Discover Fanø - be free!
We have received a great trip report from Carsten from ewigkite.de. He joined kite- and landboard riders Emmanuel Norman and Pascal Lohmann on a trip to the danish island Fanø and finds a paradise for all kite-related sports. Here is their trip report - thanks Carsten, Emmanuel and Pascal for sharing this!
It is just before midnight. The ferry casts off for the last time today. We have left our workaday life behind us at the German-Danish border at least 150 km ago. After a 15 minutes ferry-trip and a short search in the dark we find our holiday home. A few other kitesurfers are already there. The BBQ is started once again. A good start! Altogether eight kite-enthusiasts share the summer cottage in the midst of the dunes at the south part of the island. During the normal course of life, every now and then, we all dream about distant kite destinations that promise the paradise on earth. This time though we are searching our luck right on the doorstep at our Danish neighbors. And we are going to find it!
Two kitesurfers with championship titles are on the way with us: Pascal Lohmann and Emmanuel Norman. The two of them want to practice. We others mostly want to spend some kite holidays together. The reason for our holiday at this time and place is the 28. International kite Fliers Meeting Fanø 2012. The biggest European single line kite festival takes place on the apparently endless beach of the North Sea Island once a year. Our thing is clearly powerkiting. Although it is impressive to watch thousands of delicate mostly handmade single line kites in the sky during the day.
For one week in the middle of June, the International kite-scene represents itself with a colorful hustle and bustle once again. It is quite amazing how many different figures the kite fans design and sew in their homes and cellars during the winter season to present them at Fanø: giant fish and octopuses, flying beer bottles and mega bowls and several other fantasy figures. Quite often kites with the size of 50 square meters hover through the sky.
We unpack our much smaller kites at the buggy-beach a few km further to the south. From 6 to 21 m² we have everything with us that can delight a kiters hearth. Every day we drive with our kite-mobiles and caravans to the round about one kilometer of beach where the powerkiters and sand yachts cavort. The firm beach of the west coast can be driven on by car from the north to the south. Along the dunes the cars mostly move at the required 30 km/h speed limit. Sometimes one can watch vehicles that are doing almost 80 km/h. The drivers obviously can’t bear to be overtaken by people like Pascal and Norman. When there is an onshore wind blowing the buggy drivers can go for about 5 km in one direction. Pascal screws together his buggy and unpacks his 19er speed de Luxe. Slowly he warms up to suddenly show how far his speed meter goes up. Speeding it up on best underground for kilometers is making Pascal apparently very happy. Seldom one sees him taking a break. He uses the days on Fanø for his personnel championship training. The broad and solid beach which is only sometimes interrupted by uneven sand drifts, guarantees him and us hobby buggy drivers ideal conditions for drifting and all sorts of turning maneuvers. We let our four buggies roll strongly and go to the limits of ours and the materials capacity. There are dozens of buggies on their way but it’s never cramped.
After a coffee at the beach some of us get ready for the water. Thankfully we have a tough fully-automatic-bean-to-cup-Coffey-maker that can abide the fluctuations of our generator. Usually the wind blows onshore, sometimes sideshore. During the week the wind gauge shows varying values. From 10 to 21 knots - it’s all there. Only on one day it is noticeable rough. Four of us are enthusiastic Kite surfers but Emanuel beats us all: before we have even rolled out our kites he is already working on his speed. He operates with passion in a distance of about 100 meters to the beach. The waves are more drawn-out further out than closer to the beach. Emanuel does well with that and pushes his kite hardly. Every now and then he interrupts his speed sessions for a skillful jump unit. By the standing out middle-finn one can see that Emanuel uses his “Flyrace”, even from the distance. Emanuel obviously doesn’t need any audience, today. He is just concentrated.
Kitesurfers that don’t do competitions and consider themselves as amateurs or advanced learners also get their money’s worth on Fanø. With incoming or outgoing tide, stretched patches of shallow waters develop off the coast for two to three hours. Beginners and flat-water-freaks find an ideal place: The water is knee-deep and very calm in spite of the wind. It wouldn’t take much for calling it as smooth as glass. One of us leaves for Fanø Bath in the North of the island. He does 15 knots and only needs to tack twice. Wind and tide mean particular well on that day: six kilometers of flat piste. Hundreds of single line kites turn the clear blue skies over Fanø into a fanciful tableau. The way back is even more relaxed - Just gliding-back. A kite surfer beaming with happiness arrives at the buggy beach after some time. And, since it was so nice and the water is still calm and smooth, he practices a few more tricks. Moves, tried in choppy water in vain are much easier in Fanø’s flat waters. If Emanuel, who watched a few jumps and tricks from the beach gives helpful advice it is even easier.
