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Thursday, 22 February 2018 09:49

Young kiteboard riders from Europe and Africa hoping to open their account  to claim a spot at the forthcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) suffered a day of frustration when the breeze failed to build sufficiently to allow racing.

On the first of five days of competition on Morocco’s Dakhla lagoon—a favoured kiteboarding spot because of its consistently steady winds—the light, shifty breezes toyed with race officials who continually altered the slalom course in the hope it would steady and fill in.

But in the end the direction was neither consistent enough, nor strong enough to allow racing. The Twin-Tip:Racing (TT:R) format specially developed for the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October restricts racers to inflatable tube kites and traditional twin-tips to encourage participation.



Four places for the Games in Buenos Aires are up for grabs at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) qualification event in Dakhla. The winners of the boys and girls divisions from Europe and Africa will each automatically earn an Olympics spot.

Yet even the format of short, pulsating downwind slalom races of five legs designed to make competition possible on a twin-tip and tube kite has its limitations. A minimum steady 10kts is deemed necessary for fair racing and exciting to watch racing. But with an excellent forecast for the end of the week, officials felt no pressure to get competition underway in only marginal - and potentially not fair - condition.

Still, the ease with which many youngsters can get their first taste of racing has won over a new breed of converts worldwide as most have access to a twin-tip board and tube kite used by the vast majority kiters.

Sofia Tomasoni, 15, the recently-crowned IKA TT:R Youth World Champion in Brazil, is one. She is part of the Italian team in Dakhla hoping to secure her slot in Buenos Aires.



“At the start I really hated TT:R because I came from freestyle,” she said. “But as I started to do better at TT:R, then I realised it was so satisfying when you get it right. If you pay attention to every detail it becomes hard. When it’s tough, it becomes fun.”

Multiple world champion, Steph Bridge, who is coaching the British team in Dakhla, has also witnessed an upsurge of interest in racing among youngsters because of the chance the TT:R format affords.

“There’s a lot of interest,” she said. “Everyone got into the sport on a twin-tip. It’s the natural board, as is the inflatable kite, for young people to go and ride on. The great thing for us in the UK is that North Kiteboarding, Ozone and Cabrinha locally, along Axis kiteboards, have seen this as a chance to get hold of some young athletes and help because of the unique opportunity the Olympics provides.”

One boutique brand that has pushed the TT:R slalom envelope is Upeksha. Its carbon fibre Gawa board has been specially-designed for the downwind format, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.

Four of the 11-strong Italian team, fully backed by the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV), have opted to deploy the Upeksha board in the hope it will give them an edge. Italian team coach, Simone Vannucci, has no qualms about his team members seeking any advantage they can.



“Upeksha was the only brand to put in some extra effort,” said Vannucci. “No one else was asking the question about pushing TT:R. All the youngsters racing here are serious, and once you go up a level you naturally look for any advantage.”

Polish team coach, Tomek Janiak, sees the appearance of the Upeksha board differently; at odds with the spirit of the TT:R format, if still within the rules.

“When I saw the Upeksha Gawa my reaction was, it’s the ‘arms race’ again. The idea of the TT:R was to be as close as possible to ordinary kiteboarders to encourage youngsters to participate.”

Full rankings and live elimination ladders with scoringcan be found at:www.twintipracing.com

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 23:37

Many of the top contenders for the inaugural kiteboarding medals at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina have gathered to fight for places at the second qualifying event in the notoriously windy spot of Dakhla, Morocco.

Young riders who have already shown their mettle at warm-up events in Italy and Brazil have been honing their Twin-Tip: Racing (TT:R) skills on the flat waters of Dakhla’s renowned kiteboarding lagoon ahead of the regional YOG qualifiers for Europe and Africa.

The five days of competition due to start tomorrow (WEDNESDAY) will earn the winners—one girl and one boy each from Europe and Africa—the right to take their place in the starting line-up in Buenos Aires in October.

With 32 boys and 18 girls from Europe and eight boys and three girls from Africa, all under the age of 19, the action will no doubt be intense in the event’s fast and furious downwind slalom races hosted by official sponsor, Hotel Dakhla Attitude.

The format of eight-person heats that finish in barely three minutes, with racers restricted to traditional twin-tip kiteboards and tube kites, was specially developed for the youth games to allow ease of access for as many young riders possible.

