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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 23:27

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has opened registration  for the 2017 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships in Brazil.

The quota allocation for the Youth Olympic Games qualification events (the maximum number of entries per country) will be based on the results of this 2017 Youth World Championships.

Event Location: Barra Grande, Brasil
Dates: 26 November - 1 December 2017
Maximum quota per gender and country: 10 entries
Notice of Race: clickHERE
YOG Qualification events Notice of Race: clickHERE

Entries are limited to a maximum of 10 competitors per country per gender (10 boys, 10 girls). Only competitors born in 1999 and later are eligible to compete.

Entries will be confirmed on a first come-first served base. 

The entry deadlnes for the Youth Olympic Games qualification events in 2018 have been amended accordingly. Riders can register now until 06 December 2017 with entries to be confirmed on 08 December 2017 latest.

Registration is available at
BOYS: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/events/upcoming-events/ttr/116-2017-tt-r-youth-worlds-boys
GIRLS: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/events/upcoming-events/ttr/117-2017-tt-r-youth-worlds-girls

Sunday, 01 October 2017 16:00

The Registered Series Production Equipment lists for boards and kites that may be used at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and the 2018 qualification events have been published on the TwinTip:Racing class website.

The full lists can be found here:

New board registrations include:

  • Axis (Limited 140)
  • Cabrinha (Stylus 150/160, Tronic 137/141/149)
  • FT Design (Giopyx 140)
  • F-One (Trax HRD Carbon 136/137)
  • Nobile (2HD 134, T5 134/140)
  • North (Jaime Textreme 139/142, Spike Textreme 144)
  • Upeksha (Gawa 163/166)

New kite registrations include:

  • Airush Vantage (7-19)
  • Cabrinha Contra (13-19) and Switchblade (7-11)
  • F-One Furtive (6.4-19)
  • North Rebel (5-15) and Dyno 2015 (5-18)
  • Ozone Edge V9 (5-19)

In addition, all Leading Edge Inflatable kites registered in previous years for the Formula Kite class as listed on the above list are eligible if they comply with the TT:R class rules.

Please note that all equipment must comply with the class rules, i.e. carry registered equipment plaques. As some of the equipment has been already on the market it is important that competitors check compliance of their equipment against the class rules (http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/TTR2017CR280117-[21809].pdf)

Sunday, 24 September 2017 09:28

Germany’s Florian Gruber maintained his composure to see off challenges that could until the last race have derailed his bid for the inaugural International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R World Championship slalom title in China.

In clinching victory on the final day of competition in Pingtan, Gruber made it back-to-back TT:R world titles after seizing the twin-tip course racing crown in Weifang, China, a year ago.

But to ensure victory in Pingtan on the fifth day of competition Gruber—who began the day equal top on points with three other riders—knew he could not afford to put a foot wrong with European champion Martin Dolenc (CRO) breathing down his neck.

“I was defending my World title and it was fun,” said a delighted Gruber. "But right up until the last race I knew Martin Dolenc had a chance to win too, so it was good to beat him, especially after he won the Euros.”

In the hotly-contested women’s division, 17-year-old local favourite, Jingle Chen (CHN), secured the World Championship title after a series of races that saw the overall lead change hands constantly as the breeze freshened to a punchy 17kts.

“I’m so happy that I could win here because I’m the local girl,” said Chen. “I know that the stronger winds are better for my style of racing. But, still, I was a bit nervous and excited beforehand, so it was great to come out on top.”

The championship on the East China Sea off Pingtan’s Beach was part of the China International Kiteboarding Festival that also hosted the third round of the 2017 IKA KiteFoil GoldCup being staged simultaneously.

The fast-emerging TT:R slalom-boardercross discipline of knock-out heats of eight riders is fast and furious. Riders race over five down-wind legs, jumping obstacles to spice things up, in mini-contests that last barely four minutes.

The format, devised to ensure ease of access for the most riders using twin-tip boards and inflatable tube kites, will be used at the Youth Olympic Games next October in Argentina. In Pingtan it attracted 65 riders from 17 countries to the TT:R Worlds and the U-19 TT:R Youth Open, made up of those who will be eligible to compete in Buenos Aires.

