KTA Media visit S.Korea for the Gold Cup Event
The Kitefoil Gold Cup in South Korea has come to a close. A week of firsts for us all, and it certainly was not an event without its challenges. The first day on the beach brought enough wind to just about pull off two races. However due to the super light conditions, the funny wind direction and wind shadows, the course was full of holes which meant a fair few kites going for a swim. It wasn’t long before the conditions were deemed too unstable, and racing was called off for the rest of the day.
We got in a few pretty cool activities despite the absence of racing. Daecheon has quite a lot to offer for such a small town- think ziplining, paragliding, trail hiking, and wakeboarding to name a few. South Korea is a fairly pricey place to spend your time, so no cheapo beer spots. A can of the cheapest stuff is going to cost $2.50 minimum around here. Oh, but did I mention soju? It’s a rice wine, and by far and above the most popular alcoholic drink in South Korea. One bottle of 13-21% stuff costs about $1.50, and has a rocket fuel effect. We were fans, naturally.
ne night we ventured into the town with a bunch of riders to check out a local seafood BBQ spots (not so many other food choices in this town). Along with some sashimi, clams, scallops, the usual…we were also dished up a plate of roasted mystery bugs, and dismembered octopus legs that were still wriggling. Well, when in Rome and all that!
Finally our wind frustrations were relieved on the very last day, when the wind reader showed 8 stable knots across the entire course. 4 races brought a clear result in the men’s division, with defending World Champion Maxime Nocher holding his prime position in every race. Riccardo Leccese of Italy kept the pressure on Nocher all the way, ending up in second place overall. “It really comes down to equipment in such light conditions” said Leccese.
The women’s fleet was 4 strong this time, with Kirstyn O’Brien (USA), Bitna Kim (S. Korea), Alexia Fancelli (Fr) and Anais Mai Desjardins (Fr). Alexia put on a stunning performance on both racing days, holding her position in first place right until the end, until the challenging conditions got the better of her and she found herself in a tangle. 16 year old Desjardins, having been hot on her trail throughout the competition shot ahead giving her sufficient lead to bag herself the number one podium position.