The first RYA Olympic classes’ event to include Kitesurfing was run as a test event with no points counting towards ranking points. For the race committee and the riders it was the first time for everyone to test out courses and the new rules which come into play now that Kitesurfing is an Olympic sport.
With 20 entrants in total we were the biggest fleet out of all the classes and included 4 women. At the briefing it was explained that the starts and courses would be changed throughout the day and that it would be run to standard ISAF rules including all the flags.
With the wind blowing at around 15knts and due to increase over the weekend the first challenge for the riders was which 3 kits to register which we were not used to in the UK. Some made the wrong choice and chose to change anyway to make the most of the event in prep for the Worlds while the others learnt that you have to protest if you think someone is on a non registered kite.
3 races were run in the morning and another 3 after a quick break with the start line being changed slightly each time allowing the race crew to find out which works best to get the fleet away cleanly. The course was windward leeward with a spacer at the windward mark. One thing that we were not used to was the course being moved after each race to account for the 15 min 1st finisher target time and any wind changes.
On the water the big surprise was how well Tom Squires and Sam Sills, former RSX Squad windsurfers were going as they were right up with the usual front runners of Olly Bridge, Callum Edge, Steph Bridge and me. During racing we had 5 ribs on the water which allowed us to take a break sitting on the boat and having a drink. During this time all of the RYA Crew were asking loads of questions and were super impressed by the standard of racing, our angles and speed on the water.
After racing we met at the WPNSA for a debrief and talked about the courses, start lines and how we can make it better in October to finalise things for Sail for Gold in 2013.
On Sunday with the wind blowing at 27 gusting 34knts racing was abandoned for all fleets and we had the prize giving.
End results after Callum retired from 3rd due to ineligible kites were-
Men- 1st Tom Squires, 2nd Olly Bridge, 3rd Lee Harvey
Women- 1st Steph Bridge, 2nd Alice Shoulder, 3rd Izzy Hamilton
The outcome from the event was extremely positive with the RYA and the riders learning valuable lessons before the upcoming Europeans & Worlds and we look forward to many more great Kite racing events being run in at the Olympic venue in Weymouth.
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For Kitesurf Coaching and Lessons visit my school www.pastyadventures.co.uk