Dakhla is the second of four scheduled International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) qualifying events—coming after Cabarete, Dominican Republic, last month, and ahead of Pranburi, Thailand, and Hainan, China—that will ultimately select 12 boys and 12 girls for the kiteboard racing line-up in Argentina.

With the stunning backdrop of Morocco’s Sahara desert, the boys and girls from both Europe and Africa will race in four separate groups with the winners of each capturing one of the coveted slots in breezes expected to hit 20kts.

The anticipated strong winds should allow organisers to add obstacles to be jumped on two of the five downwind legs, lending the slalom races an element snowboard boardercross and extra drama.

One of the key contenders for the boys’ Europe slot is likely to be Croatia’s Martin Dolenc after he won the senior TT:R Europeans in Gizzeria, Italy, last year, closely followed by Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, who scored a podium slot in the Youth division.

But both owed their performances, in part, to faster foil kites they were permitted to use in Gizzeria. With all competitors restricted to tube kites for the qualifiers, it will be intriguing to see if they can repeat their performances, though Dolenc has spent that past three weeks training in Dakhla.

With reigning TT:R Youth World Champion, Sofia Tomasoni (ITA) in the girls’ Europe qualifier group, along with the victor in Gizzeria, Nina Font Castells (ESP) and Alina Kornelli (GER), one of the trio must be regarded as hot contenders to scoop the prized place.

Yet with less of a form guide from previous events, the winners of the slots for the African continent are much harder to predict. But undoubtedly the big Moroccan team used to the conditions on home turf will be looking to make a mark.

Full rankings and live elimination ladders with scoringcan be found at:www.twintipracing.com

YOG qualification events

North and South America: Cabarette, DOM, 15-20 January 2018
Europe and Africa: Dakhla, MAR, 20-25 February 2018
Asia and Oceania: Pranburi, THA, 13-18 March 2018
2018 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships: Boao, CHN, 03-08 May 2018 (TBC)

Monday, 22 January 2018 12:49

The first kiteboarding Youth Olympic Games qualification event for “The Americas” came to an end this weekend with what turned out to be an extremely successful and exciting regatta not only for the young riders from South / Central America and North America / Caribbean but also for the spectators along the shorelines of beautiful Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

The final day of competition was a good one as we saw our young athletes put on a tremendous final showing, with finishes rarely seen so far – not only on the race course, but also on the overall leaderboard. In many divisions it all came down to the wire in the final heat of the 11 slalom / boardercross elimination series completed for each region and gender.

Wind speeds increased to the highest we have seen this whole week, with most riders breaking out their 10 and 11m kites. With the wind being back to the normal side-onshore direction, the obstacles the riders needed to jump over during racing where brought into play again to mix things up a bit, and in the end, 4 young athletes clinched a spot in this year's Summer Youth Olympic Games.

In the South/Central boys division Argentina’s Geronimo Lutteral confirmed his strong form demonstrating that the host country will have a serious shot at the Gold Medal as he dominated heat after heat throughout the entire week. The strong wind conditions worked in favor of Brazil’s Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto though on the final day, and the defending 2017 Vice-World Champion moved into second place, qualifying Brazil behind the already qualified Argentinian squad. Martin Errazquin Calderon, also from Argentina, completed the podium.

On the girls side, Venezuela’s Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel, who at 14 years old was one of the youngest riders competing in these trials, battled it out with Argentina’s Ona Romani the entire day, ultimately beating her and taking the event victory as well as the qualifying spot. Ona Romani finished in second place, and her teammate Adela Mendoza taking third.

The North American/Caribbean division proved the most intense as everything came down to the final race of the day. The top three riders went into the heat with only 1.1 points between them, and the so far leading Tiger Tyson from Antigua came to the first mark only in fourth. But with his fellow training partner Cameron Maramenides of the USA getting involved in a tangle (for which he was granted redress) with his teammate Jacob Olivier, he moved into second place after the Dominican Republic’s Adeuri Corniel and secured the event win and qualification place for Antigua by just 0.1 points. Corniel and Maramenides ended up tied for points, with D.R.’s Adeuri Corniel being awarded second place on count back, and it all came down to having won the last race over third place finisher Maramenides.

