Today was the day of the racers at the beach of St. Gilles Croix de Vie. Day 5 of the KTE France started beautifully with the sun shining at the wind picking up with the decreasing tide. The skippers meeting at 10.00am was the kick off for the competitions today. However, many riders such as Luke Whiteside, Benjamin Todd, Stefan Spiessberger as well as Roy and Mario Rodwald enjoyed the surf at sunrise starting the day with a great session.
Right after the skippers meeting, the racers gathered at the beach to set up their gear. Wind conditions were light at 8-10 knots leaving the riders with pumping up their biggest kites in the quiver. The light wind and big waves made it hard to get out to the starting line, but in the end, everything was prepared for the first race of the day.
In the first race, Spanish racer Pedro Garijo Velasco from Murcia (Spain) took a suprising win leaving top-racers Florian Gruber (GER), Rolf van der Vlucht (NED) and Julien Kerneur (FRA) on second, third and fourth place. Light winds gave light riders a small advantage that was best used by the three on the posiums.
Race 2 showed a slightly different picture. At increasing wind conditions, Rolf van der Vlucht was unstoppable defeating Spanish Garijo on second as well as the two French racers Maxime Nocher and Julien Kerneur on third and fourth place. Julien Kerneur was in the lead for most of race 2 but then took the wrong buoy and lost massive time.
"This mistake was not going to happen again" thought the French leader of the KTE ranking 2011 and finally in race 3, he crossed the finish line in first place. Dutch rider Rolf van der Vlucht became 2nd, Spanish racer Pedro Garijo 3rd and Maxime Nocher from France on 4th place.
In the women division, Katja Roose was again unbeatable. The Dutch racer who got second at the World Championships in Sylt, German and who won the KTE in Lamezia, Italy was ahead of all other female riders and clearly showed the spectators who is the fastest European woman this year! It was amazing to see her high-level performance and it looks like it is going to be a clear win for her also in France.
The last race of today was canecelled since the wind dropped right at the start with only eight riders crossing the line. However, all riders made it back to shore with some of them enjoying a nice surf ride while heading back to the beach.
For Day 6, conditions look even better with 12-14 knots in St Gilles Croix de Vie and again thousands of spectators along the beach due to French holidays.
(all results as preliminary results before protest hearings)