In the Boys’ competition the rivalry was particularly intense in five hard-fought elimination rounds staged over three days, though in the end Tiger Tyson (ANT) took the top podium spot, just edging his training partner Cameron Maramenides (USA), and Thailand’s Sarun Rupchom.

In a tense final day’s races, the trio traded the top three spots,. But it was Tyson who kept his nerve seeing Maramenides first crash as he led the penultimate finals race, and then disqualified after he crossed the line early in the last race.

“I’m really, really happy,” said Tyson, 15. “In the race where he crashed I was just behind him. We rounded the first and second marks cleanly, but he kept looking back. Then he just went flat on his face. In the last final I knew he [Maramenides] was over early, so I didn’t take any chances. By then I knew I could discard the score and couldn’t be beaten anyway.”

Gruber had no such margin for comfort in the Men’s title. A win by Dolenc in the final race would have given him the title. But the Croatian could only manage finishing third faced with Gruber’s superior pace, and ultimately took the second podium spot, with France’s Julien Kerneur just behind.

“In that last race I had a good start, and on the first reach I was always winning,” said Gruber. “That was definitely the goal. Once you have that spot you’re out of trouble and behind the others have to take care as you’re in control. I’m super-happy with the back-to-back world titles here in China.”

OVERALL STANDINGS

Men
1. Florian Gruber (GER) - 3 pts
2. Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 6 pts
3. Julien Kerneur (FRA) - 7 pts
4. Theo Lhostis (FRA) - 9 pts
5. Narapichit Pudla (THA) - 10 pts

Women & Girls
1. Jingle CHen (CHN) - 11 pts
2. Elena Kalinina (RUS) - 16 pts
1. Kirstyn O'Brien (USA) - 19 pts
4. Alexia Fancelli (FRA) - 22 pts
5. Benyapa Jantawan (THA) - 23 pts

Boys
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 3 pts
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 5 pts
3. Sarun Rupchom (THA) - 6 pts
4. Remel Trentillo (PHI) - 13 pts
5. Hiro Karamon (JPN) - 14 pts

Full rankings and live elimination ladders with scoring:www.twintipracing.com

Friday, 22 September 2017 18:46

The drama promised by Twin-Tip: Racing at the inaugural International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Worlds in China delivered in spades when several of the favourites were knocked off their perches.

With the return of Pingtan Island’s normally predictable winds that went largely missing for three days, both the men’s and women’s leaders found themselves pushed down the leaderboard but remain in the hunt going into the final day.

Only the leader of the Boys’ U-19 division, Tiger Tyson (ANT), strengthened his hold on the top spot with a gritty performance in the second elimination final when he seized an unlikely victory, passing arch-rival Cameron Maramenides (USA) on leg three in the short, sharp down-wind slalom race.

Yet the unpredictable nature of the TT:R slalom-boardercross format, which will be used at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina next year when kiteboarding makes its Olympic debut, could still throw up further surprises.

The event in Pingtan, part of the China International Kiteboarding Festival that is also hosting the IKA KiteFoil GoldCup simultaneously, has attracted 65 riders from 17 countries. Many of them are eager to hone their skills ahead Olympic qualifiers next year.

The twin-tip format of five short downwind slalom legs, with obstacles to be jumped introduced if conditions permit, was devised for ease of access for all kiters. Kiters in the Youth divisions are only allowed to use inflatable “tube” kites.

But in the 11kts to 13kts that blew up over the East China Sea just off Pingtan’s beach it was the leading men on their high-aspect foil kites who provided the excitement in their second elimination final.

France’s Julien Kerneur was taken out by his compatriot Theo de Ramecourt when they tangled, ending both their races. Kerneur was given redress and fifth spot, while de Ramecourt was disqualified for his troubles.

