No wind for the Day#1 here in SERRE-CHEVALIER VALLEY for the issue#11 of the famous SnowKiteMasters.
So, no competition, it was snowing and pretty foggy all the day at the mythical spot Lautaret Pass.
Race Meeting at 10 AM with about 60 competitors coming from ten different countries, Norway, Germany, Italia, Spain, Russia, Austria, and many more or as well from all snowkiting parts of France.
Alexandre Robin, Race director, showing the Racing area and flags to pass, everything on the southern place of the Lautaret Pass called Jardin Alpin, with the help of a super staff and the snow-ranger Arnaud Chavance for a perfect organization.
After two hours stand-bye looking for the wind, all the competitors had a super SKM lunch at Hôtel**** des Glaciers.
A gentle south wind started to blow at 2 PM so everybody moved to the competition area.
But once the flags and the starting line was clear, then all the racers ready with their kites, the wind suddenly died and the snowshower went stronger at the same time.
The two SNOWKITEMASTERS godfathers Régis Labaune and Wareck Arnaud had to give up for today.
The competition is still on the schedule for tomorrow sunday 10 january with the Race World Snowkitemasters and Official RACE French Championships too.
The forecast is not super great, good wind but more snowfalls are due unfortunately.
Let's wait and see as the forecast can be sometimes wrong hopefully.
All the Snowkitemasters competitors are invited for the dinner at the restaurant LE FROG then there will be the official opening party at LE CHAZELAY.
Don't mind about the snow disturbing a little bit the Race as it will bring super conditions this week for the Freestyle competition.
Stay tuned mates.
Great motivation here at the Lautaret Pass in the SERRE-CHEVALIER VALLEY, for the Snowkitemasters issue#12.
The sixty competitors: ski, snowboard, boys and girls, ready to compete for the World Snowkitemasters Race and the official French Championships Race FFVL.
The Race meeting was on time in front of the Hotel Les Glaciers 'round 10 AM and the Race-Director Alex Robin explaining the latest points for the best organization as possible.
Everything right, I mean perfect fresh snow from the night, pretty cool wind about 10-15 knots, it's still snowing a little bit and a kind of fog as well so a break is decided and next Race meeting at noon.
The kiters are getting ready and the level is really incredible with the 2015 Ragnarok winner Felix Kersten from Germany, the 2015 Rooky of the Year Jonas Lengwiller from Switzerland, the 10 times world champion Kari Schibevaag from Norway, the 2015 French Champion Race Laurent Sublet, well so many impressive kiters and for sure the best in the world at the moment.
During the break for better Racing conditions, the SKM crew had a super lunch in La Brasserie Bonnabel with perfect spaghetti carbonara.
Third race-meeting at 1 PM saw the same bad conditions with the fog stuck here and the wind blowing super gusty, coming too much from South/West behind the ridge of Les Ecrins 4.000m, which means super strong time by time, then dying for a moment, changing direction every five minutes.
Impossible in such situation to decide the right place for the Race.
At 3 PM the Race director Alex Robin, the Snow-Marshall Arnaud Chavance, the SKM boss Régis Labaune and Wareck Arnaud, had to take the sad decision to cancell the competition for today.
Which means no 2016 World Snowkitemasters Race and no French Championships Race as that was the only one date for this national ranking.
Mother Nature always has the last word anyway.
Luckily a real warriors had a super Free-Session during the end of afternoon for freestyle, cruising, having fun.
Good mood remains the most important and everybody keep smiling.
A kind of Price Giving will be set at 7PM in Le Chazelay offering some gifts to the competitors coming to the ceremony.
Well, tomorrow monday 11 will start the World Snowkitemasters Freestyle.
For sure the highest show freestyle on earth available at the moment.
Definitely not to be missed !!!!
First day of the Freestyle competition here at the Lautaret Pass, SERRE-CHEVALIER VALLEY, for the 12th Snowkitemasters.
