It was a little while ago now, but news has only just been leaked about the Red Bull Windows of Wind event that took place in September in Camburé, Maranh?o, Brazil.
19-year-old Ruben was the fastest to complete the challenging circuit which saw riders navigate 15 kilometres of ocean, dunes and a river in the unique and beautiful landscape of Maranh?o. With a completion time of 35 minutes Ruben was followed by world champion Aaron Hadlow from the UK ten seconds later. Brazilian Miller Moraes was two minutes and 15 seconds behind the champion.
'This competition was different from any other I've taken part in. Seeing the other athletes getting so close encouraged me to try to go faster and faster. It was really good fun.' said Ruben who had scored the best time in the preliminaries earlier in the week to score 'pole position'. Based on that qualifying round each competitor started ten seconds apart.
The kitesurfers had to go past three check points before crossing the finish line. The sea atage covered five kilometres taking them to the first check point of the circuit in the stretch of sand that separates fresh water from the sea in Camburé.
With kites in the air, athletes then faced the toughest part of the competition: three kilometres of strenuous trekking over the dunes to the Preguiça River. Using of a GPS to follow the river circuit and lead them to each check point, the finish line waited seven kilometers down the river for them on the sand.
'The toughest part was crossing the sand and the muddy stretch of the beach. Our feet were sinking in the mud.' explained Miller, the best-ranked Brazilian competitor.
The most exciting spectactle of the Red Bull Windows of Wind was provided by the women: 13-year-old four-time world champion, Gisela Pulido from Spain, and Susi Mai from the Dominican Republic finished only two seconds apart.
'Men are much stronger, so I had no chance of beating them, but, fun is what matters to me!' exclaimed Gisela.
The competition had been originally planned to take place in the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, but due to the low level of water in the ponds, the event was transferred to Camburé, near Barreirinhas. Apart from the typical physical demands of an endurance competition, the new circuit also required speed sailing skills.
'Each athlete here has a different experience with kitesurfing. Some specialise in manoeuvres, others, like me, prefer to sail on the waves', said Brazilian Marc Conrad. 'That's why it was a challenge to all of us.'
1. Ruben Lenten (NED): Total Time: 35:00
2. Aaron Hadlow (GBR): + 00:10
3. Miler Morais (BRA): + 02:15
4. Marc Conrad (BRA): + 03:27
5. Gisela Pulido (SPA): + 06:15
6. Susi Mai (Dominican Rep.): + 06:17
7. Ademir Calunga (BRA): + 11:38
Watch a video of the action from the event at www.kiteworld.tv by clicking here
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