Day 4 - Light Wind Slalom Action for PKRA Argentina
The fourth day of the Kitesurf World Cup Argentina began with calm conditions and high anticipations. With glassy surroundings greeting the riders on arrival, many wondered whether the wind would appear at all. Around 11:00, the day began to show promise. A light wind line started to push down the canyon of Lago Potrerillos and inched slowly to the event site with each passing moment. As the wind took its time to fill in, riders and spectators spent the morning enjoying the sun, swimming, and appreciating the pleasant conditions.
With the winds building to 8-10 knots around 12:30, slalom racers took to the water first to take advantage of the improving conditions. Hoping for the wind to build to contestable levels to finish the freestyle single, it was decided that the light winds were most suitable to continue on with the slalom.
As the races got underway, it was clear that many of the racers on twin tips would not have an easy time in the conditions, and most scrambled to find bigger directional boards or opted to stay and watch the from the beach. Light and shifty conditions prevailed throughout the afternoon and in total, three rounds of men’s and three rounds of women’s went off in winds lulling to five knots and reaching just over 12knots in the gusts.
The course provided tactical challenges as the buoys were set very tight. Rounding the mark too wide would result in a struggle to make it above the next mark. Kite size selection was also a key factor, as the wind would strengthen at times, luring some competitors to rig down, while others chose to stick with their biggest kite. On this day, 14- 18m kites were the most popular choices.
In the men’s fleet, Brian Lake dominated the day, demonstrating why he deserves the world title distinction. Bullets in every race followed by three second-place finishes for Victor Adamo and three third-place finishes for Abeleyra.
For the women’s fleet, Ceylan had her riding in control with good starts and fast speed, putting her across the finish line first in each of her three races. Navotna chose to stay on her freestyle twin-tip and earned two second place finishes and a fourth. Pipkin finished third and second in the two races she completed, while Cerruti decided to compete in the last round of the day finishing third.
Overall, the light conditions and flat water provided plenty of challenges and made for some interesting races that pushed the sailor’s skills to adapt to the variable conditions. The forecast for the remaining two days show a slight direction change, which may trigger stronger winds. Riders will meet tomorrow at 10:30 for an 11:00am first possible start.