Asian Twin-Tip champion Narapichit "Yo" Pudla took the win to go top of the leaderboard overall—just. In doing so he knocked European TT:R champion Martin Dolenc off the top spot—just. In fact, the scores are so tight that the pair are equal on points, with Pudla just nosing it on count backs, locked with Germany’s Florian Gruber and France’s irrepressible Theo Lhostis.

The women’s fourth round was similarly incident packed. Russia’s Elena Kalinina controlled the race from the front, but behind, China’s Jingle Chen somehow pushed her way past two rivals from fourth position to second, leaving Alexia Fancelli (FRA) and MaryJane Gajisan (PHP) third and fourth.

Yet it was TT:R world ranked number one, Kirstyn O’Brien who came off worst. She finished the race fifth, pushing her down to third place overall just behind Kalinina and Chen respectively, who are equal on points.

In the Boys’ division of those who will be eligible for YOG in Buenos Aires next October, Tyson’s win over Maramenides, avenging a defeat at the European championships in Italy in July, was particularly sweet.

“I got just got past him at the end of third leg at the mark,” said Tyson, 15. “He had gone slightly too high and that left a gap on the inside where I could just get past.”

OVERALL STANDINGS

Men
1. Narapichit Pudla (THA) - 5 pts
2. Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 5 pt
3. Florian Gruber (GER) - 5 pts
4. Theo Lhostis (FRA) - 5 pts
4. Julien Kerneur (FRA) - 9 pts


Women & Girls
3. Elena Kalinina (RUS) - 5 pts
2. Jingle CHen (CHN) - 5 pts
1. Kirstyn O'Brien (USA) - 8 pts
4. Alexia Fancelli (FRA) - 8 pts
5. Maryjane Gajisan (PHI) - 11 pts

Boys
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 2 pt
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 4 pts
3. Sarun Rupchom (THA) - 6 pts
4. Haoran Thang (CHN) - 8 pts
5. Jiangang Wu (CHN) - 12 pts

Full rankings and live elimination ladders with scoring:www.twintipracing.com

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:15

The opening skirmishes at the first TwinTip:Racing (TT:R) World Championships in eastern China lived up to the fast-emerging kite discipline’s deserved reputation for excitement and drama.

In no time at all, on the opening day of five, the leading women were scrapping for any small advantage in the intense, short downwind races and several of the leading contenders tangled fuelling competing pleas for justice to the on-shore umpires.

But the appeals were the exception rather than the rule at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R World Championships being staged on the ideal natural arena off Pingtan Island’s beach in conditions that were only a fraction shy of perfect.

The East China Sea served up flat water and a steady breeze of 11kts to 13kts in the large sheltered bay to kick off the action in the sixth successive edition of China International Kiteboarding Festival.

The festival highlights Pingtan as international kiting spot welcomed 112 riders from 28 nations and regions who will compete in the IKA KiteFoil GoldCup and Twin-Tip course racing disciplines being run alongside the TT:R Worlds.

In the Men's Open division it was Croatia’s Martin Dolenc, 17, who put himself in the driving seat with a series of controlled performances that saw him top of the table after the first elimination round. 

      

The IKA TT:R European champion, who dominated the event in Italy in July over days of nail-biting competition, showed again that he had the nerve and timing to position himself for the all-important start that virtually guarantees a win in the eight-person heats lasting barely four minutes.

In his wake he left France’s Theo Lhostis, and Germany’s former Formula Kite world champion Florian Gruber respectively. Equal on points just behind the top three sit France’s Julien Kerneur and the Asian TT:R champion, Narapichit “Yo” Pudla (THA), who is confident that with more races he has the pace and race-craft to get the better of his rivals.

“I won a couple of the heats really well,” said Pudla.”But in the elimination round final I got boxed in at the start with Atte Kappel and was quite far back, but I managed to get back into contention. If I can avoid tangles and get a clear start, I think I showed in the races I won that I’m definitely fast enough.”

Tiger Tyson, of Antigua and Barbuda, sits in pole position in the U-19 Boys’ who will be eligible for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next year where the TT:R slalom/boardercross format will be used, just ahead of Cameron Maramenides (USA) and Sarun Rupchom (THA).

