I guess we have gained valuable experience in competing at the 2010 Worlds. We proved that competitve racing can be done in over 30 knots as well as 7-10 knots. My main concern is that we had offshore winds, but plenty of it during the final 2 days of comp but no races were able to be completed. Under the circumstances I agreed with the decision, but this doesn't boad well for the future of kite racing if we can not compete in any offshore winds. FYI the wind was gusting to over 20 knots the first day and to 18 on the second. If the event had been slightly more orgaized with support boats, etc., do you think we could have raced? I'd be interested to hear from Gebi, Chris, and others that were at the event on this. We need to find a way to make th is work as many venues around the world will have offshore winds. Thoughts?
Last edited by MKM on Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I think that rescue boats surely would have helped and there is no doubt that we could get out to the course. The issue was getting back to the beach. I'm also thinking that if the wind conditions changed substantially that many riders may have been caught out on the wrong equipment. The organizers made a poor decision in my book to not allow coach boats. This surely would have helped and is SOP in other world class events and even more important in kite racing.
In short, at this event I agreed with the call given the lack of support. While I really wanted a few more races in the lighter winds, I personally don't think that it would have been fair to send racers out in conditions that they could not come back to the beach. For example, let's say Adam goes out and breaks a line for the first of 3 races. He would have had no opportunity to come in to change gear. It surely wouldn't be the way you would want to lose a world title. With a few jet skis the situation would have been different. I think one support boat or ski per every 15 racers would be about right. What do you think?
I agree that we could have raced the last 2 days "but" it was left to the competitors and they were right to be concerned about getting stuck on the water with only one support boat to cover the fleet of 60 plus riders. If you went out on the wrong kite or had a gear failure or dropped your kite and wanted to get in fast to change sizes, it would have been tough without support boats unless you wanted to take more than an hour to get back to the beach.
The position of the course might have been moved to a slightly better location to get us out of the wind shadow of the city as well. But the main problem was the lack of support boats and a concerned organizer worried about insurance issues. It was not the fault of the Principle race officer and race committee who wanted us to race...
We need to push for better guidelines on the number of support boats relative to the number of competitors. I agree a couple of jet ski's with competent drivers would have done the job.
it would be interesting to see kiteboarding make it into the olympics.
however, I don't thing the beer slamming, pot smoking, super laid back average pro kiter really shows that olympic athleticism and finesse...
just saying a bunch of people kiting on giant boards with 2 foot fins in tight speedy wetsuits/bodysuits on 80m lines all packed in a giant group doesn't really portray what the average kiter does.
sure it introduces people to kiteboarding, but i really don't think its gonna inspire nearly as many people as say, a freestyle comp.
plus now you have to conform kiteracing to fit into a sailing class and that silly ruleset. why not just have a specific kiteracing tour where you can have rules and regulators much more familiar with the sport.
Even though I really enjoy racing, I see your point. I think that the success of snowboarding in the Olympics probably demonstrates that your idea has good merit. I'd say however that freestyler's have never been organized enough to make a real run at the games. I think that the best way to get kite freestyle into the Olympics would be on the tails of kite racing. I guess only time will tell.
With respect to the riders, if you see the training of Adam, Sean Farley, and Damien, you would have a different opinion of the athleticism. In any case, I agree with Gebi regarding the racing in TX. Under the circumstances the best decision was made and the best racers won. No sense destroying the 10 great races that we did have for the sake of a few sketchy ones.
I am not a fan of "one design" in kite racing however. I simply like the idea of a box rule and limiting the kind of kites that may be able to compete in the future. Ie. no board longer than 6 ft., no kite larger than 18 meters, fins larger than 15 inches, etc. I'm sure that the numbers will start to normalize as we go along.
only one support boat to cover the fleet of 60 plus riders
This seems crazy to me and would not be allowed in the UK. How did insurance cover this? Is it not in ISAF guidelines, the number of rescue craft per competitors? i thought it was as for dinghy sailing events i think it has to be one rescue boat per 25 competitors or something like that. a ratio of 1:12 sounds about the right amount to me for kite racing. hopefully for the next world each country or team will be allowed a support boat as for me some of the best and most tactical racing is to be had in offshore wind with flat water and gusts and shifts.
Any more info on board/fin design and what sort of sizes the top 20 were using?
cheers and congrats to Adam and Kari. see you there next year