From 20 meters behind the shoreline there are stretched out, slowly building up waves, or – when the win rises, sometimes stronger waves that demand more skills. The kitesurf-area that extends for kilometers offers never-ending space and invites to a solid “downwinder” now and then. Fanø, there’s plenty of space on the water and plenty of freedom for kitesurfers!
Sometimes Pascal and Emanuel begin land sessions with parallel landboarding or buggying. Apparently they have lots of fun coming this close to another that at least their hands touch while they are driving and doing their moves and tricks. Fortunately there are no accidents. These two are just great! Afterwards one can see the two of them on their landboards for hours. They do tempo and slides or acrobatic moves and handlepasses and all the tricks which names the normal audience doesn’t know. Fanø means also freedom for landboarders!
Most nights our group is the last on the beach. After a last jaunt to the water, a last buggy drive, a last landboard session, we leave the beach at 10.30 pm at sunset. At the latest now the feeling of absolute freedom is so fulfilling that one wants to kite through the whole night. But tomorrow is another day. The next day Emanuel wants to “rock” the bunker. The concrete block is a reminder of the war. We found it the day before at the edge of the dunes. Before our expedition we have to find out if the bunker is in the fenced off sanctuary for breeding birds. The integrity of creation is a major issue on Fanø, which is good. The bunker is freely accessed. Emmanuel is very excited, unpacks his kite, puts the board under his feet and speeds it up for an hour: Up the bunker, down the bunker, upright and sidewise along the bunker, jumps between bunker and adjoining ramp. Quite impressive what one can do with a kite and a landboard on a bunker.
For one week Fanø represented itself as an island of unlimited opportunities for kiters. Furthermore, none of us forgot the message on the bunker, not even when we had already passed the Danish-German border and were heading back towards our everyday life:
Kitesurf Tour Europe heading to Netherlands / Brouwersdam!
The MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe prepares for its halftime in Netherlands/ Brouwersdam. The third tour location, which is becoming one of the most anticipated kitesurfing spots, will take competitors to the North Sea at Beware Beach/ Brouwersdam, Netherlands. Featuring a Freestyle and Course Racings exhibition with the best kitemasters, the 3rd tour stop promises to dish out the european’s best in racing and freestyle action.
The third tour stop at Brouwersdam will take place from August 16th to August 19th. Defending currently championship leader Mario Rodwald (GER) will surely stay motivated to win for the third time in a row, while local top riders Jerrie van de Kop (NED) and Johnno Schulte (NED) as well as female rider Annelouse Lammerts (NED) and Jalou Langeree (NED) look to break the leaders streaks, hopefully claiming the home title and gain dutch medals.
With regards to the Course Racing discipline, the best riders will come to showcase their skills for top placements. For the first time course racing’s acceptance as an Olympic sport, the MINI KTE competitor’s fleet will battle on the North Sea, to raise up the level of this ever-growing sport. Surely, the top-ranked, including Rolf van der Vlugt (NED), Julien Kerneur (FRA) and Bruno Sroka (FRA) as well as leading racers, Florian Gruber (GER), will offer up some of the most incredible racing action. Furthermore, female frontrunners Katja Roose (NED), Christine Bönniger (GER) and Stephanie Bridge (UK) are also in attendance, and plan to make their strongest showing yet, while others will fight to rise through the ranks and claim top titles. After the Olympic Games in London, kitesurfing will awake concentrated attention regarding to the next Olympics in 2016.
The wind forecast for Brouwersdam is looking quite light at the moment, but of course it will be enough for racing.
Spectacular KTE tour stop at Sylt
The MINI Kitesurf Worldcup Sylt event came to an official close today, as top competitors were celebrated at the awards ceremony in front of hundreds of in-person fans. Over 98.000 spectators were visiting the event during the week, while 85 riders out of 15 nations participated in three different disciplines in slalom, course racing and freestyle.
In the world champion slalom fleet, french riders are clearly lead the pack. Julien Kerneur (France, RRD), current number three of the world, battled it out and won the world champion title in slalom 2012, followed by Maxime Nocher (France, North) on second and Rolf van der Vlugt (NED, Airush), on third place. The womens final in slalom was dominated by dutch girl Katja Roose (Airush), 1st place in the IKA world ranking, who took victory in close racing over Caroline Adrien (France, Cabrinha) in second and Kristin Boese (GER, Best) in third.