“I won every race overall,” said Tyson, 15, “I like these conditions as I was well powered on my 17m kite. I think I’m doing better because I’ve done quite a bit of foil racing and that has helped my racing and tactics. But TT:R is much more simple; it’s all about power and giving it your all.”

The women’s division is headed by world ranked number one, Kirstyn O’Brien (USA). She managed to keep just ahead of powerful racers, China’s Jingle Chen, Elena Kalinina (RUS) and Alexia Fancelli (FRA), thanks to a discard after three rounds, but was revelling in the moment.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said O’Brien. “It’s just nice to race against the women, not to say that it’s easy, especially on the start line. But this is a great venue.”

OVERALL STANDINGS

Men
1. Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 1 pt
2. Theo Lhostis (FRA) - 2 pts
3. Florian Gruber (GER) - 3 pts
4. Julien Kerneur (FRA) - 4 pts
5. Narapichit Pudla (THA) - 4 pts

Women & Girls
1. Kirstyn O'Brien (USA) - 3 pts
2. Jingle CHen (CHN) - 3 pts
3. Elena Kalinina (RUS) - 4 pts
4. Alexia Fancelli (FRA) - 5 pts
5. Maryjane Gajisan (PHI) - 7 pts

Boys
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 1 pt
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 2 pts
3. Sarun Rupchom (THA) - 3 pts
4. Haoran Thang (CHN) - 4 pts
5. Remel Rentillo (PHI) - 5 pts

Full rankings and live elimination ladders with scoring:www.twintipracing.com

Saturday, 16 September 2017 09:50

The winners of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Twin-Tip Open in China were crowned at an exuberant closing ceremony after an event that offered a total of €10,000 prize money.

Britain’s Olly Bridge took the victory in the Men’s division, seeing off challenges from the French duo of Julien Kerneur and Theo de Ramecourt, who claimed the second and third spots respectively on the podium.

Perhaps the biggest upset was that Croatian Martin Dolenc, 17, who took the title at the TT:R Slalom Europeans in southern Italy in July, could only place ninth overall after failing to make the final.

With a chance for only one elimination round because of lack of wind, Dolenc had no opportunity to make up for any slip up. In good conditions scores of races and many elimination rounds are staged giving the opportunity for any mistakes or mishaps to even out.

But the IKA TT:R Slalom Open in Weifang, a down-wind format of short-sharp elimination heats in the format that will be used at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires next year, is merely the appetiser for the IKA TT:R Open World Championships on the windy Chinese island of Pingtan next week.

The Weifang TT:R Open was taking place alongside the IKA KiteFoil GoldCup which fared a little better as the foils can race in lighter winds than the twin-tipers who required stable minimum of 10kts for fair and exciting racing.

But many of the world’s fastest foilers also decided to take part in the TT:R event bringing the number of competitors to 43 from 12 nations.

France’s Alexia Fancelli won the Women and Girls’ division, while Thailand’s MaryJane Gajisan took second to see off Russia’s Elena Kalinina in third and Anaïs Mai Desjardins in fourth on count-backs as they were equal on points.

In the Boys’ U-19 division—those who will be eligible to compete at YOG in Argentina—Thailand’s Sarun Rupqhom using a specially-developed Upeksha slalom twin-twip just pipped Tiger Tyson (ANT) in second and Zhang HaoRan (CHN) in third.

Full results:http://www.twintipracing.com/results

The fleet is now heading to Pingtan Island for the open age world TT:R championships starting on September 18, 2018.

Friday, 25 August 2017 11:31

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has published the Notice of Race for the four qualification events in which riders have two chances each to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.

The first of the three continental qualification events will be held in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, from January 15 to 20, 2018 followed by events in Dakhla (Morocco) and Pranburi (Thailand).

Competitors can request entry now for their continental qualification event. As all events have a strict quota of a maximum of 3 riders per country (per gender) and up to a total of 56 riders per continent and gender, entries will only be confirmed after the end of the entry application period in coordination with the IKA full members and World Sailing MNAs.

NCAs, MNAs and competitors are advised to not make any travel arrangements before entries have been confirmed.

