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Hainan International Kitesurf Festival Day 3: Women's Title Race Still Waiting

The Hainan International Kitesurf Festival carried on today with no contestable wind and a heightened sense of anticipation. The riders were eager to get the competition underway as the second day of wind-hold slowly became a reality. The conditions looked promising - luring riders out for freeride sessions at times - but the wind never increased to sufficient levels and the event was called for the day.

Getting off to an early start, the first order of events was the re-run of the super-final from the last event in Pingtan between Gisela Pulido and Karolina Winkowska. At the first possible start time of 8:30 am, both girls were out on the water as the wind was on the edge of being contestable. With a few forced tricks being landed from both riders on their 13m kites, the conditions were clearly difficult - light, onshore, breaking waves, and current.

“We were expecting to run the pending final from Pingtan early this morning, but conditions were not suitable for a freestyle event” stated head judge Sami Gali.  “Unfortunately, the conditions did not substantially improve so we are postponing for tomorrow as we want to make sure that we have suitable conditions before we go with the red flag for this final” he added.

This singular heat will decide whether or not Pulido’s campaign for the title will continue. If she wins, she will still be a contender for the world title, but would need to win the event here in Hainan to become world champion. If Winkowska wins the heat, she will be the world champion regardless of her finish here in Hainan.

“It was an extremely frustrating day for management as well as for the riders” said Race director Erik Troostheide. The conditions were just under borderline all day long. It started to improve a little bit when the winds switched slightly in the afternoon, but unfortunately for all of us the wind never improved.”

After another day on standby, the pressure and excitement builds as the women's world title hangs in the balance. With a slightly better forecast for tomorrow, hopes are high for improving conditions to allow the competition to run.