The opening clashes of the much-anticipated second stop of the 2017 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup are just hours away with the leading contenders for the crown assembled on the shores of the Yellow Sea, eastern China.
It is the third year in succession that the smooth waters off Joy Sea Beach at Weifang Binhai have hosted the fastest kitefoil racers from all corners of the globe, and follows the success of the IKA Formula Kite World Championships that played there out exactly 12 months ago.
But the mouth-watering prospect of the planet’s fastest kitefoilers doing battle over five days of competition in likely lighter airs that characterise Weifang Binhai is merely the opening act of the drama that will unfold in China.
Just a few days after the winners trophies are awarded in Weifang, the athletes will have taken to the road and set up camp for the KiteFoil GoldCup’s third stop in the notoriously windy spot of Pingtan, where the wildly contrasting conditions could throw up more than a few surprises.
The forthcoming contests—bolstering the 2017 KiteFoil GoldCup series’ opener in South Korea where Formula Kite World Champion Maxime Nocher (MON) and Anaïs Mai Desjardins (FRA) took top honours—will set the stage for the final thrilling showdown next month.
Leading riders from the first three events will qualify directly for the KiteFoil GoldCup finale in Italy at the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam at Poetto Beach, Cagliari. The winning man and woman will be crowned 2017 IKA KiteFoil World Champions, with the KiteFoil GoldCup trophy awarded to the best riders of the four-stop tour.
Former world champions Germany’s Florian Gruber and Russia’s Elena Kalinina have shown their determination not to miss out on the opportunity, and showed up early at Weifang Binhai to give themselves the best chance of grabbing the coveted titles and a share of the total of €125,000 prize money on offer.
With the open IKA KiteFoil GoldCup that allows competitors to use any equipment growing ever-more competitive, the closing weeks of the series’ season will inevitably be filled with high-octane action and unexpected outcomes that will keep fans gripped right to the death.
Racing commences from 09 September through to 13 September and results and race committee communication will be broadcasted LIVE at http://www.kitefoilgoldcup.com