Registration for the final world qualification event in Shanwei/China (10 to 15 April 2018) will open shortly, with a quota of maximum 72 competitors per gender.

The Notice of Race contains detailed information about the allocation of quota places.

In each continental qualification event, one boy and one girl (born between 2000 and 2003) per continent qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, and another 4 places per gender will be awarded at the world qualifier event. The host country Argentina has a guaranteed entry in all events, and the IOC will award one more place per gender to a country that has participated in one of the qualification events but missed out closely.

The qualification schedule is as follows:

Venue Dates Qualification Places and Divisions

Dominican Republic

Cabarete

15 – 20 January 2018

1 Boy : North America & Caribbean

1 Girl : North America & Caribbean

1 Boy : Central & South America

1 Girl : Central & South America

Marocco

Dakhla

Dakhla Attitude Lagoon

20 – 25 Feb 2018

1 Boy : Africa

1 Girl : Africa

1 Boy : Europe

1 Girl : Europe

Thailand

Pranburi

Pak Nam Pran

12 – 18 Mar 2018

1 Boy : Asia

1 Girl : Asia

1 Boy : Oceania

1 Girl : Oceania

China

Shanwei

10 – 15 April 2018

4 Boys : World

4 Girls : World

The Notice of Race can be found here: http://twintipracing.com/images/documents/2018_TTR_YOG_Qualifier_Events_NoR_SI.pdf

Entry requests (separate per continent and gender) can be made here: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/events/upcoming-events

For more information about the TwinTip:Racing Class and the Youth Olympic Games format, visit http://twintipracing.com/tt-r-yog-format

Sunday, 16 July 2017 23:50

A clutch of new young stars, most of them kiteboard racing novices, were crowned at the finale of the first TwinTip: Racing Europeans in southern Italy after almost a week of high-intensity action in the new discipline.

But the competition that was marked by thrilling drama in near-perfect conditions ended with a whimper when the clockwork-like wind went missing on the final fifth day of the 2017 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R European Championship.

Until the last minute race officials tried to squeeze in a few more heats, but the little breeze that came remained stubbornly unstable and largely below the 10kts judged necessary for fair and exciting competition in the downwind slalom format that will be used in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina next year.

Still, the riders who had topped the standings at the end of day four were delighted with the outcome and believed they had done more than enough to earn their crowns over the remarkable 175 short-sharp races that were run in the Open, Boys and Girls divisions.

Croatia’s Martin Dolenc, 17, took the Open title with unmatched pace and precision that left his veteran racing rivals awed and even himself a little surprised. The teenager dominated the Open class, sitting top of the leaderboard right from the opening exchanges.

“I’m so, so happy,” said Dolenc. “This is my first European senior title, so it’s really great to get it. To be honest I’m really surprised. I just didn’t expect to be this fast. I wasn’t really training for this before coming here, just a couple of sessions.”

Yet in the Boys and Girls under-19 divisions made up of those who will be eligible for the YOG in Buenos Aires it was a very different story with the lead changing hands as the young riders who had little experience of TwinTip racing got to grips with the format.

France’s Victor Bachichet, 17, grew faster and more consistent as he gained in experience and took the Boys’ title with a sparkling photo-finish win in his final elimination round on the competition’s penultimate day.

In the process he just squeezed out the US’s Cameron Maramenides, 15, who took the second podium spot. The Frenchman praised his younger rival as a model of pacy consistency who had pushed him all the way.

“I’m really super-happy to win this first event,” said Bachichet. “It was so cool. We’ve had good boys, good girls, and good pizza. Before I came I didn’t expect to win. I hoped to be in the top ten, but not first. It’s great experience to come here and test your level. Now I’ll definitely train for the YOG qualifiers.”

The Girls’ under-19 European crown went to Spain’s Nina Font Castells, 15, who claimed the top spot on the leaderboard on day four after the US’s Daniela Moroz, the Formula Kite Foil world champion, had several poor races that put her down the order.

