The winter season arrived late this year! I currently live in Bodø in Norway; North of the Polar Circle, and outside my window it's still +5 degrees and raining. Needless to say there hasn't been much snowkiting going on this year. On top of that, I managed to sprain my ankle just a few weeks before Christmas so things weren't looking too bright for the competition.
Regardless, my brother Sigurd, my girlfriend Marte and I jumped on a plane to France to compete. When we got there on the Saturday night, the stars were shining from a clear sky and everything was looking perfect for the day ahead. The competition didn't start until Monday, so we used the Sunday to get some much needed practice to get the tricks from last year to stick. My brother and I also took turns taking pictures and kiting, and we got some pretty cool shots!
The next day started with single elimination and I managed to get to the quarter finals. Even though the wind was a bit low it was possible to do some cool tricks from the kicker building up speed down the hill. My brother Sigurd did an awesome first heat but got unlucky on a huge s-bend from the kicker with the kite glued to the ground and broke his ankle. Even so, he finished his heat and won but wasn't able to do his next heat.
My quarter finals was against Marek Zack; the guy who beat me last year. I was on my new Hadlow ID 12m and Marek was on his 15m Ozone, and that gave me a disadvantage as the wind was very low. Just after the heat started Marek got unlucky and lost his kite on a flat 3 on the kicker. Immediately I was sure I had won since this was reason for disqualification. But the race master chose to restart since the heat had just started, and this time I weren't so lucky. After seven minutes of struggling for power to do tricks, Marek drew the longest straw and advanced to the next round. I was very disappointed but luckily there was the double elimination the day after which gave me a fighting chance even though I could end up ninth if I lost my first heat. After the single elimination Remi was first, Chasta was second and Marek was third.
But the day after things didn't go as planned. Already in the second heat I lost my kite, but due to the incident with Marek the day before the guy I was riding against, Guyot, agreed to rerun the heat. This time I won and we continued the doubles the day after. Now things were finally starting to go my way! I managed to ride my way all the way to the top winning seven heats in a row and beating both Marek and Chasta.
In the finals I had to win two heats against Remi Meum to take the first position, but now I was starting to get tired from all the heats. The wind picked up and things were looking perfect for the heat! We both managed to land a lot of cool tricks (backmobes, frontmobes, KGBs, flat 3s, 5s++) and were neck and neck in the first heat. But just as the heat was about to end I went for a huge kiteloop s-mobe and landed way to hard.
Once away I felt something break and couldn't put any weight on my left foot, which meant it was over for this year. Regardless, I was super happy how things went considering how it started out and it felt great to finally be on the podium.
Maybe next year ;)