PKRA Germany 2010

I competed in the PKRA World Tour in Germany last month, but I forgot to write a report.

The St Peter Ording PKRA event is one of (or the) biggest kiteboarding events in the world, and lasts for 9 days. This insures the riders of windy conditions. This year too, we had good winds in the competition. I had to prequalify myself for the event, and had some trouble in the first heat. I was super overpowered on my 12 because the wind suddenly increased to 25 knots in my heat. I did not land any tricks, I just flew around a bit. I changed kites in the last minute, and did a mega loop on my 8 just outside the heat time.. So I did not make it, and I had to try again in the next heat, last chance. This heat went normal, I landed all of my tricks and won the heat with ease.

In the main event I met Brazilian Neto, who I beat in not a perfect heat. I butt-checked a switch lowmobe, I think this gave me the advantage. In the next round I met Alex Pastor, and I had a okay heat but he was better. He eventually won the event.
In the double elimination I met fellow Dutchmen Johnno Scholte, I beat him with better variety and power. In the next round I met Mario Rodwald, and I totally screwed up my heat. I only landed a NIS and a blind judge, and offcourse I was super pissed off with myself after the heat. Obviously I lost. Later that day we started the Board off/Big air competition, I took out my 8.5m Kaiman for extra airtime! I did some nice boardoffs, it was super much fun to ride for only big air boardoffs! I managed to win 1 round, but then I lost. I stayed on the water for a while, because it was so much fun to train boardoffs :-)

My final result in the Freestyle competition was 13th, which is the same position as last year. I hope my next event in Poland (EKT) goes better, I have been training a lot lately so I think it will.

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EKT Silvaplana, 5th place!

This weekend I participated in the 4th Euro Kite Tour event, on lake Silvaplana in Switzerland.
The spot is known for it’s beautiful surroundings, but low winds. The drive was very nice, I like driving in the mountains. When we arrived, the weather was not that good (if you compare it with the 30′ and sun down the mountain) with rain, but after an hour the rain disappeared and the temp was still ok.
We went out to ride the blasting river, which ran through the camping. It was freezing cold, but very cool to do.

The next day the event started off with nice sunny weather, and…. wind! We had to wait for it, but in the afternoon it kicked in, starting at 10 knots, increasing to about 18 knots. The competition started off in light wind, so some riders had difficulties to stay upwind. My heat started in the 1/8 finals, once again against Rowinski. I already met him in competition at the KBO, so I knew some of his tricks. I had a bad start, because I crashed my kite after the 3rd trick, but after some difficult relaunching off the rocks with help of Stefan Permien I got back on track and landed some switches and all regular tricks. I advanced into the 1/4 finals, unlucky against Rondina. I tried to ride my best, but it was not running really smooth, I tried a kiteloop slim to be more powered up but Rondina was riding super strong in all directions so I had no chance. Even though it was a short competition, I had fun and am happy with my 5th place. Rondina made it to #1 once again so no shame to lose :-)

Day 2 was mostly without wind, but after all riders were released the wind decided to kick in once again, giving all (not drunk soccer supporting) riders the oppurtunity to have a nice evening session. The wind even increased to above 20 knots, but with thunderstorms and gusts, so I went off to be safe.

Day 3 would be the day for racing, since there was no result so far in this tourstop. We decided to leave the event site and climb the mountain instead of waiting all day, there was not enough time to finish the double eliminations anyway. We had a super nice walk of 5 hours, but very heavy aswell. We made it to 2500m, where was still snow despite the high temperatures! We made nice photo’s and then walked down again, offroad shortcut offcourse hehe. We made it down safe, and just in time to be at the prizegiving ceremony! From the mountain peak we had seen the race kites on the lake, and it turned out there was a result, the Dutchies Rolf vd Vlught and Katja Roose made it to place 2 and 1! Congrats. Katja is now tour leader, and will be tour champion of 2010 because she is too far ahead at this moment!

We packed our stuff and got back in the car for the long and warm 1100km drive home, we arrived last night at 04.00 safe and tired. Next event will be the PKRA in St. Peter Ording, Germany in 2 weeks!