Moroz, 16, had dominated the first three days of the Girls’ competition and looked odds on to take the title even after the introduction of jumping obstacles on the course that caused her to have to rethink her game.

Castells, by contrast, is a freestyler with little race experience, so at least the jumps were not an alien concept. As she waded ashore on Gizzeria’s Hang Loose Beach after an abortive attempt to get some Girls’ racing away on the final day, the teenager was still having difficulty processing her victory.

“It feels good,” she said. “But I need to relax and take it all in. I’m so stoked, but it’ll take time for me to really realise what has happened. It would be wonderful to go the Olympics and represent my country. But I’m not going to think about that. I’ll just keep doing my ‘job” and take it one step at a time.”

The prospect of a place at the YOG had prompted 68 boys and 28 girls—out of a total of 112 riders from 21 nations—to make the journey to Italy to practice new TwinTip racing format ahead of upcoming continental Olympic qualifiers.

The races of downwind slalom courses of five legs, with jumps depending on the conditions, were designed to make it as accessible as possible to young kiters. The eight-person heats last about three minutes and start relentlessly like clockwork every five minutes.

But the concept of refereeing infringements—rather than the more traditional system of post-race protests adjudicated by a jury—caused some controversy as the inexperienced racers believed they should have recourse to appeal decisions.

IKA race officials recognised that it had taken riders time to get used to the unfamiliar system and accepted that there are some areas that could be improved, particular that penalties should better fit the infringements.

“Looking back over the whole week, where we ended up, it was really good,” said Markus Schwendtner, IKA technical director. “In the beginning it was difficult - the refereeing concept is a total game changer in sailing terms, so it was a very steep learning curve for everybody. Refereeing is a bit of revolution, but it’s the only way to deal with the large number of continuous races (175)  in which the referees made more than 300 calls.”

FINAL STANDINGS

Girls’ (U19) IKA Europeans top five after 5 elimination rounds (1 discard)

1 Nina Font Castells (ESP) - 10pts
2 Daniela Moroz (USA) - 15pts
3 Alina Kornelli (GER) - 15pts
4 Isotta di Domenico (ITA) - 18pts
5 Jingle Chen (CHN) - 25pts

Boys’ (U19) IKA Europeans top five after 5 elimination rounds (1 discard)

1 Victor Bachichet (FRA) - 13pts
2 Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 15pts
3 Toni Vodisek (SLO) - 16pts
4 Anthony Picard (FRA) - 18pts
5 Benoit Gomez (FRA) - 21pts

Open IKA Europeans top five after 10 elimination rounds (2 discards)

1 Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 13pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) - 19pts
3 Florian Gruber (GER) - 27pts
4 Axel Mazella (FRA) - 37pts
5Theo de Ramecourt (FRA) - 37pts

All heat results and overall rankings are available through the LIVE scoring at
http://www.twintipracing.com

Sunday, 16 July 2017 00:21

Lighter breezes that nevertheless fuelled scintillating downwind slalom racing in the kiteboard TwinTip class saw some of the leaders who had dominated their divisions over the opening days come unstuck and slip down the order.

In particular the US’s Daniela Moroz, the 16-year-old Formula Kite Foil world champion, ceded the overall lead after several poor heats put her down the order and threatened to derail her bid for the crown in the girls’ division of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R Kitesurf Europeans in southern Italy.

On the fourth of the five-day competition being hosted on the flat waters off Gizzeria’s Hang Loose Beach in Calabria, the French rider Victor Bachichet, 17, took an opportunity to seize the lead in the boys’ division with an especially gutsy performance in his last elimination final of the day.

But in the Open division, Croatian rider Martin Dolenc, also 17, remained unflappable and blisteringly quick even as his closest rivals found better pace and consistency, chipping away at his overall lead.

The penultimate day of the contest that is employing the format to be used at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina next year was marked by breezes that took time to build and rarely struggled above 12kts.

Yet the 112 riders from 21 nations—including 68 boys and 28 girls who will be eligible for the Games in Buenos Aires—were easily able to post searingly-fast times on the track of five downwind legs, completing each of the dozens of eight-person heats in a little over three minutes.

