Individual European Championship Formula Kite (kitefoilen) – Puck, Poland, better know as seewead party.
Keep hustling & Smile! .. & The story of the last race..?
Let’s start at the beginning where I have to admit, in the first place I really didn’t want to go at all. I closed the door a bit and had some fun learning how to fly the wing and getting back some freestyle in Germany – while camping with our kites. Far away from all the material and training discussions – conclusions and also on the other hand the positive team vibes. Knowing I missed a lot of training – don’t break your arm while skating guys. But that’s me , that’s how I learn, by doing, messing- up , falling and only than you know how to get back up. Own up what you didn`t do right and if you learn from it, it is an experience – not a mistake. And that’s why I decided to go to the Europeans anyway. In Spain I had fun but I did know I had to train and adjust a bit, equipment wise and training wise. Just one and a half month back out there. Never flown new kites/ bars. But Hey! Being part of this event will be already a learning experience as always. – and you have to stay up to date is it? -See how fast everyone is nowadays! and It has been a while since an official event, that made me curious about the riding level and the new gear for the Olympics. Still not everyone could make it and is allowed to travel. According to the right regulations, the international kiteboarding organization did her best and organized an event for us in Europe, Puck – Poland. Online skippers-meeting and WhatsApp updates are the new common rules.
Day 1: So definitely I wasn`t yet the most motivated person – trying (missed the opening and the practice race already 😛 ). And yep if you see the scoring (some of you did)… I did a bit of a collecting DNC`s party. Not intentionally. Because I wasn’t motivated didn’t mean I started to fight and found the motivation to try to make to most out of the event and out of every day – after the first starting signal.
Actually the first seaweed race I did pretty well with a 15th place. There was not a moment without half of a tree behind your mast or wings. Trying to jibe like … crash or just holding on the edge. Burning legs to keep up the foil on the reach – also a strange feeling – the reach never seemed that long and slow.. usually the most fun part of the race became the most sketchy part of the race. The second race I ended up…. Wrapping a wet burrito and swimming. One point for the burrito team. Someone decided to fly up the kite without reason… and bump mine inside out in some way. The races after I did a 17th & 20th place – all day with the 18m. Sounds like a perfect foiling day 😉
Day 2: The next day was kind of the same, starting with the 18m. I had one big struggle to go out, the wind was a bit offshore, the exciting beach to launch, in between the trees with 4 people holding the kite to catch every bit of wind… and you had to be lucky in a gust to sail away. I washed my kite already before the race even started. The wind was super shifty and … I didn’t know what the kite was doing at all. Good thing the race committee had to reset the course. Thanks to the guy in the water helping the soaked kite relaunching. Well better late than never I was just on time for the start of the first race.
The second one I washed my kite once again – it`s pretty clean by now – and my burrito skills are still on point… It was a bit of an unavoidable tangle after a gybe with squeezed in peoples crashes and other gybe`s. But sometimes you meet new friends out of it – maybe we start the conversation on the beach next time.. J It`s not always going as planned, you just have to keep smiling and move on – let it be. I did know the routine now and I found the perfect field to dry the kite already yesterday. Thanks to all the camping people who left the campsite during the day…. The next two races the wind did pick up and 15m was perfect. For once I could really race and I had the feeling , just the feeling there was less weed. I just finished the races – no tangles anymore today. Just some kite bumping … seems normal in our fleet nowadays. And it really was hard to get through and avoid the crashes in between crashes or tangles. Sometimes a bit like dolphin through the seaweeds over the finish line – around the 17th / 20th place. But I definitely had a smile on my face because it was fun – not sure if I was the only person but… It was a nice day with the 15m – couldn’t get any better compared with the conditions we had. We did had some nice fights downwind and into the finish reach.
Day 3: A Windy day! The third day was a bit more windy, 11m day – for me at least. This time my kite stayed actually dry until the second race. Achievement! So…. I could enjoy the break racing for myself J Making the best out of the day. You never know what happens tomorrow. And I made the deal with myself to have fun and enjoy! After the break the wind dropped a bit, I didn’t dare to go back and kept flying with the 11m . While I saw with a question marked face some 25 meters up in the sky…. Let’s say I just finished the races today. 18th /20th places. Because I lost it a bit in the downwind where I usually win ground. Still we had some nice battles and tangle avoid moments.
Day 4: So now the wind comes from the other direction and we have to launch from another – even smaller beach. People at the dock next to it are looking ….what is happening here… ? at the beach no-wind .. out there…? You never know.
A little fight with the 18m to keep it up into the air and the foil to go out. We managed to do one race, a super strange one – with shifting winds, a loooot of wind and no wind.. missing lay lines all together in the shifts and not so much seeweads. None compared with the past days. We did almost fly away on the top mark and lost all the wind downwind … On the way aback to the beach in doubt to change for a smaller kite.. the half of the fleet was already swimming. I waited outside till the gust could give me a ride to the beach. No swimming for the 18m this time. Before we could go out again, the rain started and the water became glassy. The races where postponed. Well we tried our best to avoid it .. but the girls had to try one more time getting out there – yes, because it looks so nice out there – heard this joke before… good thing I waited to the very last moment. To not swim in front of the beach. Good choice because the rest of the day, no wind and just rain made it the end for today.
Final day: The top 14 will fight for the last two spots in the final. The final will be held between the top 4. Whoever wins three takes the title; European Champion (with taken in account the scoring of the days before). This time I could watch, because I didn’t make I through. The rest of the competitors had a last race on the end of the day. To be honest I wasn’t that keen to do the whole dress up party for one race but hey – I felt I had too anyway. So yes, scraping the last bit of motivation together,, coming on the beach and seeing: the struggles to go out, the gusts, some strange ones, kite sizes from 9m to 25m…. Help..? choosing 15m what’s just in between but after feeling that gust – I quickly chickened out and switched to 11… why not another kite on the beach just for one last race .. is what I really thought.
So finally we come to this question:
You know the story of the last race..?? keep hustling & Smile. Or ..?
Yep – I never actually made it to the last race…not further than the start. I kept hustling but:
After some struggles (kite falling out of the sky – shooting back up etc.) I got out easily if you compare it with other days. Dry kite, foil still in my hands, not flown away. But on the beach I noticed something wasn’t straight but everyone said noooooo its oke.. I couldn’t feel it good because of the gusts and the wind – looking at my kite with a face pleaseee stay in the air – pleaaase don’t do anything stupid kite. But soon I noticed… depower shooted through the safety system…or something like that. But now I was outside, one race I can handle that. (I tried to pull it trough but flew away ,… ) and it was actually already start sequence. 10 meters after the start I hit some plastic and crashed that made everything worse –I couldn’t hold on to the kite. the not straight flying kite. I did the promised 360 back to the beach. So the story of the last race..? yes – another collected DNC. At least I tried and now you all know the story 🙂
I have never been tangling that much, feeling like an attraction (the one you have to pay 0.50 eurocent for at the local supermarket) bumping every kite – while mowing the lawn. Keep hustling, keep smiling & Keep sailing that’s what we did! In between the seaweeds , the offshore winds and the bumpy rides and wrapped up kite -burritos. I did it for myself, doing what I love the most – no matter the conditions! So yes It actually couldn’t get any better- at the moment . We had a lot of wind and a lot of races. Than you Poland you made us appreciate the good days, and water without anything inside! 🙂 Nice to meet up again and being able to compete! Now it`s time to train, get faster, organise the right equipment and get ready for more action!! 😉 Congrats to all winners!! Till next time………