KTA China - Report and Results
China and Xiamen has done the KTA proud, not only in the location, conditions and wind, but also in the support and effort given to the KTA by our headline local sponsor FNCN. So as well as the KTA staff team, the safety crew and judge team, there has also been amazing back up from 45 volunteer helpers from the Xiamen University doing everything from putting up tents and banners, to helping riders carry the equipment, running registrations and supporting the film crews, which has all added to the first KTA running smoothly.
We are also pleased to report that in our first even that the KTA has attracted riders from some twelve different countries, beyond even the Asian countries that we had been anticipating.
On the water where it really counts we have been able to enjoy three out of the four days with full competition, both from the local FNCN China Cup pre-qualifier events and the international as the KTA team worked the discipline around the changing wind patterns.
Day one, which was primarily the registration and warm up day saw also course racing taking place, with a closely fought race in the local China competition, that saw the lead changing dramatically off the last turning mark and local Xiamen rider Li Peng (Popeye) coming home to win in front of Zhang Huabao and Ye Hui Ling in third position, in a race with twenty six starters.
Day two, today tried to focus in the first instance on the freestyle competition as it had been forecast as one of the better wind days on the tour stop. All began well wind wise as the first heat took to the water with Ken Nacor from the Philippines and Deivis Maciulis from Estonia. Unfortunately it seemed with the raising of the green flag, that that was the signal for the wind to drop resulting in an abandoning of the h haeat. After further tries head judge Stephan Hertig elected to postpone the freestyle and run the international riders course race event. For this the wind held and a well supported beach was able to enjoy some great racing from some of the region’s top riders which resulted in a win for Yo from Thailand.
Further attempts where again made at the freestyle event before an all-riders Expression Session was called which produced some of the day’s best moves and general ‘thrills and spills’ as the wind came back up to full strength during the event. It was great to see riders from Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Turkey, Thailand and Estonia really going for it to pull out the wildest moves, certainly a crowd and media pleaser that saw Phi from Vietnam take the session in his first event outside his home country.
Finally then as the day drew to an end the freestyle was able to take to centre
stage properly, given a cracking end to the day as riders pushed out their best moves in closely fought rounds, introducing the Chinese crowds who are fairly new to kiteboarding to the likes of KGB’s, slim chances, Kite loops and Blind Judges!
After a quiet day three, which focused on fun/demo wakeboard sessions and riders clinics from Dimitri Maramenides newly of Epic kites and Maelstorm, the final day saw a complete change of wind again and this time it would be blasting!
Still the no wind day did leave everyone with plenty of surplus energy for the big beach Halloween Party courtesy of one of our local support sponsors X Beach Entertainment. Awesome party for one and all as the slightly sore heads the next day and party photo’s will show you.
So for the final day of the KTA riders and spectators alike were treated to competition riding at its best with a wind speed average of 26-28kts throughout the day once it started to blow through. With the course racing already in the bag from the earlier days, the final day was able to concentrate and complete all its freestyle competitions. So the day would see the first FNCN Greater China freestyle comp for local riders, the KTA women’s freestyle and the completion of the double eliminator for the men.
All rounds had their great moments that produced screams and shouts of support from the Chinese crowds, most of who had never seen kiteboarding before. Great performances were put in by Zhoung Bin Xin, Lin Wen Liang and Zhang Huabao as they battled their way through the local event, with Bin Xin in the end taking the top place as China’s first freestyle winner.
Great performances also from the women were to follow and although there was not a high number of entries, it was good to see the girls put up a strong performance, with Hill Siu from Hong Kong taking the honours.
By the time the international men’s freestyle event hit the water to complete the second part of the double eliminator the wind was now at times gusting towards the mid 30kt area, although it settled down once more for the majority of the heats.
All the riders pushed the limits showing some great power and height in their jumps, along with a good mixed bag of unhooked and hooked tricks. Each round was a sceptical in its own right, with riders well matched and often throwing move for move. Some great performances were returned by Karem Balik (Turkey) and Dogue Delos Santos (Philippines), with Deivis Maciulis (Estonia) catching the attention of the judges with high powered F16’s and S bends. AJ (Thailand) gave a tidy performance keeping good control in the gusts, landing a range of cool grabs in his performances. Sadanovi Tsunekawa (Japan) rode to his limits also and never lost that smile throughout any of his heats, which summed up the feeling of the KTA.
The top performances of the day though lay between Ken Nacor (Philippines) Yo (Thailand) and Sadat Celenk (Turkey) who battled hard from the first rounds to the end, great style, power and range from all of the boys and hats off to Yo who came through from the losers side of the double eliminator in a series of blinding rides to end up in the final against Ken Nacor.
The final lived up to expectations as each rider pull out all the stops. Yo with an explosive range of unhooked power moves against Ken’s wide verity, of grabs, loops and handle passes. It was to be one close call for the judges, but in the end Ken’s consistent smooth moves with every landing stuck beautifully was to put him ahead of Yo.
With the final day on the water done, the riders and KTA crew met for the closing party and prize giving ceremony at FNCN’s truly amazing and unique sportswear shop in downtown Xiamen. So a big thanks for a night to remember, with food, many a drink and some amazing break-dancing, all topped off nicely of course with the more than happy riders collecting their prizes and enjoying their moments of glory as the winners in the first round of the KTA. All covered throughout by Fat Sand Productions and China’s CCTV5 Sports channel, along with a battery of news and magazine photographers. So look out for all the online, print and TV coverage of the Xiamen event.
Top three places for each discipline.
KTA Greater China - National
1. Zhong Bin Xin
2. Nick Ningning
3. Zhang Huabao
1. Li Peng
2. Zhang Huabao
3. Ye Hui Ling
KTA Freestyle - International
1. Ken Nacor
2. Yo - Pudla Narapichit
3. Sedat Celenk
1. Hill Siu
2. Anna Tuija Sarp
3. Dianne Hanlin
KTA Course Race – International
1. Pudla Narpichit Yo
2. Lai Hong Phi
3. Sedat Celenk
2. Hill Siu (did not start)
3. Dianne Hanlin (did not start)
Mega thanks to our headline tour sponsors Evason Six Sense Spa, with tour support sponsorship from Cabrinha, Phuket Design, SueMe and Maelstorm.
Also our headline local sponsor FNCN, with support from the China Kiteboarding Centre, Ozone and X Beach Entertainment.
Not forgetting out media partners Fat Sand Productions, Action Asia, Kiteworld Magazine, Kiteforum.com and KeepClicking.
For event photo’s, TV and video coverage check out the KTA website, You Tube Channel and Face Book – www.kiteboardtour.asia