The slightly softer airs forced race officials to leave out the jumping obstacles that had added to the already spectacular format. But the scorching mark roundings, with riders barely metres apart, led to a clutch of tangles as the pressure mounted on competitors unprepared to give any quarter with a European crown in their sights.

Yet in the girls’ division China’s Jingle Chen nosed her way into the top five of the girls’ standings after a carefully-calculated performance that secured wins in both her day’s elimination rounds, laying to rest her forgettable foray of opening rounds when she crashed or tangled pushing too hard at the wrong times.

“In the first three days I just crashed too many times,” said the 16-year-old who has her sights firmly on the prize of YOG qualification. “I’ve learned that I don’t need to push it to the limit in early rounds and risk not qualifying for the crucial elimination finals.”

Twice on day four Daniela Moroz failed to reach the elimination round finals, ensuring she was knocked off her perch at the top of the leaderboard. Rival, 15-year-old Nina Font Castells (ESP) took that honour even though she, too, had a mixed day at the races.

But Bachichet, one of the riders sporting snowboard-type goggles against the ferocious amount of spray thrown up by other competitors, held his nerve too, to go top of the boys’ standings in a nerve-jangling elimination final.

The French teenager, who took up TwinTip racing just three months ago with YOG qualification his goal, had led the final until the first mark when Toni Vodisek (SLO) squeezed past on the inside in audacious move.

Both tussled all the way down the course’s next four legs until Bachichet finally overhauled his 16-year-old rival in photo-finish after a drag race to the line. It earned Bachichet the boys’ top spot overall, just ahead of Cameron Maramenides (USA) and Vodisek.

Britain’s Olly Bridge also narrowed the gap to Dolenc in the Open division, but with the Croatian commanding the top of the leaderboard since the opening round, he appear to be in pole heading into what will surely be a gripping finale.

OVERALL STANDINGS

Girls’ IKA Europeans top five after 5 elimination rounds (1 discard)

1 Nina Font Castells (ESP) - 10pts
2 Daniela Moroz (USA) - 15pts
3 Alina Kornelli (GER) - 15pts
4 Isotta di Domenico (ITA) - 18pts
5 Jingle Chen (CHN) - 25pts

Boys’ IKA Europeans top five after 5 elimination rounds (1 discard)

1 Victor Bachichet (FRA) - 13pts
2 Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 15pts
3 Toni Vodisek (SLO) - 16pts
4 Anthony Picard (FRA) - 18pts
5 Benoit Gomez (FRA) - 21pts

Open IKA Europeans top five after 10 elimination rounds (two discards)

1 Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 13pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) - 19pts
3 Florian Gruber (GER) - 27pts
4 Axel Mazella (FRA) - 37pts
5Theo de Ramecourt (FRA) - 37pts

All heat results and overall rankings are available through the LIVE scoring at
ttp://www.twintipracing.com

Saturday, 15 July 2017 02:07

Young kite racers and their parent-coaches appear to be struggling to get to grips with a new “referee” concept devised to cope with a huge number of short, sharp high-octane heats and the relentless pace of the TwinTip racing format.

Organisers at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R European Championships in southern Italy have been deluged by some of the 112 riders from 21 countries demanding explanations for judging decisions on penalties for tangles or touches on obstacles to be jumped.

Novice racers, or perhaps those more accustomed a traditional sailing process that allows them to register a written protest and present their case for redress for perceived infringements to the jury, have been non-plussed by referees’ decisions that seem to allow little room for appeal.

But with the format to be used for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina next year that saw organisers stage 53 high-intensity downwind slalom heats on day three, each lasting a little over three minutes and starting like clockwork every 5 minutes, a similarly quick decision process had to be found.

International judges at the five-day event enthralling spectators on Gizzeria’s Hang Loose Beach with high-speed action and gripping mark roundings accept the “referee” concept can be fine-tuned and are open to discussion to find improvements.

But they maintain they are doing the best for the interests of all competitors and have had to make an incredible 187 referee calls in just three days of competition, a level that would be unsustainable under the traditional jury system.