It was a proud day for the host country of these qualifiers as local girl Lou Marin, after dominating her division all week, won the North American/Carribean division and earning the spot in the Youth Olympic Games. It seems fitting that she, who has kited in the Dominican Republic all her life, will represent this country with such a strong kiteboarding heritage in the very first Olympic Games to include the sport.  Her teammate, Paula Herrmann finished second overall, and Faviola Collazo-Velez of Puerto Rico finished in 3rd.

All qualification places are being sent to World Sailing now for confirmation with the respective National Olympic Committees.

With Antigua, Dominican Republic and Venezuela we see countries qualifying this time which are usually not on the list of those winning a direct ticket to the Games and it is great to see that in kiteboarding also the smaller and developing countries can have a realistic chance to make it to the world stage besides big names like Brazil and Argentina.

Cabarete supplied us with fantastic conditions throughout the whole week so these certainly will not be the last event we see here. The young athletes put in a lot of hard work this week and it showed. The first four countries (in addition to host Argentina) have qualified, and those who didn’t quite come out on top will have one more shot to qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympics at the 2018 TT:R Youth Slalom Worlds in Hainan, China, from May 3rd to 8th (tbc), where not only the best four of each gender can qualify, but places may also be awarded to second ranked countries in the continental qualifications if an already qualified country finished in the top 4 of the Worlds . 

For now, congratulations to the very first Youth Olympic Kiteboarders, Geronimo Lutteral, Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel, Tiger Tyson, and Lou Marin. It was a pleasure to watch you all compete.
 
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 11 ELIMINATIONS

North America / Caribbean BOYS
1. *Tiger Tyson (ANT) -12.9 pts
2. Adeuri Corniel (DOM) - 13 pts
3. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 13 pts

North America / Caribbean GIRLS
1. *Lou Marin (DOM) - 13 pts
2. Paula Herrmann (DOM) 26 pts
3. Faviola Collazo-Velez (PUR) - 27 pts

South / Central America BOYS
1. Geronimo Lutteral (ARG) - 7.5 pts
2. *Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto (BRA) - 12.5 pts
3. Martin Errazquin Caldern (ARG) - 15.5 pts

South / Central America GIRLS
1. *Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel (VEN) - 8 pts
2. Ona Romani (ARG) - 9 pts
3. Adela Mendoza (ARG) - 15 pts

*: Country qualified to the Youth Olympic Games at this competition

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

YOG qualification events

North and South America: Cabarette, DOM, 15-20 January 2018
Europe and Africa: Dakhla, MAR, 20-25 February 2018
Asia and Oceania: Pranburi, THA, 13-18 March 2018
2018 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships: Boao, CHN, 03-08 MAy 2018 (TBC)

Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:11

Strong onshore winds brought a slight chill to the air in Cabarete for this fourth day of Junior Olympic trials, but the races continued! Competition started a bit earlier than previous days, with a shift in wind direction to a more onshore angle. Wind speeds started out similar to yesterday, but as competitors moved through the 8th round of eliminations, the wind kicked up a notch.  We saw most of our riders switching from the 17m kites they've been on all week to 15m. With solid 20 knots today, vs yesterday's 15, riders were able to demonstrate more of the speed and skill that brought them to these Olympic trials. It was exciting to watch!

In the South/Central American Boys division, Argentina's Geronimo Lutteral continued to hold the top spot. If he continues his performance tomorrow he will most definitely be representing his home country of Argentina in Buenos Aires. His teammate Martin Errazquin-Caldern has a good hold on second, followed by Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto from Brasil in third.



The Argentinian girls’ team also has shown themselves to be a formidable force in this week's trials. In the South/Central American Girls division, Ona Romani of Argentina still sits comfortably in first place, followed by her teammate Adela Mendoza. Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel (Venezuela) may be in third but is very close behind and clearly eyeing second place. If these rankings continue this Saturday then Ona Romani will likely join her teammate Geronimo, and will represent Argentina on their home beaches of Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympic games.

In the North American/Carribean boys division, Antiguas Tiger Tyson held the top spot, followed closely by his good friend Cameron Maramenides of the U.S. Teammate Jacob Oliver has swapped places with the Dominican Republic’s Adeuri Corneil but the two are still neck and neck. Even with just one more day of competition left there is good chance of changes in rank as this continues to be a very dynamic leaderboard.



