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MC's Sukie's Kite Life Asia blog -

Gear, Fears and Tears

Today was the first day our male riders were split into their ranking fleets.

Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold being the top 38 from the past 2 days of qualifieing races, and Silver and Bronze being those lower down in the rankings. Once in these categories riders cannot actually move between, so once set you can not achieve any higher or lower than your category will allow.

The girls will stay as one fleet until sunday when only the top 10 from the week will race.

There was a pretty major upset in one of the earlier mens ‘Gold’ fleet races. Favourite Johnny Heineken ended up in a big tangle with another rider leaving the path clear for young gun Florian Gruber to merrily kite his way across the finish in first.

Tangles meanwhile seemed to be the in thing for the day. Pretty much every race had some sort of upset resulting in our jury STILL currently in protest hearings (5 hours after they began, and still with over 20 riders sat on the floor outside of the room). And thats even before we go on to mention just how frustrated the riders here get if they are to be involved in some sort of collision. Walking along the beach today I was amazed by competitors coming off the beach f-ing and blinding. Some of these guys are really in a different league of competitiveness, and some are so incredibly chilled and happy you are amazed to think that everyone is at the same event.

Anger, protests and hearings may be one side of a tangle, but the other side is the sometimes inevitable damage to gear. Today has seen ripped kites, snapped lines, cracked boards and even the need for my fantastic (?!?) first aid. With a set of lines coming in at over $100 its no cheap experience, and lines snapping left right and centre on more or less every race, it has been an expensive day!