Day 4 - PKRA 2008 FRANCE â€“ Mondial Du Vent
Leucate, France, April 15, 2008 â€“ The 2008 PKRA World Tour â€“ Mondial du Vent 2008 had another particularly successful day for the course racing event. The mandatory skipper meeting started at 9:30 am while the first race got underway about an hour later. Two races were held in the morning, under bright, sunny weather with gusty winds packing a speed of 16-20 knots creating 2-ft swell rolling through the beach. Deciding what kite to rig turned out to be a complicated but critical decision for the competitors. Racers were seen rigging from 9 meters to 12 meters with most finally going out on the waters on 10 meter kites.
Another two races were held later in the afternoon after a 2-hour lunch break which provided the much needed respite the racers needed. Wind shifts created a problem for some of the competitors which made the event a bit more challenging.
â€œIt was a problem for everyone, as everyone was in the same boat, but it worked to my favor at one time, and that was really good,â€ said F-One racer Denzil Williams of United Kingdom. Williams is currently in ninth position.
There was a 10 to 15 minutes gap between each race, after the last competitor has crossed the finished line. Each race took about 17 to 20 minutes for each racer to finish. The race organizer decided to go with the same course throughout the day (windward, reaching, reaching, upwind with a downwind finishing line) which made the race a bit more interesting and tricky for some of the racers.
Speaking on one of his races, Williams added, â€œMy start wasnâ€™t so good. I actually tacked to early. On the upwind buoy (first buoy), I was actually first place but I made the biggest mistake of my whole life when I had it on the wrong buoy next.â€
So after eleven races, it looks like the North team still dominates much of the race both in the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s division. Sean Farley (North, Mexico) is still ahead of the pack with 8.2 points with two second-place finishes today (6, 2, 2, 4). His North teammate, Charles Deleau (France) finished the last three races in first place (2, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7) which gave him a 7.5-point lead over Sami Gali (Best, Spain) who is still in third place overall and was trailing him by only a mere 1.8 points lead yesterday.
Herve Kerneur (France) inched one notch up the standings and is now in fourth place (4, 5, 5, 2) while another North racer Dirk Hanel of Germany (3, 6, 6, 5) managed to climb up two notches to number five overall after two French riders and F-One teammates Raphael Salles and Mickael Fernandez failed to compete in todayâ€™s races.
Jose Alarcon (Takoon, Spain) also managed to improve his standings to number seven overall by finishing 3rd in the third race (5, 4, 3, 6) and now has a 3-point advantage over Fernandez who dropped to number 8. Denzil Williams (F-One, UK) and Cristobal Gomez (Cabrinha, Spain) swapped position from yesterday to 9th and 10th places respectively rounding up our top ten finishers for the day.
In the womenâ€™s division, North racer Steph Bridge (UK) is still at the top after being the first woman to cross the finish in three of todayâ€™s four races (0.7, 0.7, 2, 0.7), widening her lead to 6.5 points over closest rival Gina Esteva (Best, Spain) who now has a total of 13.4 points. Estava has a record of 2, 2, 3, 2 in todayâ€™s races. Fabienne Dâ€™Ortoli (Cabrinha, France) is still in third place overall with a record of 3, 4, 0.7, 3 with an accumulated total of 21.4 points.
Tomorrows forecast isnâ€™t looking good but as the past days have shown, the weather in Leucate is unpredictable and anything can still happen. There were winds practically every day since the tour event started and everyone is hoping for another wonderful day tomorrow.
Menâ€™s Race Results (After 11 Races - Todayâ€™s Points in 4 Races)
1. Sean Farley (North, Mexico) â€“ 6, 2, 2, 4
2. Charles Deleau (North, France) â€“ 2. 0.7, 0.7, 0.7
3. Sami Gali (Best, Spain) â€“ 0.7, 3, 4, 3
Womenâ€™s Race Results (After 11 Races & Todayâ€™s Points in 4 Races)
1. Steph Bridge (North, UK) â€“ 0.7, 0.7, 2, 0.7
2. Gina Esteva (Best, Spain) â€“ 2, 2, 3, 2
3. Fabienne Dâ€™Ortoli (Cabrinha, France) â€“ 3, 4, 0.7, 3)
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