Thank you for all your input on this and other situations pmaggie over the years, it is much appreciated. You make a number of good points. I think it is important for the kiting community to take a hard look at dangerous weather for what it is. The fact that there was an absurd quantity of kiters on the water in the video shows there is a significant problem with perception. People may not understand the hazards these storms pose or simply may not appreciate the risk or they may think they can "handle" what comes. Newer tech does allow for a better response but that assumes you act properly in time, many fail to do this, that the device works, isn't disabled by a tangle on the kiter, another kiter, etc. etc.. In our minds we may think, I will be ok, the other guy always gets hurt after all. The gust can come at such high speed, IF you ignore all the prior signs, that it may defy your ability to react in time. This has happened so many times before.
None of this is new nor is the case of experienced kiters INTENTIONALLY launching into an obviously dangerous storm. The victim was an experienced snow kiter perhaps on the water as well? As squalls go, this one wasn't that strong by the only wind record I have been able to find so far, spiking a gust to 40 mph, not knots as reported. This was from WindAlert, is there another better wind record for the area? That cloud might have pushed out gusts to 60, 80 even over 100 mph+. There have been microburst like that in Europe this year alone. What would have happened to all the other kiters if something like that had blown through? You can't tell in advance from the water how bad it will be. Some storms will leave the wind unchanged, some will kill it entirely or send it into high gusts and violent direction changes. Many storms may be manageable by some while others may not be. Dangerous weather in Europe "seems" be entering a new day with powerful storms becoming more common. There have been other kiters lost over the years from making a fatal choice for the very reasons you give, drove a long way, last day of vacation, other people are out, "don't give me advice about the weather ... "
You have seen so many storms in your time on the water as have many of us. You can easily survive something on a windsurfer which would just as easily kill you or leave you broken and paralyzed with a kite. Kiters of all skill levels have faced this question. I will never forget seeing a black funnel cloud in the video from Cerveteri, Italy in 2009 with a couple of dozen riders kiting around it. It picked three of them up, killing a kiting instructor against a building well inland, smashing another into the hood of a car and one rider was able to emergency depower his kite. The riders didn't read or perhaps care abuot the danger in what was approaching. This is wrong, kiters shouldn't be clueless about such things, the kiting community/media/instructors need to work to improve things. An experienced kiter was recently lofted to 100 ft. high by a waterspout in Brazil and then slammed to his death on the surface. We need to help build sufficient respect for hazardous weather among our fellow kiters, as in the past.
As watermen, there is so much we need to judge with each session both before as well as throughout. It is what we do, judge what sized kite, how to launch, ride, avoid other vessels, rocks, wind changes, how to land, etc.. It is what we do. How can we help others to make better judgements if we don't help judge ourselves? I think it is wrong to not call this storm for what it is and the risk it poses and to make people aware of it in no uncertain terms. There might have been a few kiters out there, well experienced perhaps some clueless ones but no where near as many as were out there on the 19th. If people know and appreciate the risks and go out anyway, so be it. That is assuming they don't put rescuers at risk, harm others by being lofted or dragged into them or kill your kiting access with their actions.
Dangerous weather is just that and as The Russian put it, something coined on here in 2002 or so, "live to kite another day," or said another way "no one session is worth the rest of your life."