2010 IKA Caribbean Kite Racing Championship, July 09-11, Puerto Rico
With two events in one, Puerto Rico celebrated its first international multidiscipline windsurfing/kitesurfing event, last weekend. Both events attracted sailors from around the globe, including Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, France, and United States. The kitesurfing portion, the first kite racing event of its class in the island of Puerto Rico, was an IKA sanctioned event, titled the Caribbean Kite Racing Championship, which awarded $10,000 USD in prize money and 410 IKA ranking points.
Familiar faces taking part included Damien Leroy (2nd place in the 2010 World Championships) and girlfriend Melissa Gil (ranked 1st in Offshore speed), current racing champ Adam Koch along with his brother Andrew Koch, top French rider Julien Kerneur and two time Olympic medalist Michael Gebhardt.
Warm flat water and daily winds constantly blowing above 20mph (sometimes gusting up to 29mph) provided outstanding riding conditions on a course that was close to the shore to provide an exciting spectacle for the spectators lining the sea wall. Day one and six three-lap races later, Damien Leroy and Adam Koch proved that they would be the ones to beat and at the end of the day Damien Leroy from Cabrinha had just edged it, followed by Adam Koch. The surprise of the day came from local Phil Morstad from KitesurfPR, which even though this was his first kite racing event, proved to be a strong competitor by placing fourth place after Julien Kerneur.
On Day two of the event, a new fun category composed of 26 local kiters called Weekend Warriors took place for racing. For many of the competitors it was their first time racing, and after the skippers meeting, they all gathered to learn some of the basics of kite racing from Puerto Rican Olympic Windsurfer, KitesurfPR owner and co-organizer of the event, Karla Barrera.
Day three's conditions proved much trickier after a few dramatic changes in wind strength. Still things went on and after 13 races Damien Leroy had a strong point advantage over the other competitors securing his lead and giving him the title of new Caribbean Kite Racing Champion. Adam Koch followed in second, and Julien Kerneur in third.
In the Weekend Warrior class Xavier Lay took first, Bruno Giuntoli second and Orlando de Jesus third.
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