Results men:
1. Alberto Rondina
2. Mario Rodwald
3. Stefan Permien
4. Christophe Tack
5. Tijn van Esch
Victor Borsuk
Eric Volpe
Stefano Martinelli

Ladies:
1. Ania Grezlinska
2. Celine Collaud
3. Nicky Rudd
4. Kathrin Borgwardt

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Euro Kite tour Sylt

Update 3
Unfortunately, the wind did not come. I hope there will be wind on the next tourstop!

Update 2
Still no wind here at Sylt, a lot of racing going on but just not enough wind to start the freestyle elimination. I have participated in a SUP-race, where I became 4th. Still good weather so thats not bad at all. Tomorrow we will start the skippersmeeting at 07.00, I think because Sunday looks to be completely without wind. Forecast for tomorrow looks very light, but we will see.

Live updates on the elimination ladder here!

Update 1
Yesterday I arrived at the semi-island of Sylt, Germany, after 6 hours driving and half an hour by train (with the van on it). The event looked good, with a nice and big riderslounge. We registered and then we had a drink on the parking and went to bed. This morning we had the grand opening ceremony, which was fun. So many Dutchies on this event! We waited the day out, but there was no wind at all. My ribs are still bruced from Italy, so I can use the rest time. We had a nice barbeque, and now we will go to the casino for a poker night, 10 riders against 10 beach visitors.

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Headcam movie Mirns

In the beginning of the season I had a powered session on Mirns, and someone offered me to ride with his Go Pro HD cam. I could not refuse this offer, so I strapped it on my head and went out :-)
I was riding in my drysuit, with my 8m Kondor III on 21m lines. Enjoy!

Headcam Tijn at Mirns from Tijn van Esch on Vimeo.

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Campione Italy 2010

Last weekend I was in Italy to compete in the Open Italian championships. We arrived on friday, and after some time in the Advance office, I took the van to lake Garda. The event was small, but with a lot of riders. we had a nice sleep together with our alarm which could not be switched off hehe.

The next day the event started off at 8, so we were there to look to the skippersmeeting. I had a nice day and some good food, and then at 12 the thermal wind picked up. I had a short session to pick the right kite, and then the organisation asked Youri Zoon and me to give a demo in front of the beach. I did some tricks, and tried to ride with a lot of power. Unfortunately I crashed a backmobe on the ribs, and then a second one on the same place on the same ribs. This was a bit too much for me, so I dropped the kite and got out of the water. After some time on the beach I decided to check with the medical people if anything was broken, they decided to transport me to the hospital for Xrays.
Luckily, nothing was broken and I just have to wait for 1 week to ride again. The rest of the weekend we took it easy, spending some time in the office and in the mountains.

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KTE Noordwijk 1st place

This weekend I competed in the 2nd tourstop of the KTE, on our biggest event of the year, KiteBoardOpen!
The weather was a bit blocked by seafog, but in the afternoon the wind picked up a bit and the sun came out. I managed to win 2 heats, of Adema and Rowinski, in very light winds. Then the wind dropped out completely, and did not come back. At least the quarterfinals were finished, so we had some kind of result.

together with 7 others I was in 1st place :-)

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Friends of Friestyle, 1st place!

This weekend I competed in the local competition/event Friends of Friestyle. This was the 2nd edition of the event. Last year I was 2nd in the pro freestyle competition, so this year my goal was to ride top 3 again.