New starting list with the best worldwide freestylers, Andreas Toverud from Norway with the snowboard, Anton Uzhegov from Russia with skis, the french gunners Didier Botta 2015 snowkitemaster, Benoît Miquel, Laurent Guyot and as well Marek "Murphy" Zach from Cezch Republic, miss Kari Schibevaag more than 10 times champion here at SKM since the beginning, Tobby Deckert from Germany who can offer impressive show with kite-monoski !!!!
About twenty top international level kiters listening at the Race-Meeting in the Hotel Les Glacier, set by the Race-Director Matthias Charton well known for perfect organization always with the smile.
The main point of the day was to see Hamada Titi coming especially from Dakhla in the southern Morocco to visit the high peaks of famous french Alps.
Hamada who is a International F-one team kiter, manager of the kitesurf school Yalahkite, already had great experience on snow as he went for big sessions in the mountain of Oukaimeden east from Marrakech in the marocan Atlas and in Bou'Iban 3.250m too more north from Sousse.
That was great emotion to see Hamada meeting the viking Kari Schibevaag from Norway and what a great moment when they will go snowkiting together during the further days.
The unbreakable motivation of the SKM crew remains strong although the weather conditions are definitely bad here since few days.
The wind announced 'round 35 knots came exactly with this power, so impossible to set the competition.
The fog was here as well and kept flat light all the day long.
Only a couple of warriors went snowkiting with small size wing and this free-session only was possible because of the smooth fresh powder allowing some slams without any great risks of injuries.
Well, tonight will be a super party at Le Chazelay right after the official dinner in Le Frog, both in La Salle les Alpes.
Tomorrow, Race-meeting at 10 AM and we can expect to see the first heats of the 2016 Snowkitemasters.
So stay tuned mates.
Nothing will stop the Snowkitemasters !
Here in SERRE-CHEVALIER VALLEY at the Lautaret Pass, the wind was pretty stable today, snowshowers ended and the fog went away as well even if that was quite flat light with a fat cloud cover.
Anyway, the first heats were set at 11 AM as due after the Race-Meeting in the hotel Les Glaciers.
Matthias Charton giving the green light for the double-elimination with the skiers boys first.
About 1m of fresh powder snow was perfect for great freestyle tricks.
Benoit Miquel and Théo Cordonnier were first to go with skis, then Tobby Deckert, Didier Botta, Eloi Rondeau.
The girls on skis, Ranja Schlotte and Kari Schibevaag gave great show going big in a pretty gusty wind definitely not so easy.
Snowboarders Passi Schmidt, Leo Nguyen, Nino Liboni (14) and Cedric Bontemps.
Huge and impressive were Andreas Toverud on snowboard and Anton Uzhegov on skis although the other competitors were really close with great Flat 720, KGB, unhooked Kiteloop backloop, all with massive amplitude.
It's been a very hard day due to the high-mountains weather conditions as the temperatures went far below zero so, big up to the organization and the competitors.
Tomorrow, Race-meeting at 9h so keep ready for next unforgettable heats coming.
The temperatures were really low and that was not so easy to compete and wait for the heat as the spot is situated in the shadow all the day.
Luckily at noon the wind died.
So the SKM kite park moved to the other spot available called "La Ruine" where a gentle West wind kept on blowing 'round 10 knds.
And the good info was that this new spot is in the sun light so a little bit warmer, very cool afternoon we had though.
As every year, the competition level is increasing step by step as far as the heats are going further ahead.
That was the case today with the skiiers, the snowboarders, girls and boys.
The heats ended about 3 PM and now we can know the ranking for each skis or snowboards.
As this is the double-elimination, it now will depend of next days, if the competition will be possible again or not due to the weather conditions.
Tomorrow, the forecast is really bad so we are quite sure that won't be possible to compete.
On Friday it seems better but we never know.
So, perhaps the results from this afternoon can be the official ranking if no other heat is possible.
But... if the heats can be set tomorrow or on Friday, the competitors, even the winners of the finals of the day, will have to come back again on the kite park and the battles will be hard for the final results.
Anyway, have a look at the pictures of the day to see that it's been a really great snowkiting day, for competition but as well for free backcountry sessions and hill gliding.
The Snowkitemasters event keeps the world class image !!!!