Going this year to china i didn’t know what to expect because it’s such a big country that surprise you everyday.
The first pkra event was held in Pingtan, which is located 1:30h flight up north from hong kong and the other event was held in Haikou 1:30h flight down south from HKG. The hotel was 20m away from the beach where the competition was held. I went straight there and what I saw was just beyond my expectations. Sunny, 2-3m waves and perfect 20-25knots wind.
I took my cute 7m kite and went to check out the conditions. It was similar to riding in a Big bay in Cape town !!! Loved it. I was so happy to be there and so surprised about the good conditions. It was just amazing and everything started so quickly that I did’t realize when the competition had started.
<<piiiiiiiiiiiipppppp!!!>> I heard the horn announcing the beginning of the first heat of the day. My preparation routine has started with pumping 3 different kite sizes, then waiting for my heat, warming up, checking out the conditions, watching guys heats, putting a competition t-shirt on… And boom! I was going to the water to have my first heat after 3 months break. I love that feeling, when you get out there, wait 3min during the transition time and think ‘it is starting, you can’t go back! 3min 2min 1min and Go!!!
The heat starts and ends up so quickly, that the next thing you know is that the time is over, the single elimination is over, the double and the whole competition is done. 7min heat is definitely not enough when the conditions are tough. We have only 12 tries so is around 30 seconds to do a trick, if the conditions are perfect of course. Pingtan had pretty strong current and big waves so it took much more time to do a trick, go up wind and do another one.
My heats were pretty good, I won the single elimination, but I lost in the doubles so I got second place. I think that I lost concentration during on the last day of the event because I wanted to win so badly that I forgot about doing tricks properly.
I had a pretty long break before coming to China because of MCL injury. It took me two months of crazy rehab to get back to water. Everyday I did an Ironman like training. In the morning I had a cryochamber, then a gym sesh, and at the end of the day physiotherapy. I went to China to win, to prove that I can the world champion again. But it didn’t happen.
This year booooom!!! The wind came from typhoon and it was strong.
During the single elimination I had pretty easy road to the final where I met Gisela once again. My heat with her was pretty relaxed and I did’t show my real powerful style. I was doing tricks one after the other but nothing with a bang! On the other side Gisela was attacking and had landed a pretty nice front to blind which gave her highest score in the single elimination. I had the second chance in the double elimination.
Next day the wind was stronger and I was coming to the beach with a hope. My strategy was to do everything better than the day before, with grabs and with better style. When I went to warm up, I wasn’t sure about which kite should I take 7m or 9m. The wind was changing, rain was coming and going it was ugly and miserable. I decided to take the 9m. First I had a heat with Annabel to defend my 2 place, I won it, and got to the final again. Gisela took a 7m kite, me 9m kite. It was pretty windy but there the wind was dropping all the time., I decide to take bigger kite to have more power and get better scores. Once we had started, the wind just died to zero.
They cancelled the heat and we began again after 20min. I did few tricks but nothing special again, I was straggling with windy gusts and choppy waves. When the heat was over I knew I lost. I didn’t have to go and ask about that, my adrenaline was moving slowly from the top into my stomach and stopped there making me feel like someone had stabbed me. That’s the feeling of losing the world title …
This is the end of the season, now is time for HOLIDAYS !!!
Thanks to my dad who was helping during these two events ! I love you !
Photos: Toby Bromwich/PKRA