all, the sport will never be hazard free or without accidents, but the new focus on safety definitely prevented (and still does!) a number of severe accidents and provided for a more safe kitesurf exercise.

Silke’s accident led to the establishment of the Silke Gorldt Surfing e.V. (SGS), which laid the basis for the first supporting measures of the kite-surfing youth in Germany. Every year SGS offers Kids Camps and Pro Camps for youth, in which the children and youth learn how to kitesurf with a focus on safety aspects. The Kitesurf-Trophy supports the SGS with three Wildcards per Pro Camp, enabling the participation in the national competitions taking place three times a year.

Silke Gorldt was the best female kitesurfer and an important stakeholder in the scene and young sport of kitesurfing. The 24 year old from southern Germany studied Political Science in Oldenburg and had great success in national and international kitesurfing contests. At last but not least, the loss and tragic death of a unique personality and an outstanding athlete did indeed (and unfortunately) serve a purpose in the sport of kitesurfing.

In memory to Silke Gorldt, SGS sincerely invites you to the ‘Zingst Sportstrand’ on the 15th of June 2012 at 18:00 pm.

The Silke Gorldt Surfing e.V (SGS) is a non-profit association promoting children and youth in the kitesurf competitive sport through focus on a safe and responsible introduction to the sport of kitesurfing. Young kite-surfers have the possibility to learn and train under full support and encouragement. Through training camps and individual attention will the talented and motivated youth kitesurfers be enabled the participation in and accompanied through German and International competitions.

Donation account:
Silke Gorldt Surfing e.V.
Konto-Nr.: 6603210795
BLZ: 100 500 00

E-Mail: info@silkegorldtsurfing.de
Web: www.silkegorldtsurfing.de


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Years Silke Gorldt Surfing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Rest in peace Silke. Your tragic accident is the main reason we have Quick Releases and functional kite leashes today. This should be common knowledge in the sport of kiting.

In the early days, we were often unable to simply unhook when the kite was fully powered up. We weren't strong enough, the forces could move a car at times much less lock a loop in place. It took several years for reliable quick releases to hit the market after her accident but the tragic occurrence galvanized the industry to create such devices. Some may recall that in the early days kite leashes were common, then were discarded as uncool and interferences with tricks.

After her accident concerted efforts were devoted to developing spinable kite leashes across the industry. The use of leashes was no longer viewed as unnecessary or an option but it took time for this to settle in. The emergence of wake style kiting a few years later in large measure spread the use of kite leashes throughout the sport. Folks got tired of chasing kites more than worrying about runaway kites, either way, it was a turning point for the sport.

We owe a lot to Silke in short for improved safety, reduced access threats and more. Runaway kites alone brought a lot of pressure on access at a number of launches back in the day. I can recall trying to unhook during a bad lofting and being unable to years before reliable QR came about. We still need to improve kiting technology but we have come a long way, thanks Silke.


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Years Silke Gorldt Surfing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Thanks for the summary Rick, I am sure many didn't know about this. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Years Silke Gorldt Surfing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Yes, there are a lot of kiters who started after 2002 and may never have heard the story or what major changes came about because of it. A summary of what happened appears at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2376196

We needed some critical changes to be made, fortunately they came to pass.


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