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PKRA France Day 1

We arrived in Leucate, south of France, with 50knots mistral wind blowing, rain and not the most pleasant weather to get out and get some practice inn. Wishing I had packed the 5mm wetsuit, it was decided that we needed to slowly put the boards together with Dirk Handle (North International production manager) who had just flown from Australia with 4 new Race boards and some proto fins which were just perfect. The wind had dropped by the afternoon to nothing so we kept the suits dry for the 1st event day tomorrow DAY1 It was an early start with 8am briefing on the beach ready to go. The wind was getting up and the freestyle event kicked off at 09.30am with the trials. Keeping warm in between heats and getting the right size kite for a gusty offshore wind was pretty crucial. The freestyle completed all of the single elimination in an increasing north wind and plenty of sunshine to enjoy. The crowds were out and the beach scene was buzzing with a the sky full of kites and the most amazing backdrop with the snow covered Pyrenese. We were definitely in the south of france now.In the mens the singles was won by Kevin Langeree (naish) with Aaron Hadlow in second. This was a clear win for Kevin who consistently landed all his tricks cleanly in super challenging conditions.For the brits, Lewis Crantham(slingshot) got through 3 rounds of singles, and Tom Court got to the quarter finals before getting knocked out. Sam light (naish)and Ali Barratt (slingshot) also sailed well in a couple of rounds before getting knocked out.The girls singles was won by Bruna with Gisela in second. Jo Wilson had bad luck with a lack of communication as she did her heat which should have been the heat after. By the time she had realised she went back on the water to miss 3minutes of her heat. Gutting. Since there was a chance to compete in one of most famous French watersports events, ‘The Mondial DuVent’ I had decided to give this a go. Fresh with a long distance rashie, a flare and a quick call to Chairman, Rich Gowers to confirm that I had BKSA insurance, I arrive at the startline with over 70 kitesurfers. I made a good clean start 1st off the line then soon realised that My course race board which I had been working soo hard to sail closer upwind was now needing to take me across the wind (fetching or reaching) super fast. Rafael Saells and the F1 team clearly had the edge in what was clearly a slalom race with each leg being approx 2miles long and a leg burner from hell. After the first long distance race I swore I would never do it again but after I came in finishing in the top 10 ( I think 8th) I decided to have a go again. The whole thing became more challenging with course set even more downwind. It was a good experience and it gave me some big start practice and it was great to be part of such a big race. By 5pm the first Course race began. This was downwind of the long distance and took place in front of the event site using a triangle course. We had 2 races which I got a 1st and a 2nd result. I was happy, although had been leading the second race and got caught out on a windshift on the last 3rd of the upwind leg. I was lit on the 9mtr rhino 08 with the prisoner board and felt very quick upwind. It is a constant process of development, I am still not going as well as Sean farley who was clearly had an edge over all the mens fleet. He secured a 1st and 6th with Charles Delaue scoring 1st & 2nd. Denzil Williams was going well in his second year of course racing and secured a couple of top 10 results. After a long day in a wetsuit it was time for the opening ceremony back at the tent with fresh Oysters and a free bar, what a great way to finish the day! huge air aaron 1