ROUND ONE: MONDIAL DU VENT – LEUCATE, FRANCE 17 – 22 April 2018
Registration Day and Day One Morning Update – 17 April
Report: Jim Gaunt / Photos: Toby Bromwich
Having slept off a long trip from Maui, as Jesse Richman hauled his gear bag across the soft sand of Leucate towards the contest area this morning, his thoughts were focused on how he might show his interpretation of what's required to become World Champion in this new dynamic competition format. He will lead the charge and set the pace as he lines up against French rider Nicolas Delmas in heat one of round one.
No stranger to blazing a trail, Jesse is one of three Red Bull King of the Air Champions alongside no fewer than seven World Champions who have signed up for this first tour event, while the remaining fields in both the men's and women's event are stacked with talent.
The aim of this tour is to bring together the best of all twin-tip kiteboarding disciplines to find the most complete rider. Over the coming days we will be giving you a deeper insight into the tour, the format, the riding development to come and revealing more about the riders themselves. Scores will be awards for the rider's three best tricks from four judging categories:
Big airs Board-offs Kite loops Handle-passes
One of the reasons that this tour has attracted such a depth and range of high performance stars is because, refreshingly, the format and criteria doesn't obligate riders to deviate too far from their favoured style, yet still provides a mouthwatering and exciting format for the spectators and media with this diverse and open approach.
Although the forecast for this early stage in the contest is providing the first challenge for the organisers, yesterday's warm-up session has already delivered a taste of how varied the action will be.
Hopes for an early start today were burnt by a stunning sunrise and lower than forecast winds this morning, but spirits were high as riders dispersed for breakfast and to further discuss the tactics they'll employ in this very open and exciting contest.
Find out more about the GKA Kiteboarding World Tour and watch the promo videohere.
See the line-up of coming events on the world tourhere.
The contest is part of the annual Mondial du Vent festival in Leucate. A large watersports festival, the GKA will also be running a kitesports testival on site this week with many major brands – read morehere.
Per la prima volta nella sua storia il Cortina Snowkite Contest assegnerà un titolo mondiale e uno tricolore: sarà la tappa finale del circuito Snowkite World Cup, specialità freestyle, e del Campionato italiano Big Air.
La crew del portale www.kitesurfing.it organizza un fantastico Kitecamp nel Paese africano con destinazione Watamu, uno degli spot più belli al mondo con spiagge bianchissime circondate da palme, mare turchese e venti costanti.