With regard to the future olympic discipline Course Racings and in preparation for Rio de Janeiro 2016, the fight for the first places was incredibly close. Dutch rider Rolf van der Vlugt (Airush), and current 7th in the world ranking, won the tour stop in his neighbouring country in the challenging conditions of the Northern Sea, leaving competitor Florian Gruber (North) from Germany in 2nd place and Blazej Ozog (POL, North) on podium step three.
For french rider, Caroline Adrien, the competition in Sylt was very successful. She conquered the world vize champion title 2012 in slalom as well as the 1st overall in course racings. Here in Sylt, she left no doubt who is one of the fastest European female racer. In second place overall finished Katja Roose (NED, Airush) and Christine Bönniger (GER, Flysurfer) on third place.
With freestyle best kiteboarding talents in the world, the Brandenburger Strand in Sylt, attracted onlookers with major maneuvers and complicated tricks showcased throughout the event. Anticipation in the final day reached a spectacular highlight with the men’s super final heat. Stefan Spiessberger from Austria and German Champion Mario Rodwald engaged in a battle to the end, displaying their most spectacular of moves, competing against each other. Mario Rodwald came out victorious.
At the end of the final eliminations of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe Sylt, Mario Rodwald (GER, North) and Annelous Lammerts (NED, Slingshot) earned first place, with Stefan Spiessberger (AUT, North) and german rider Sabrina Lutz (North) achieving second, Luke Whiteside (UK, North) and Kelly Schouten (NED, Ozone) coming in third.
This was the MINI Kitesurf Worldcup Sylt 2012 with three different disciplines that asked for a great variety of riding skills from large waves to choppy water and light to strong wind conditions. The feedback of the riders has been very positive enjoying the northern atmosphere in Sylt and the high quality on the water. 20.000€ in prize money was divided between the riders. The event in Germany was incredibly well received, and plans for next year’s event is already in the works.
The third tour stop of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe 2012 will be in Netherlands/ Brouwserdam from 16th – 19th of august. This competition promises to deliver the ultimate in racing action, with a special freestyle exhibition put on by top riders. Spectators and fans can look forward to more live streaming, and, as usual, the best freestyle performances by the best riders in the world.
KSP kick-off event starts tomorrow
Professional kite surfers from 18 different nations have arrived in Cascais, Portugal and are set to battle it out in a head-to-head competition at the EDP Kite Surf Pro Cascais World Championship Tour event, which kicks off tomorrow, June 1.
The event is being held at Guincho Beach, which holds the honor of being the KSP’s first-ever European tour stop. With Guincho’s strong winds and powerful beach break as well as the large stable of exciting, high-caliber international riders, the event is sure to deliver a feast of innovative aerial tricks and fierce competition. Fans are invited to watch the action unfold as it happens on the new and improved live-stream feed at www.KSPWorldTour.com.
“Guincho’s side-on shore wind and beach break reflects the ‘real world’ conditions that many kite surfers experience at their local sites,” says Kristin Boese, KSP’s President and Tour Manager. “Watching the athletes ride here over the last few days I am sure that the fans will get to see an amazing show and may just get a few tips and tricks and motivation out of it to try some of the onshore manouvers themselves.” Organizers chose to hold the competition from June 1-10 since spring swells and early summer winds coincide in early June.
Best of all, the wind and wave forecast for Guincho is really looking good with consistent winds and good waves, so we hope to see great action on the water.
Great Kitesurf Trophy event at Holnis
Germany’s best kitesurfers visited the beach of Holnis for the second stop of the German Kitesurf Trophy 2012. With a lot of wind in all wind speed, there was a lot of kiting during the four days of the competition.
In freestyle, the men and women could run a double elimination. Last year’s champion Mario Rodwald could win both single and double elimination. In the women’s competition, Anne Valvatne won the single elimination, but was defeated by Sabrina Lutz in the doubles. Linus Erdmann was the best junior freestyler in the competition. In the course race competition, all favorites for the German Championship title won their races. Florian Gruber in the men’s fleet, Christine Bönniger in the women’s fleet and Jannis Maus in the junior’s fleet showed an impressive performance during this competition.
Thanks to all the organizers for creating a great event with a lot of action on the water, good conditions and a lot of fun!