In the North American/Carribean girls division, Cabarete local Lou Marin has yet to falter, maintaining the top spot she has held from her very first heat. Marin only continues to widen the gap between first and second, virtually guaranteeing herself a spot in this summer’s Youth Olympic Games. In second place, her teammate Paula Herrmann, with less than a year of kiting experience, has emerged as a natural talent and one to watch. Puerto Rico's Faviola Collazo-Valez placed closely behind in third, looking out for any opportunity to overtake Hermann for second place.

Tomorrow is the final day of these Olympic Trials. The weather forecast looks good, so we’ll likely see another full day of racing and possibly more jumps in the leaderboards. Our competitors will have one more opportunity to put themselves in for Buenos Aires.

We’ve seen some great racing all week long from our youth Olympic hopefuls. Tomorrow will be when everything comes together for a handful of these competitors.  They will not only join the ranks of the elite few who call themselves Olympic athletes, but they will get to be the very first kiteboarders to have this privilege.  We count ourselves lucky to be here to witness this once in a lifetime experience and we invite everyone to come down to the beach, cheer these athletes on, and be a part of the last day of Youth Olympic Trials tomorrow. 



This has been a true kiteboarder’s dream so far here in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Once our visiting athletes finish up they will have the opportunity to get a taste of the area and all it has to offer. This hidden gem, its people, its food, the natural landscape, and its crystal clear waters will no doubt call them back here again many times. 

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 7 ELIMINATIONS (8 for NA/Carbibbean Boys)

North America / Caribbean BOYS
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 8 pts
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 9 pts
3. Adeuri Corniel (DOM) - 11 pts

North America / Caribbean GIRLS
1. Lou Marin (DOM) - 5 pts
2. Paula Herrmann (DOM) 9 pts
3. Faviola Collazo-Velez (PUR) - 12 pts

South / Central America BOYS
1. Geronimo Lutteral (ARG) - 5 pts
2. Martin Errazquin Caldern (ARG) - 11 pts
3. Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto (BRA) - 15 pts

South / Central America GIRLS
1. Ona Romani (ARG) - 6 pts
2. Adela Mendoza (ARG) - 10 pts
3. Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel (VEN) - 11 pts

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

 

Friday, 19 January 2018 23:42

Contestants from around the world rocked the Cabarete beaches again today in what was another exciting and successful day of Youth Olympic Trials. The weather did not disappoint – it was a beautiful sunny day.



Racing kicked off at 3:30 this afternoon local time.  Riders brought their A game, causing shifts in the rankings in the North American/Caribbean boys division as Lorenzo Calcano of the Dominican Republic knocked Jacob Olivier and Cameron Maramenides, both of the U.S.A. into a tie for third respectively, while Tiger Tyson maintained his firm grip on first place.

On the girls’ side Lou Marin held confidently onto the top spot with her consistently strong performance the first day continuing. Paula Herrmann and Faviola Collazo-Velez maintained their second and third place spots, showing everyone they have what it takes to compete at this level.



In the South American boys’ division, Argentina’s Geronimo Lutteral held on to the top spot for the second day in a row as he had another stellar day of racing with multiple first place finishes giving him a strong hold on first place going into the final hours of competition.

His fellow Argentinian teammate, Martin Errazquin–Calderon made a big jump in the rankings from fifth place at the end of Wednesday to second place as we wrapped up competition this Thursday. This resulted in Anthar Racca of Mexico and Adalberto Gomez of Mexico dropping to third and fourth places.



The South American girls had some of the most intense heats of the groups, staying within meters of each other in all of today’s races, but never overtaking – leaving Wednesday’s rankings intact.

Competitors will have another chance to improve their scores and work their way up the leaderboard tomorrow as the finalists, those who will be able to refer to themselves as Olympic athletes, emerge.  We've already seen many shifts in rankings so it is entirely possible there could be more jockey-ing for the top spots to come, and more exciting outcomes for these young riders. Tomorrow is another day of kiting in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, and especially on this day, anything is possible.


OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 7 ELIMINATIONS

North America / Caribbean BOYS
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT) - 8 pts
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA) - 9 pts
3. Adeuri Corniel (DOM) - 11 pts

North America / Caribbean GIRLS
1. Lou Marin (DOM) - 5 pts
2. Paula Herrmann (DOM) 9 pts
3. Faviola Collazo-Velez (PUR) - 12 pts

South / Central America BOYS
1. Geronimo Lutteral (ARG) - 5 pts
2. Martin Errazquin Caldern (ARG) - 11 pts
3. Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto (BRA) - 15 pts

South / Central America GIRLS
1. Ona Romani (ARG) - 6 pts
2. Adela Mendoza (ARG) - 10 pts
3. Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel (VEN) - 11 pts

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

Thursday, 18 January 2018 15:49

Today marked the first official day of competition for our Junior Olympic hopefuls. On a picture-perfect day on Cabarete beach, 20 heats were completed over the course of 3 hours, showing just how fast paced this sport is. It was a very exciting day filled with super close finishes. 

Representing North America and the Caribbean, the top finishers for today in the boys qualifying were: Tiger Tyson of Antigua, Cameron Maramenides of the U.S.A, Adeuri Cornial of the Dominican Republic took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.  

For the girls division, Lou Marin of the Dominican Republic consistently took first in all of her heats. Paula Herma, also of the Dominican Republic finished in 2nd place followed by Faviola Collazo-Velez of Columbia.

In the South/Central America division Geronimo Lutteral of Argentina held on to the lead confidently, taking first in all his heats. Close behind was Anthar Racca of Mexico followed by Manuel Soares Dos Santos Neto of Brazil.

For the girls division, Ona Romani and Adela Mendoza, both of Argentina, finished 1st and 2nd followed by Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel of Venezuela who took a close third.

The highlight of the day was certainly when Lorenzo Calcano of the Dominican Republic won his heat on a kite several sizes smaller than any other, and he closed it by borrowing a board to finish!

Extremely close heats in all divisions kept everyone intently watching and eager for more. Be prepared for a potential shake up in the leaderboards as many competitors are consistently improving their times and climbing the ranks. Riders will be back at it again tomorrow 12 PM Atlantic time, weather permitting.

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 3 ELIMINATIONS

North America / Caribbean BOYS
1. Tiger Tyson (ANT)
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA)
3. Adeuri Corniel (DOM)

North America / Caribbean GIRLS
1. Lou Marin (DOM)
2. Paula Herrmann (DOM)
3. Faviola Collazo-Velez (PUR)

South / Central America BOYS
1. Geronimo Lutteral (ARG)
2. Anthar Racca (MEX)
3. Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto (BRA)

South / Central America GIRLS
1. Ona Romani (ARG)
2. Adela Mendoza (ARG)
3. Maria Valentina Alvarez Villarroel (VEN)

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

YOG qualification events

North and South America: Cabarette, DOM, 15-20 January 2018
Europe and Africa: Dakhla, MAR, 20-25 February 2018
Asia and Oceania: Pranburi, THA, 13-18 March 2018
2018 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships: Boao, CHN, 03-08 MAy 2018 (TBC)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 15:01

The 27 young Olympic hopefuls waited for the classic Cabarete thermals to kick in today, but with the day's uncharacteristic cloud cover, there were just a few short bursts of wind not quite strong enough for even these young racers.

Tomorrow we expect the amazing kiteboarding conditions that Cabarete is known for to return. Until then, we wait in classic kiteboarding fashion!  Like surfing, kiteboarding is a sport for athletes with a zen like acceptance of weather changes and an appreciation that spending the day napping on the beach instead of riding is still better than almost anything else one could be doing. 

The alternative would be constant frustration, a state that is contrary to the serious but relaxed culture of these water sportsmen and women. 

On this first official day of competition, riders were oriented to the local conditions, official rules, and the week’s course layout. By the time they compete, all this will need to be second nature to these young athletes because their exceptional speed means these heats are not expected to exceed three minutes each.

These are some of the fastest young riders in the world, riding in one of the premier kiteboarding locations on the planet, so these trials promise to be a once in a lifetime experience for all contenders regardless of the outcome.

All eyes are on the North American team with Cameron Maramenides and Tiger Tyson who have consistently taken top spots in previous slalom competitions. For the girls heat the favorite is the Dominican Republic team and specifically  Lou Marin, with her years of kiting experience and dedication to the sport has shown that she is the favorite amongst the female competitors.

However many newcomers to this league show great potential to shake things up. With this being both the first youth Olympic qualifiers and also the first IKA slalom competition on this side of the world, it should be an excellent next 4 days to keep your eye on.
 