I took off on saturday morning, arrived at the event at about 11. The wind was not present, but the sun was out and I decided to pump all of my kites for show. After some time the wind picked up a little and I went out on a sup board with my 12m Kondor. Then a photographer of the Leeuwarder Courant (newspaper of the region) took some pictures with me on the beach, I tried to do a grab on my board while taking off from the beach. The wind started to increase slowly, and I went out a couple of times and it was possible to do tricks. This was enough for the organisation to start off the competition, in a xpression session heat of 20 minutes so everybody could do their tricks in the light wind. I was reasonably powered on my 12, and was able to perform all of my tricks including kiteloop combo’s like kiteloop hp and kiteloop 360 hp. After the heat the judges decided to rerun the heat for the top 4, I was one of them. This 2nd heat was only 7 minutes, so more like a real heat. Again I had a good heat, landing all my tricks again, only the wind dropped a bit so it was not possible to do kiteloop hp’s. I had a good feeling about my heat, and ater the heat ended I stayed on the water to do some freeriding with some friends. The wind picked up and I was real powered on my 12 and tried some kiteloop slimchance’s. I did not really land any (I sunk at the landing) but the pass was clean and of some it was real close to landing it. I did landed a nice late mobe and a back to late wrapped. I also tried a frontmobe pass but totally whiped out haha. At 20.00 we had a “barbeque” indoor, with some nice food and then a party. I slept in my campervan so I had a good rest, this morning I got up at 09.00 for breakfast. We waited the day out for wind, and did some FreeLining with a small trainerkite. Then Bas, Klaas, Jelle and I had a interview with the Leeuwarder Courant, wich will be puplished tomorrow. At 13.45 the organisation held the prizegiving, and it turned out I was in 1st place!

I am happy with my result and look forward to next years Friends of Friestyle!

Results:
Pro Men:
1. Tijn van Esch
2. Bas Koole
3. Jelle Hak

Women:
1. Lisette Blankestijn
2. Thamar Jurgens
3. Suzanne Kuiper

Amateurs:
1. Steyn Muller
2. Jasper Schol
3. Joost Wagter

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Local Newspaper Headline

There is an article about my competition in Austria in the local and online newspaper headlines.

Check the article by clicking on the image!
(or click here for the badly translated google version :D )

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Eurotour Podersdorf, Austria

Final Update

I made it back home, I drove 1400km almost non-stop in 13 hours.
My final result is 5th place at this first tourstop of the Kite Tour Europe!

Day 4 was mostly about waiting around the event, but we had a nice close of the day with wakeboarding behind a waterscooter!
I went for a flat 5 but crashed it, also crashed some flat 3′s. The 4th run was succesfull, I landed my flat 5 super clean, and then some grabs. After the wake session I had some dinner, and went to the appartment of Rolf and Katja for my 1st shower :p
The party later on the evening was ok, but I did not drink too much because the skippersmeeting would be at 07.00. The top 3 of freestyle and race were presented to the crowd, and Rolf, Katja, and Alberto made a nice croudsurf of the stageI went to bed at 01.00 because the party was getting overcrowded and I was not as much in the party mood like the night before.

I skipped the skippersmeeting the next morning, because I did not think it would be any wind for the day. At 9 Christophe Tack woke me up because the wind was increasing a bit. The racers got back on the water for another match, unfortunately the wind did not pick up enough for freestyle and the event got cancelled at 14.00. I packed the car and waited for the ceremony to make some photo’s for Rolf and Katja, but then they announced the top 5 would be on stage. Unfortunately there was no time to get my board from the car so I went on stage without. Directly after the ceremony I said bye to everyone and took off to get back home. I had a nice drive, and I wasnt even that tired when I got home so I did some photo rendering and then got into bed untill 15.00 :-) Next competition will be saturday in Stavoren, the event is called Friends Of Friestyle and last year it was a really cool event where I got 2nd place. Next EKT will be in 2 weeks in Noordwijk.

Some pics of day 3,4,5:

Day 3

I had a really good day today! No kiting but still a very good atmosphere here on the event site.
First we went to the skippersmeeting at 9.00, but they announced the race would start first. The forecast didnt look to good, so I was expecting there would not be any wind left for freestyle. Instead of kiting I did all sorts of activities like rope walking, seg-way driving, paintball shooting and I had a massage. Then I took some nice pictures because there was nice light. When we were released for the day, at 16.00, we took the car to Bratislava, Slovenia. We wanted to see the city and because it is only a 50km drive from here it was a cool (euro)trip. We took pictures of crappy buildings and people and a oldtimer car museum, and bought some cheap liquor in the supermarket for souvenirs. Then we drove back to the event to have some food. When we got back, the event was already filling with people from around the area (for the party). We went to the party and had a really good time, we felt like rockstars standing on the stage and looking over the crowd (who were not allowed to go on stage haha). So now I am recovering in a chair on the beach (day 4) and waiting for the wind :-) . But I will write about today and add pics later on.

