World record! The Think Blue. Kitesurf World Cup ended on Sunday the 10th of August 2014 and overall 215.000 visitors came to the North Sea to see the best kitesurfers fight for prize money and important world ranking points. Rider, visitors and officials could enjoy 10 great days which ended with a high-class final.
Back to the beginning: On Friday (01.08.) a total of 122 riders from 26 different nations came to the coast of St. Peter-Ording to transform the place into a field of high-class sport action. The athletes competed in the categories freestyle and slalom and of course world stars like Christophe Tack, Marc Jacobs, Gisela Pulido, Katerina Winkowska and Aaron Hadlow joined the tournament. The riders were welcomed with a great party and the band Le Fly – St. Pauli Tanzmusik, supplied the appropriate entertainment. The gig of BEGINNER SOUNDSYSTEM on Saturday also filled the dance floor.
The world cup, with some windless days, which meant that there were no competitions in the first days. However the weather god arranged great sunshine and high temperatures, so riders and visitors had time to discover the huge event area, chill in the sun or test the countless side-events. Slackline, beach volleyball and soccer, pump track or stand up paddling. It was nearly impossible to get bored. The big testival, were people could try out the latest equipment was the perfect add on. The slalom riders were the first to compete in this year´s world cup and had a hard fight in close races. The US-American Bryan Lake could show why he became world champion in the last two years. After the first race, in which he crossed the finish line as second, he could complete three of the last four races as first. Julien Kerneur became second, ahead of Florien Gruber from Germany. The 17-years old Jannis Maus could surprise everybody, as he finished as fourth. In the ladies´ division, Katja Roose and Annelous Lammerts, both from the Netherlands, shared first and second place. After a crash in the first race, reigning world champion Christine Bönniger could kickback and after a great comeback she became third.
As the slalom riders could run riot on the North Sea, the freestylers had to wait for their chance. On Saturday, the time had come and the wind went wild. Altogether the kings of the air dueled for nine hours. After exiting heats against Christophe Tack and Marc Jacobs, record world champion Aaron Hadlow could win the single elimination, which was his first victory in 5 years. The women completed the competition in the same order as their placements in the overall rankings. Karolina Winkowska became first, ahead of Gisela Pulido and Bruna Kajiya. After the presentation ceremony of the single elimination, the night started with N-Joy the Party, with DJ Elvin Addo took over the control of the dance floor.
The thrilling final of the Think Blue. Kitesurf World Cup freestyle competition happened on the last day of the event with a big surprise. After he finished 9th in the single elimination, the 17-years old Liam Whaley could win 7 heats in a row. On his way to the top, he kicked out some world stars like Reno Romeu, Christopher Tack and Marc Jacobs.in the final he finally lost against Aaron Hadlow after a hard fight. Nevertheless an impressive accomplishment, baring in mind that Whaley injured himself in his first heat of the day. At the end, Aaron Hadlow could defend his first place and could celebrate his first overall victory since 2009. Karolina Winkowska could defend her first place, too. Second became Gisela Pulido, Bruna Kajiya ended up third.
After the slalom riders completed their last heat four days before the end of the world cup. Bryan Lake became first, followed by Julien Kerneur and Florian Gruber. Katja Roose won the women’s competition. Annelous Lammerts became second, ahead of Christine Bönniger who finished third.
Form a German perspective the last day of the world cup started with some real bad news. Mario Rodwald got injured and was taken to hospital. In contrast Sabrina Lutz did a great job and became 6th.
After an emotional award ceremony, the 9th kitesurf world cup in St. Peter-Ording ended in the afternoon. Most of the world’s best riders promised to come back next year, and we obviously started our preparations already. See you next year!