Back at it? It was your first time? Yes indeed. But the skies…. I can manage for a long time . And finally found a way to have fun with skies again. Combined with a kite is guaranteed for a smile and adventure. For all who know me, I like a challenge and if there is no progression, there is no fun. So, since I do like racing , but freestyle has always been a part of me, just like competing. I always look for ways to combine everything. That’s why I ended up on the Amarok Snowkite Worldcup at the Reschensee / Lago Di Resia 2019. And that’s why we can say back at it. Frozen water instead of liquid, competing together with my skies.
We did went a few days earlier to have some fun and to discover the Snowkite spot and the slopes around! Which you can readin another blog soon. The rest of this story is about my experience in the first Snowkite Worldcup I ever did:
First day: Registration & Long Distance
This day was all about the long distance race, which I decided to do on skies. 90 minutes and one track of around 3.8 km long, downwind and upwind. Making as many KM in the 90 minutes as you can, that is the challenge. After 90 minutes the finish flag will be displayed, which means the end of your rounds. The round you started without finishing flag, you could still finish if it is within 60 minutes – a very reasonable time.
There we go:
The start was a bit busy, because we had North wind, which is coming from the top of the lake, so the course would be starting with going downwind. (Top of the lake: the first side you reach coming from the Reschenpass). But to give everyone a fair start, we started with a short tack upwind. With around 80 snowkiters…. that’s busy – at least for me. My goal wasn’t to have a fast start, but to stay out of trouble. On the way completing the rounds would be enough time to catch up, hopefully.
On the starting area there was quiet some wind, down more towards the downwind mark, some less wind, but when riding upwind it became more (offcourse because of the speed you make). Along the mountain it was more wind for some reason. I took the 11m and 17m lines. The snow was on some places ice and on some places slush. If you have a good memory you could remember this spots……. I didn’t think about it. I just had one goal, many rounds and fast.
The first round was really easy and fast downwind. The first tack upwind… I realized I couldn`t reach the bar when spinning it back after a turn ( and letting go of it).. after this I also discovered that reaching the depower was another challenge…. I need some inspector gadget arms the next time, I use a kite for the first time . With this knowledge I thought I would lose a lot of time… and even more after losing my ski on the way… (never think youre racing boots are the same size as your freeride boots after not testing it). Upwind there was enough wind and downwind for half of the track, but during the other rounds, the wind got less and less closer to the downwind mark. The last round I made, a lot of foilkites where lying around the downwind mark. I couldn’t even spot the mark. But in the past rounds I learned to go downwind a little less and keep the pressure in the kite. And even a little upwind to the downwind mark to find it and to keep the kite flying. Less fast but safe. Think I had the advantage to have a smaller kite but a real race kite, which was fast and light.
In the end I was able to make 5 rounds. Just after the finish flag went up I passed the finish line. Next year a bit faster – than I can make 6 rounds. During the race I didn`t saw the other girls and just the man. Which really motivated me to go faster and faster and pushed me to do as many as possible and not to watch the other girls.
I had clearly no idea and hoped I did enough to be on the podium, because it was the first time and I didn’t know the level at all. I really enjoyed this challenge using the 11m, unless the results. The winner of the long-distance would be European champion as well as world champion of the stop Resia 2019.
Second day: Course Race/Freestyle
The second day is reserved for course race and freestyle. We started with course racing. The wind was less than the day before, so I decided to go with the 15m. Since this kite is a little less race than the 11m I used the day before… I didn’t got that fast downwind, it didn’t downlooped that fast that I was used to and if I made a turn it took some time to get speed again. I always fly smaller kites and for that reason I am not so used to the big slow kites. During the second round I got stuck in no wind, after surviving that, someone crashed his kite in my kite from behind…Getting out of this I finally made it upwind… to the finish line. That was one race.
I didn’t really enjoyed the start, the snowboarders first and then all the skiers.. too many (big) foilkites at the same place and time. I was latterly stuck in the group going from left to right through the upwind start.
Try to get the tangles out of the kite, which didn’t worked and with launching it again … someone crashed his kite in my kite – again. Since they said at the registration that we could do freestyle (as a girl) and race together I thought leave the last race (after already missing two) and go for freestyle. But since we (as girls) already started the race, we had to stick to racing……………well that’s it. I surprisingly found out that despite all the struggles I won the first race. And got not surprisingly 3 DNC (and 1 discard). Which put me in a third place of course racing this day.
Third day: Course Race/Freestye & Price Giving
No wind, but super nice weather , warm and sunny. The oposite of what I hoped for. No chance to get it right and to make up for the missed races yesterday.
After all: still happy with my 1st place on the world & European championships Long distance- ski. And a little bit less happy with my 3rd place on the European & world championship in course race –ski.
BUT more important I had a lot of fun at this stop of the Snowkite WorldCup Resia 2019! And gained some more trust in racing with skies again Course race and Mariska is always a little bit of a hate-love relationship. Well let’s see next year! Maybe participate some more stops…?