Low overcast clouds hovered over the event area during the start of the day and a surprising early downpour of rain cooled the day off early and lasted until about 10:00 am. The strengthening wind blew the clouds away and the skies started to clear before the riders meeting, which was held at exactly 11:00 am. By the start of the first race at 12:00 pm, the skies were totally blue and the wind had picked up strength to about 18 to 22 knots.
An ebb tide made the seaward flow of the tidal river very strong in the morning, which made it quite challenging for the race officials to set the marks for the course. The crew were able to keep the buoys in position by using double anchors.
The course was more challenging today since the upwind mark was upwind of the surf so the racers had to battle their way out into the ocean through the surf to get to the weather mark. They then had to get back to the river again through the surf (downwind) to round the second buoy before racing at full speed up the river to the third mark. The competitors then raced at full speed back down the river to the ocean and battled back upwind to round the windward mark. Then it was down to mark number two and to the finish between a flag on the beach and the starting boat.
Race Director Olaf Van Tol said, 'It was quite an exciting day, reminiscent of the old days of the Pan-Am cup where they'd be racing their boards through big surf. That's the sort of flashback I got from today.'
Between 12 and 15 minutes was the average time for the first person to complete each race but the top five finishers were very close overall.
Two races were held between 12:00 pm and 1:45 pm before a break was announced. The wind picked up further strength during the time-out and many of the competitors changed to smaller kite sizes before hitting the waters. The red flag was raised again at 3:00 pm and two more races were held before finally capping up the day at 5:00 pm.
Frenchman Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha) still leads the pack, dominating three of four races while local champion Pedro Montenegro (Best) crossed the line ahead of everyone in the third race of the day after Sroka failed to finish. Third place sees Sebastien Salermo (FRA, Gin Kites) and Victor Adamo (BRA, Naish) tied with 19 points each overall.
Nayara Licariao (BRA, Best) still dominates the scoreboard in the ladies heats followed by fellow Brazilian and Best team mate Carol Homsi who has been held to second place overall.
Day Three of the event continued the excitement and was full of surprises, the first of which was the weather which had become very unpredictable. A rainy morning changed rapidly into a bright, sunny mid-afternoon which gave way to two exhilarating races. The mandatory riders meeting was held at 10:00 am and the first race was held 10:30 am as scheduled and approximately 12 ? 16 knots of onshore wind, lighter than the previous two days.
Olaf Van Tol set up a very nice a long three-buoy race course with one buoy far upwind in the outside waves. It took the first man to cross the finish line about 20 minutes.
The first race started out quite well for the majority of the racers except for current leader Bruno Sroka whose line got tangled with one of the women racers during the beginning of the race. Pedro Montenegro seized on the opportunity and finished the race in first place, inching his way back into the overall rankings for this event. Sroka managed to swim back to the shore and attempt to try and get back into the race, however, he was only able to do one lap while everyone else was already trying to reach the second mark far upwind.
The second race was even more exciting as each racers tried to outrun each other from the start heading to the open ocean. Everyone was trying to go as fast as possible going upwind out in the open waters to the second buoy.
This time around, the new rivalry between the German Tour stop champion and the Brazilian champion made the race even more heart stopping as the two leaders tried to outrun and out manoeuvre each other. Montenegro showed his hidden skills on this race and surprised everyone, not only by managing to lead the entire race but by winning it. Bruno Sroka managed to close the gap to about 100 meters during the first lap but seemed a little concerned after the end. The French racer pulled out all the stops coming back on the downwind reaching the second to last buoy. Sroka was getting closer and closer as the crowd on the beach got more and more excited, cheering for Montenegro.
More than 200 people on the beach went crazy as Sroka and Montenegro were neck and neck with only about 1 - 2 meters between each other on the last track. It was Montenegro who found himself victorious at the end of the race, seemingly gathering strength from the crowd to push himself onwards.
After 10 races Bruno Sroka is still at the top of the scoreboard with 5.6 points and is followed by Pedro Montenegro with 12.1 points. Trailing in third place overall is Sebastien Salermo (Gin Kites, FRA) who was unable to finish the first race after hitting a rock on his way in. Victor Adamo (Naish, BRA) is in fourth place after finishing 2nd and 3rd in race one and two respectively. Nayara Licariao (Best, BRA) leads the ladies after winning the second race while team mate Carol Homsi (Best, BRA) trails in second after winning the first race with 15.7 overall points.www.prokitetour.com
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