From July 07th to 10th, the best European riders gathered in Lamezia for the second stop of the Kitesurf Tour Europe 2011. After a successful start of the KTE 2011 in Sylt, Germany, the riders travelled to southern Italy and in comparison to the challenging conditions with 3-4 meter waves and winds around 25 knots in Sylt, Lamezia's sunny and lightwind character asked for completely different skills. Julien Kerneur and Katja Roose win course racing, Mario Rodwald and Seb Garat as well as Joanna Litwin and Alice Brunacci on top of freestyle.
German freestyler Mario Rodwald travelled to Lamezia to repeat his successful performance from Sylt and become European champion at the end of the circuit 2011. However, especially French rider Seb Garat (2nd in Sylt), Tijn van Esch, Jerrie van de Kop (both Netherlands) and Stefan Spiessberger (Austria) came to Lamezia to stop Mario and take the win in Italy. Also not to forget: Italian riders Stefano Martinelli, Erik Volpe and Gabriele Garofalo. So the wind usually kicked in at around 3pm giving the freestylers a wind window of about two hours. In the single elimination, competitions went into overtime on sunday with Mario Rodwald and Seb Garat as smiling winners defeating Stefano Martinelli and Gabriele Garofalo in the semi showing KGBs, Mobes, slim chances, 313s and kiteloops. Then the wind died completely giving no chance for completing the final.
In the women's comp, Joanna Litwin defeated fellow Polish rider Michalina Laskowska in the semi final meeting local Alice Brunacci in the final. Brunacci advanced to the final after a close battle against UK rider Hannah Whiteley. As for the men’s division, the final could not be completed before the wind died.
Course Racing Men
The mornings started with winds at around 10 knots presenting good conditions for the course racing discipline counting for the IKA world ranking. On the last day of the competition, Italian rider Andrea Beverino surprised the crowd on the beach by winning the two last races showing that knowing the local character of the spot is key for success. However, these races excluded, the French team including Bruno Sroka, Julien Kerneur, Maxime Nocher and Olivier Dansin dominated the races and battled each other in close runs with a successful end for Julien Kerneur taking away the win leaving Maxime Nocher and Bruno Sroka at 2nd and 3rd place.
Course Racing Women
In the women's division, Katja Roose (Netherlands) was unstoppable winning every single race in Italy. The Dutch who got 2nd in the World Championships last week showed that she is in top shape and difficult to stop this year. Italian rider Alice Brunacci got second followed by US rider Melissa Gil in third place.
It was the first time that the Kitesurf Tour Europe came to Italy and the event exceeded expectations of riders, spectators and organisers. Especially the cheering crowd at the beach as well as the party at the same location with almost 1000 party people celebrating in the sand made the event a real success. Infrastructure, local event organisation and the beautiful location in Calabria makes Lamezia a great spot for the European Championships in Kiteboarding Freestyle. For next year, negotiations are running to include Lamezia as a stop of the Kitesurf Tour Europe 2012.
The quick change from Sylt to Lamezia showed that every event of the KTE tour 2011 has its unique character, kitesurfing conditions and side events. Besides the competitions, lifestyle elements such as clothing, music and art form the core elements of the events and promise a great 2011 KTE season.