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