HOME - Stefan Spiessberger
Mario Rodwald takes his third European Championship title!
I had been dreaming about the title long before I competed at my first European Championships five years ago. The first two years I was close to 1st place, but not close enough. Once in Lamezia where this years competition took place, a famous sportsmen said,“second is the first loser.” I'd never really shared this point of view, although there were certainly times I felt like it and so, coming second in the Singles in Italy was not the best start mentally.
The event was held on the infamous Hang Loose beach in Gizzeria, where Italian local and Northkiteboarding team rider Gianmaria Coccoluto really surprised me landing a variety of doubles and moves I rarely see. I had a good Semi Final landing a KGB5 and Frontmobe5 but I wasn't able to repeat my performance for the Finals in the Single eliminations. According to spectators, the wind was good for my heats and over the next few days the Shirokko wind kicked in despite a bleak forecast. With lots of power in my 9m Vegas I set my focuses on having fun and taking pressure off myself. Every heat I improved my riding landing Double Hinterberger 3, Double S Bend passes, Frontmobe 5s and my first Tootsie Roll. I am very stoked to get a third European Title and would like to thank my family, friends and sponsors.
Paula Novotna showed an incredible performance coming back from injury, landing Mobes and S-Mobes and taking the European Title. My team mates Gianmaria Coccoluto and Sander Bos complete the triple podium for North Kiteboarding!!!
In the coming days, I will enjoy this feeling and express it in my heats during the PKRA in Germany!
Outstanding results in Spain for the PKRA Freestyle Junior World Championships
Sant Pere Pescado, Bay of Roses, Spain played host for the second year running to the PKRA Freestyle Junior World Championships, which ran from the 30th June - 4th July. The idyllic venue of Camping Ballena Alegre, saw 46 riders representing 18 nationalities including exotic locations such as Hawaii, Japan, Philippines and Mauritius. The boys were split into three age categories and the girls into two, giving each rider a fighting chance for a place on the podium.
The first day saw strong and gusty winds from the south and riders using a broad range of kite sizes (5m – 12m). Although the conditions were tricky, NKB rider Karim Mahmoud from Egypt set the tone for the rest of the week, showcasing some powerful riding and winning the youngest age group.
Swiftly the 12yrs-14yrs category got underway and NKB's Tom Bridge demonstrated why he was the favourite for the title with some impressive tricks. Progressing into the Semi Final with Tom was another NKB rider, Christian Tio from Boracay, also showing why he is one to watch out for in the future with some stylish and powerful riding. Over the course of the competition, the Single Eliminations were completed with Tom beating Christian in the Semi's, before going on to dominate in the Finals taking 1st place and Christian taking 3rd.
In the eldest of the boys category, NKB rider Guy Bridge made his way through the heats against some solid competition reaching the Semi's and securing a 4th place. Also riding well in his category was Yaya Ochiai from Japan.
As the Double Eliminations got underway they were dogged but marginal, light and gusty winds taking time to reach the Final heats on the last day. Guy Bridge managed to maintain his position finishing 4th in the 14yrs-16yrs age category. Christian Tio improved his position by one place securing a 2nd behind the winner, Tom Bridge.
Mario and Stefan in Cape Town - AS ALWAYS
North dominates the first KTE Stop in Almanarre France
Almanarre, the neighborhood of St. Tropez was the perfect start into an exciting season for the NKB team! Let´s get it on! With the two first days of wind, sun, 95 riders from over 14 countries coming to the South of France – Almanarre Kitemasters finished with a full freestyle event and 8 counted course races. The tour started with 46 racers - 39 men and 7 women – as well as 49 freestylers - 37 men and 12 women. The first edition of the European tour stop on the Côte d’Azur was a great event with a parallel execution of the two disciplines. The first day brought strong 30-35 knots. The action was intense right from the beginning and it started early in the morning with both competitions. Freestylers were riding with 7 meters kites and after, to get used to the conditions, the spectators could seen some awesome tricks. North Kiteboarding rider Stefan Spiessberger (Austria), who was unfortunately kicked-off in round 4 in the single elimination, fought his way back straight through the doubles and won unstoppable six heats, until the quarter final, when he was beaten by Liam Whaley (Spain).
The final in the doubles featured Mario Rodwald, NKB (Germany) against Whaley. Both of these riders have had an amazing start and demonstrated great progression over the wintertime. That heat was full of power, variety and action for the beach crowd. With a great powerful double S-Bend Pass and a Low Mobe 5, Mario got it and won the first European tour stop. Congratulations!
The final women’s heat took place between Sabrina Lutz, NKB (Germany) and title-holder 2012 Annelous Lammerts (Netherlands), when Sabrina crashed her kite and Annelous advanced. A super women final was announced and finally the first women tour stop title goes to Germany and North Kiteboarding as well - Sabrina Lutz (NKB).
Focusing on course racing, the first two competition days were quite eventful. Racers entered the water early, hungry for days full of racing action. With regard to the rough sea, the course provided tactical challenges that made not only spectacular for racing, but excellent spectating as well.
On day one, French rider Maxime Nocher (NKB) won three of four races followed by Julien Kerneur, also from France. British race legend Steph Bridge, also NKB from UK, holds first place positioning, while Dutch rider Katja Roose followed her on second place. The riders were always quite close and handled out arresting battles. The second day was a smoother running. Some kites moved in perfect synchronization alongside one another. With the fleet on bigger kites, Maxime Nocher, Julien Kerneur, Blazej Ozog and Florian Gruber were riding close to each other in rotational positioning. Day three and four, brought a bout of very light, or better, no wind.
The course director adapted due to these light conditions. But unfortunately they realized their wishful thinking did not materialize. The wind didn’t pick up the last two last days. In a nutshell, ten races were sailed, with two discards in total. French rider Maxime Nocher (NKB) at first and Blazej Ozog, also NKB on third position. Congratulations!
The women´s fleet, was lead by Steph Bridge (UK). Steph crossed five times the finish line first and dominated the event. Like so many times before.
The end of the first MINI KTE event was marked with the closing ceremony and the distribution of the trophies and prize money. It could not have been a better way to start the season with a grateful event and tough conditions in the beginning.
The next stop of the season is on the German island Sylt. The rough Northern Sea and strong winds will be a perfect spot for the 2nd stop of the year, from 2nd July to 7th July.
Congratulations to all the participating North Kiteboarding riders!!
North Race Results are: North Freestyle Results are:
1st Steph Bridge 1st Sabrina Lutz
4th Arianne Imbert 3rd Nanette van der Snoek
1st Maxime Nocher 1st Mario Rodwald
3rd Blajez Ozog 3rd Stefan Spiessberger
4th Florian Gruber
5th Olly Bridge