The competition season is in full progress, after several events this year I went to the first stop of the KTE. Last year I managed to get an overall 6th place, this year I wanted to ride top 10 again.
The first stop was on Sylt, which is known for its gnarly conditions. Large powerfull waves and strong wind dominated the tourstop, but I managed to ride quite okay. Because of my ranking, I was seeded pretty well (up in the 4th round). My first heat was against fellow Dutch rider Bram Bast, and I did not ride that well. I managed to win the heat just because I had 1 trick more, but this really woke me up and made me realize these conditions where not to be laughed at. In the next heat, I managed to beat Nils Wesch. It was a close decision because we did similar tricks, but my clean Kiteloop Slim made the judges pick me as the winner.
Then I was up against PKRA top rider Sebastian Garat, and I was pretty sure I would lose the heat. I did my best, and managed to land a Kiteloop HP, Kiteloop backroll HP and a Kiteloop Slim in a row. Garat did not do more then me so I also won this heat! I was super happy to be in the finals for the first time on a international event. I had to take on Mario Rodwald, he was riding a bit stronger by having more variation and so he won this heat.
In the doubles, I was waiting for the competition and my opponent turned out to be Garat for the 2nd place. This time, Garat was riding a bit stronger, but I did a mega big Kiteloop Hp and some decent passes. Unfortunately I mistimed my watch so I did not knew the last minute was already there. I was riding upwind to go for a final trick (kiteloop slim) But when I turned to the judges the red flag was already up. The win went to Garat, who eventually got beaten by Mario Rodwald again.
1 Mario Rodwald
2 Sebastian Garat
3 Tijn van Esch
4 Stefan Spiessberger
5 Jerrie van de Kop
The next day we started a Kiteloop competition, where we were supposed to do the biggest kiteloop with the kite low. The wind was quite strong, about 25/30 knots. I did okay, but in the semifinal I lost against Dutchie Jerrie van de Kop, who won the Kiteloop Contest in the end!
On sunday I was not planning to ride because I was feeling a bit sick, but the organisation convinced me to ride in the Best Trick competition. I did good, just going for the biggest Kiteloop slim possible (over 20 knots on my 9) and I managed to land it in every heat so I won the Best Trick! The organisation sent me home with a nice prize, cash and a super nice headphone from Philips|Oneill!
Pics will follow when I am home.
Now we are in Lamezia (Italy) for the 2nd stop of the KTE. So far not enough wind to start but I will keep you updated.