YOG qualification events

North and South America: Cabarette, DOM, 15-20 January 2018
Europe and Africa: Dakhla, MAR, 20-25 February 2018
Asia and Oceania: Pranburi, THA, 13-18 March 2018
2018 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships: Boao, CHN, 03-08 MAy 2018 (TBC)

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

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:07

Today marks the start of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Quaifications in kiteboard slalom racing, the first ever in Olympic history.

Twenty-Seven aspiring junior Olympians from 9 countries in North and South America (including Central America and the Caribbean) joined us in hopes of representing their home countries for a once in a life time opportunity. We have competitors from the USA, Antigua, Dominican Republic, Puerto rico, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia & Brazil.

These fierce young athletes are up for a challenging week of competition. Those who come out on top will have a shot at glory in the 2018 Youth Olympics. We wish the best of luck to everyone competing in this first ever Olympic trial as we expect to see an intense week of racing play out. 

Monday, 04 December 2017 07:57

It was rather complicated to get to Barra Grande for everyone involved in the 2017 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships but the stakes were high and 54 young kiteboarders from 11 countries went into the adventure of traveling to the paradise like beach on the north corner of Brazil to battle for the world championship title, get some valuable practice and experience in the Youth Olympic Games format and earn extra berths for their country in the YOG qualifying events in early 2018.


 
Barra Grande rewarded them with warm strong winds on a golden sandy beach and an excellent event organization.  Challenging conditions ensured fast runs, high jumps and a lot of fun for the competitors, who seemed to come back after every heat with huge smiles on their face.
 
Just one rider from the USA was enough to bring the title to the country where kiteboarding first appeared. 

15 years old Cameron Maramenides went kiting for the first time when he was just months old on his dad’s Dimitris’ shoulders.  At the age of two he was standing on Dimitris’ board and at four he was riding his own board with a tiny kite, unhooked.  When his dad got a custom-made harness for him at the age of six, Cameron thought it was easy! 
He has been freestyling since then until last June, when his stepmom Helen read something about the YOG and they decided to give it a go. 

Support but also expectations for performance in school are the norm and Cameron ‘just’ made it to the worlds, after scoring the ‘required’ grades in the first semester.  Once he got to Barra Grande though, everything went his way. 

He got a big lead with four first places in the first two days and that afforded him a few mistakes and tangles in the following days.  Next challenge for Cameron, as with many of the competitors in the event, will be to get a spot to compete in the YOG, but for now he wishes he could stay in Barra Grande.  Perfect wind, perfect location, fun kiting and so many good riders.  As the venue was so remote and it was an adventure to get there, he didn’t expect a big turnout but all the top guys were there, plus a few very talented newcomers, like Manolo who finished second. 


 
‘Manolo’ is Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto.  He comes from the north of Brazil and is part of the Brazilian Kiteboarding Association Program.  A thrilled Augusto Sampaio, president of the Brazilian kiteboarding association, the ABK, said that it has been very hard to organize such an event but his dream has become true this week, both with hosting the best young kiters of the world in such an important competition but also through Manolo’s silver medal and the performance of the rest of the team.  

He is the heart of the ABK, organizing lots of events every year and although TwinTip Racing is very popular and there are hundreds of entries at the events, the kids are training with very limited recourses and with minimal support from the government and the sailing federation, the CBV.  Augusto hopes that the results will draw the attention of the CBV to the potential of the kiteboarding youth and it seems that his hopes will be heard.
 
Walter Boddener, Events and Youth Manager of the CBV who followed the competition closely and was one of the key contributors to the success of the event, was impressed by the level of the competition and of the Brazilian riders.  Lots of new talents and an amazing silver medal that was a pleasant surprise.   He admits that although kiteboarding is very new for the Brazilian sailing community, for sure there will be support towards the YOG in co-operation with the NOC and he hopes to see Brazilian riders in Argentina.


 
Argentina, as the organizers of the 2018 YOG have an entry in both boys and girls but they want to go further than that.  TT:R is already popular in the country and attracts kiteboarders of all ages in the competitions.  The kiteboarding association is working very closely with the sailing federation and are trying to use the YOG as a vehicle to bring more youth to the sport. 