Croatia’s Martin Dolenc had little need of the referees’ decisions. The spell-bindingly quick 17-year-old held his lead at the top of the leaderboard for the third successive after a precise display that left his rivals in awe.

His uncanny ability to position himself to cross the start line first with split-second timing allowed him to control many of his races. After seven elimination rounds Dolenc had a healthy lead over Britain’s Olly Bridge, who clawed his way back into contention when he was able to discard two poor scores.

Bridge climbed the ladder at the expense of Germany’s Florian Gruber in third and France’s  Axel Mazella in fourth. Just a few points separate them, marking the ferocity of the battles on the flat waters in breezes that hit 17kts and proved ideal for the slalom format.

“Martin Dolenc is just very, very fast,” said Mazella. “He usually makes a good start and gets to the first mark in front of us. From there he can control the whole field. It’s nearly impossible to get past him. But he’s been incredibly consistent too.”

In the 28-strong girls’ division made up of those eligible from a place at the YOG in Buenos Aires, Formula Kite Foil world champion Daniela Moroz (USA) has been growing in consistency and finding her groove in the unfamiliar format and tops the standings.

The 16-year-old kitefoil racing prodigy is a virtual novice on a TwinTip and initially struggled to jump the obstacles without hitting them and incurring penalties. But with a little more practice she got the art dialled on day three, bringing her one step closer to her goal of winning a YOG qualifying spot.

By contrast her closest rival in second spot, Spain’s Nina Font Castells, 15, is a freestyler who has come to racing and is no stranger to jumping. Yet the TwinTip Europeans is just her second race competition, and one she is revelling in.

“The Spanish team is working to go to the Youth Olympics,” she said. “But it’s not my main goal. I’m just having fun with my friends and and enjoying the racing. It’s fun. My main aim in the race is always to try to start first and avoid tangles.”

As the competition progressed and riders gained experience, there were noticeably fewer of the tangles that had dogged the opening two days as racers misjudged mark roundings and collided with rivals.

Cameron Maramenides (USA) jumped up to lead the standings in the boys’ division after the overnight leader Toni Vodisek (SLO) had a forgettable day that did not go as he had hoped.

OVERALL STANDINGS

Girls’ IKA Europeans top five after three elimination rounds

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) - 6pts
2 Nina Font Castells (ESP) - 8pts
3 Isotta di Domenico (ITA) - 16pts
4 Alina Kornelli (GER) - 21pts
5 Chiara Adobati (ITA) - 24pts

Boys’ IKA Europeans top five after three elimination rounds

1 Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 11pts
2 Anthony Picard (FRA) - 12pts
3 Victor Bachichet (FRA) - 12pts
4 Lorenzo Morelli (ITA) - 16pts
5 Toni Vodisek (SLO) - 16pts

Open IKA Europeans top five after seven elimination rounds (two discards)

1 Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 6pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) - 13pts
3 Florian Gruber (GER) - 15pts
4 Axel Mazella (FRA) - 16pts
5Atte Kappel (SWE) - 17pts

All heat results and overall rankings are available through the LIVE scoring at
ttp://www.twintipracing.com

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Open World Championship

Pingtan 2017

Italy

 Event Winners Open

male Florian Gruber Germany
female Jingle Chen China

 Event Winners Youth

male Tiger Typson Antigua and Barbuda
female Yinghao Xu China

Current World Ranking Standings

Men
 1 Martin Dolenc Croatia 331 pts
 2 Florian Gruber Germany 330 pts
 3 Theo de Ramecourt France 289 pts
Women
 1 Jingle Chen China 270 pts
 2 Kirstyn O'Brien United States 243 pts
 3 Elena Kalinina Russia 201 pts
Boys
 1 Tiger Tyson Antigua and Barbuda 180 pts
 2 Sarun Rupchom Thailand 147 pts
 3 Cameron Maramenides United States 145 pts
Girls
 1 Jingle Chen China 146 pts
 2 Nina Font Castells Spain 100 pts
 3 Daniela Moroz United States 96 pts

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