Documentary: 2018 IKA TT:R World Championships & Pump Kite Trophy
The TwinTip:Racing (TT:R) World Championships went down to the wire with local girl Italy’s Sofia Tomasoni seizing the title in a nerve-jangling final race at the end of five days of thrilling kiteboard slalom-boardercross action.
Tomasoni had been playing catch-up after a faltering start, only managing to capture and hold the leaderboard’s top spot at Gizzeria’s Hang Loose Beach track, picking up her first senior championship crown to add to her previous TT:R Youth Worlds title. Germany’s Florian Gruber was similarly thrilled to claim the crown in the men’s TT:R Worlds division, his third successive title.
One of kiteboarding’s most exciting prospects, who Gruber did not have to face, is the Dominican Republic’s Adeury Corniel. He chose to compete in the TT:R Pump Kite Trophy, being run in tandem on the equipment that will be used at October’s YOG in Argentina, where kiteboarding makes its Olympic debut. Corniel, the reigning TT:R Youth Worlds title holder, led the men’s Pump Kite division from start to finish and rarely put a foot wrong, winning almost every one of his races and all the vital elimination round deciders.
The women’s Pump Kite Trophy was won by Poland’s Oliwia Hlobuczek, who got the better of Russia’s Anna Fedorova and Brazil’s Maria Beatriz Dos Santos Silva in hard-fought racing in moderate breezes that ranged from 10kts to 16kts, occasionally hampered by unseasonal thundershowers.
But the spectacularly-quick TT:R downwind slalom format, specially-developed for the YOG in Buenos Aires, has proved particularly popular. 58 young athletes from 19 countries - women making up 40 percent of the field - made the trip to Gizzeria to fight for glory.
It was in the women’s “open” TT:R Worlds - contested on any kite and any twin-tip board - that the competition was fiercest, with any of the top 10 competitors capable of lifting the crown and a share of the €10,000 prize money.