Mario Sampaolesi, the Argentinian coach, says that kiteboarding is exciting, is youthful, is cool, is urban.  There are lots of locations in Argentina which are ideal for kiteboarding and TT:R can be for everyone.  It is affordable, it easy to learn and get on the water, it is the perfect tool to bring more people close to sports in general.  Our primary goal, he says, is to create a better society, we believe that good results will follow.


 
On the other side of the world, the Thai kiteboarders are working hard too.  With the Asian and Oceanian qualification event in Thailand in March, Sarun Rupchom, one of the top ranked TT:R riders in the world and Nichanan Rodthong traveled to Barra Grande but there are a lot more kiteboarding back in Thailand.  For the same reasons as in Argentina, TT:R racing is becoming more and more popular and Narapichit ‘Yo’ Pudla, the Thai coach, expects to see a good number of countries battling for the single available qualification spot.
 

Europe will probably be the hardest fought continental qualification with many good riders from a good number of countries.  The best European, Victor Bachichet, the reigning European champion, only managed to finish third in Barra Grande.  ‘It was a cool event with lots of wind and lots of tangles.  Maybe I should start training with boots, it was hard to keep the board on my feet’ he laughs.  He now plans to focus in preparing for the European qualification event in Dakhla and try to qualify France but also manage to come on the top of the French riders and get the ticket to Buenos Aires. 

A difficult feat as Benoit Gomez and Anthony Picard follow closely, finishing fourth and fifth.  For sure tough in-nation competition from a country which seems to dominate in all forms of kiteboarding events.  France was the leading nation once more, not only in the boys but also in the girls’ fleet, where three French were among the top six, led by a thrilled Lola Ulrich winning the silver medal.  Lola had a lot of fun in a completion that tested her physically and mentally.  She is planning to train hard and try to qualify both her country and herself to the YOG.  ‘It is a dream but suddenly it is approaching fast’ she said. 


 
To realize her dream, she will have to get the best out of Nina Font Castells, the European champion from Spain who finished third in Barra Grande and the strong Italian team which seems to have several girls, lead by the unstoppable Sofia Tomasoni who couldn’t believe that she won.  ‘When I came to Barra Grande I did not expect that she will finish first but there was strong wind, there were many races and I won a lot of them!’  Only now she realizes that there is a possibility for her to participate in the YOG and she plans to work very hard to earn her place.  ‘If I qualify I will start thinking about it. One step at a time’


 
Markus Schwendtner, CEO of the IKA and race director for the event was also smiling at the end of the races.  Barra Grande delivered perfect but challenging conditions, for both competitors and organizers.  The ABK and the CBV delivered a great organization both on and off the water.  180 starts, 230 penalty calls and more than 200 rescues in five days of completion.  He was impressed by the grassroots work done by the ABK, full of praise for the performance of the Brazilian sailors and he looks forward to return to Brazil in the future.  For the time being, just like the riders, IKA will focus on the delivery of the qualification events.  

The list of the additional places each country is entitled to for the qualification events, further to the one entry per country, will be published soon and the first event is just six weeks away.
 
Results Girls

  1. Sofia Tomasoni – ITA
  2. Lola Ulrich – FRA
  3. Nina Font Castells – ESP

Results Boys

  1. Cameron Maramenides – USA
  2. Manoel Soares Dos Santos Neto – BRA
  3. Victor Bachichet – FRA

YOG qualification events

North and South America: Cabarette, DOM, 15-20 January 2018
Europe and Africa: Dakhla, MAR, 20-25 February 2018
Asia and Oceania: Pranburi, THA, 13-18 March 2018
2018 TT:R Youth Slalom World Championships: Boao, CHN, 10-15 April 2018 (TBC)

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

 

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

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Last Event

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Cabarete 2018

Dominican Republic

 Event Winners

male Tiger Tyson
Geronimo Lutteral
Antigua and BarbudaArgentina
female Lou Marin
Maria Alvarez
Dominican Republic
Venezuela

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 Cameron Maramenides United States 331 pts
 2 Tiger Tyson Antigua and Barbuda 325 pts
 3 Manoel Soares Brazil 283 pts
Girls
 1 Sofia Tomasoni Italy 243 pts
 2 Nina Font Castells Spain 239 pts
 3 Lola Ulrich Spain 217 pts

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