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MC's Sukie's Kite Life Asia blog -

Plain Sailing

This is the 2013 Kite Surf Race World Championships, right?

Wrong.

This is a sailing regatta with the sailors using sails which are independent of their craft.

Of course they are using a kite, and a board, but really that is the only reason it is called a kitesurfing event.

The entire attitude of the riders, the terminology and the way they think is that of a sailor. Now I am a kiter, I have never been in a sailing boat and it really does not interest me. It is crazy to think that we all do the same sport. Thus today I came to the realisation that actually, we do not. Kitesurf racing really is just another class of sailing.

One major incident in todays races was that Johnny Heiniken actually lost a couple of his races. The wind was a lot lighter today so of course those who train in stronger winds, like Johnny, will find this racing more challenging. But what was then really interesting to see following this was that tactical racing came into play.

Up until now it has been fastest wins, end of. But today we saw our first bit of calculated and deliberate sailing. A point system is what ranks our riders over the course of the week, and to get into tomorrows top 10 Platinum fleet you need to have the least amount of points. So if the person above you needs for example above 5th to keep their 1st position whereas due to having a discard and not yet needing it, you do not, you would try everything in your power to stop that rider getting said position. This is what we saw today. Blocking at its best.

What is important here is that no rules are broken, if you break a rule then all your effort would not be worth it. But if it works out to plan, you could land yourself with a much clearer lead had you been sitting in joint position with another rider.

And in regard to rule breaking and protests, yes, they are still going on. 11pm and there are still many riders to be seen.

Tomorrow we have only the Women’s Platinum and Men’s Gold and Platinum. Today the racing really stepped up with different conditions and tactics coming into play. Tomorrow is our last day here at the 2013 World Championships and the top 10 of both women and men really are all to play for now.