Day 2

Today was the start of the event, and it was a lot better then I expected :-)
When I woke up I was much fitter, I slept really good. The sun was out and the forecast predicted a nice 20 degrees. We had a skippersmeeting at 9.00, and started the competition at 11.00. I was in heat 2, against Imaz. I had an okay heat, not the best ever. But it was enough, so I advanced to the next round, where I met Martinelli. This heat I was riding pretty strong, landing allmost all of my tricks. I also won that heat, so then I was in the 1/8 finals. I was against Spiessberger, and I had a shit heat crashing really hard on a KGB and kiteloop hp. I landed some tricks, those were really powered though. It was not enough to win the heat, so I ended up shared 5th place for today.
The winner for today was Rondina, 2nd place for Schitzhofer, 3rd Rodwald.
The conditions were okay, but not ideal: gusty wind (15-22 knots or something) and super high chop (to me it allmost seemed like waves haha).

Anyway, now we have to wait for the wind, the forecast does not predicts a lot, but neither for today so we dont know what is going to happen. Here are the pictures from today and yesterday:

Day 1
I just arrived in Austria after a tough 1200km drive alone. I still was a bit sick from the event in Belgium, but now I just feel very tired. I am here for the upcoming event, from thursday to sunday, and will participate in the freestyle competition. I like the fact the tourstops are around the Netherlands (and even in the Netherlands) because there is a different kind of riders than on the PKRA. The level is supposed to be high, but I will try my best to ride for podium ofcourse :-) I already made some pics, but will upload them tomorrow. I will get some dinner and some sleep first, because I only slept about 2,5 hours last night.

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Kites on Fire 2010

Last weekend I visited Oostende in Belgium, to compete in the open freestyle competition. I left from my home on friday, after skimming the open market since it was Queensday :-)

I arrived friday evening around 8, after spending some time in the traffic jams around Antwerpen, and we had a good chillout at Ian’s place, who was directing the comp.

Saturday was mostly about waiting for wind, it was nice that the sun came in the afternoon. After they started the youth championships (and cancelled again for low wind) the day was finished and we went out to the pita bar for some nice dinner…. yeah that was the best choice of the day! I dont know if it was something else or the extra plus sandwich I ordered, but when we got back home I became real sick and puked all over the sidewalk. So the party was not the best option for me, I went to bed really early and puked some more.

Sunday started off with a nice raincloud which was hanging directly above the event, and did not go away untill end of the morning. After the cloud, the wind changed 180degrees against the forecast and was light. The event was cancelled and I already packed all my stuff in the car. I wasnt planning on riding anyway because I was still really ill. But then it happened! The dark clouds formed on the horizon, the swell kicked in and in about half an hour there was wind in the predicted direction, increasing! My adrenaline won over my illness and I decided to re-subscribe for the expression session. I got on the water pretty late, but still managed to land some nice tricks, also a butt checked (or just crashed, whatever) double handlepass and some overpowered manouvres :-P . At least not too bad for a sick person who had 3/4 of a sandwich in the whole day, and I made it 4th place! I was pretty happy with the result, considering there were 23 competitors and some good ones above me :-)

After the prizegiving I had to drive back home, and my friend Thijs helped me out by partially driving home because I was not in the best shape to drive 380kms.
Now I am home, still feeling a little sick but it is getting better. Tomorrow I will leave for the first tourstop of the Euro Kite Tour, in Austria! I will get some extra sleep this night because I will have to drive about 1200km alone, to subscribe on wednesday afternoon. I will update when I arrived and there is internet :-)

Results Kites on Fire Open Freestyle:

1 Steve Verelst
2 Christophe Tack
3 Bas Koole
4 Tijn van Esch
5 Thomas Dehaene
6 Bram Bast
7 Sam van Olmen
8 Thomas Declerck
9 Flor Decloedt
10 Alex Maes

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