Leucate, France report from Damien LeRoy
The American team arrived in Leucate, France 4 days day’s early to prepare for the Mondial du Vent speed event, the largest kitesurfing event in France. The team: Rob, Morgan, Jamie Douglas and myself were on a mission to see if a new course record could be set in the waters of La Franqui. The weather forecast was perfect as the Tramontonia wind was about to hit hard for 4 huge days! 30 to 40 knots with gusts of 45knots. Perfect conditions for speed sailing. Flat water…. Strong winds….Good wind angle…. and the worlds fastest speed sailors in one location.
The day before the event kicked off we had winds 30 to 40knots one the course so we got a early jump on the competitors as we got to train on the course. Tuning in our gear, checking line length, fins sizes, foot strap positions making sure our gear was ready for the up coming days. Raining and cold, the brothers were all looking very fast as they have been training in Martha’s Vineyard over the past few months with temperatures in the 40’s. They felt right at home. I started to feel comfortable maybe to comfortable, as I crashed hard at 40+ knots, cart wheeling across the water snapping my neck like never before. The worst crash I have ever had in my carrier. Reality Check! Never the less I was fine but was going to start the racing with a sever whiplash in the approximate area of C5 and C6.
Race days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
50 minutes into Heat 1 after a slight technical delay, Rob Douglas landed the first shot with a blistering 44.61 kt average and a new speed record for Leaucate. Antoine Albeau 20 time world champion windsurfer answers back in heat 2 with a bullet after Rob made a costly mistake. I had a good start sailing consistent heats with a 6th and 7th hanging on to my Cabrinha Switchblade 7m.
GPS miles sailed: 65 Nautical Miles
GPS V MAX: 50 Knots
Rougher water and 35 to 40 knots the American team started to find their groove as Morgan and Jamie made their climb up the leader board and Rob holding strong in the battle for top spot with two 2nd’s. I sailed my throw outs early, as I could not find my groove as I battled to wrap my head around 40knots.
Last day of the Tramontonia wind, Rob was .9 points out of first behind Antoine. Morgan, Jamie and myself were holding strong in the top 10. I started to get more comfortable with the windy conditions and dropped two 3rd’s in on the fleet. Beating Rob and Antoine in the 6th heat. Antoine and Rob continued to trade bullets and in the end it was Antoine 1.3 points ahead after 7 heats.
Thanks to: Cabrinha kites, Lynch Associates, The Black Dog, GoPro, Oakley, Meanline Fins, Dakine, Alex Aguera, Cornerfive, NP, Gorilla Rigging. A big Thanks to Pascal Maka for inviting team USA to the Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup”.
Sosh Cup Results:
Rob Douglas: 1st kite 2nd overall Best speed over 500m: 44.61 knots. (Course record)
Damien LeRoy 3rd kite and 5th overall
Morgan Douglas 6th kite and 11th overall
Jamie Douglas 9th kite and 15th overall