The last week the 4th PKRA event was held in Nouméa, New Caledonia, on the « Meridien » spot.
It's for sure the best competition spot we had on the tour this year, with perfectly flat water, and constant wind between 15 to 25 knots depending on the days.
The first day of competition, we run the whole single élimination.
In my first heat, I met Alberto Rondina, an Italien rider. I beat him few month ago in a local competition in Garda Lake (Italy), and I was pretty confident that I could win this heat again. I went in this heat too « relax », and I didn't pushed enough myself to win. He had a really good ride, with lots of tricks, and he took the advantage on this heat.
Then I had to wait for the double elimination to win some places.
The morning after (26th), we had the amazing Speed Crossing between the « phare amédée » island to the « Meridien » spot. It's about 20 kilomètres of distance, and the record for this crossing is set around 24 minuts I think.
I pumped my 10.5 Obsession for this crossing, and I had my Poison LTD 133-41. Freestyle settings for the speed crossing. One Gear fits all !!!
I think I should have go on 12, since the wind didn't picked up like it should, but the 10.5 have a really good power and low wind ability. We only had between 15 to 18 knots.
I was inside the favorites riders for this discipline. But in the starting line, I tangled my line with an other kitesurfer. I lost several minutes to cross his lines, and be able to start again. When I was ready to go, I saw all the riders already pretty far…
I was really disapointed and angry about that, but now it was like a challenge to try to catch them up.
I went full speed on all the way, and finally passed a lot of rider to finish in 4th position !
Pretty good for this bad start, but really disapointing to lost the podium for a stupid thing !
Well, now, I had to forget this story, and go full power in the double elimination who started right in the afternoon.
I had my first heat against a Japanese guy. That was pretty easy for me, and I had this heat more like a warm-up than a real competition.
Then I had to battle against the New Zealand Killer, Marc Jacobs. I went on the water on my 9m Obsession and my favorite Poison board 133-41!
I had a very good heat, (like I should have almost everytime ! ) and win this heat and confirmed my 9th place. Then, in the next round, I met Andy Yates from Australia to battle for the 7th place.
I went on the water on 10.5 this time, the wind dropped a bit, and that was a good choice.
Unfortunately, I missed the bar in my first tricks. I could restart really fast, didn't lost much time, but just lost a trick. I had a good heat after that, but Andy had a really good heat, and he passed this heat.
So, the final results for me are : 9th in Freestyle, and 4th to the speed crossing.
I think I have been a little bit unlucky on this event (and even on the whole year), but life is always a question of choice and of compromise.
Maybe I didn't made the rights ones, we never know…
At least I'm not injured, and I can kite and improve everyday ! This is the most important in our sport.
Anyway, the best part of it is that I had fun, and this is what give you the experience…
I finally end up at the 9th place Overall PKRA Freestyle.
Pretty far from my goal. But this year was a year of transition for PKRA, and kiteboarding in general I think, with all the stories about ISAF and IKA and official World Championships and the economical crisis.
We had only 4 event, against 10 the year before.
The next 2010 season looks promising for the PKRA, with around 10 destinations, and now that the PKRA in the only official World Championship Tour, this will give credibility and, maturity to our sport.
About the general level on the tour, I can say that it's really high. I feel a little bit behind from the top 5, but really not far behind. And I just want to train myself harder and harder, and seriously, to come back really full power on the 2010 freestyle season to be able to battle
for the world title.
I just turned 26 yesterday, and motivation and power is still here !!!
Just stay connected this winter, I will try to post some news regularly. I will post soon a movie from Brasil, and in January will be out the official 2010 PKRA Schedule. (www.prokitetour.com)
Next competition : 1st 2010 PKRA event, in France, for the Mondial du Vent… in april.
I will be there.
The last think I want to say, is a big big thanks, to all my family, friends and sponsors for what they provide me and the support I get.
Thanks to RRD, Fiat Freestyle Team, Cool Shoe, Waxx Underwear and Prolimit.