The 2012 Kiteboarding Slalom World Championships on Sylt Island in Germany came to an exciting end on Sunday, with Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD) and Katja Roose (NED, Airush) being crowned Slalom World Champions for 2012 in the men’s and woman’s categories respectively. Both took their slalom world titles with perfect scores.
The 2012 Slalom World Championships took place on Sylt Island from 26 June to 1 July 2012, with excellent wind conditions allowing for five elimination rounds to be run over two days.
Race Day 1 (29 June)
Friday marked the first race day of the competition, and two complete eliminations for both men and women were completed before the wind dropped below standards. Florian Gruber (GER, North) came out on top ahead of Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD) and Dirk Hanel (GER, North). Both German kiteboarders took advantage of the rest of the fleet crossing the start line early in the final of elimination round one.
In the womens fleet, Katja Roose (NED, Airush) took two bullets and is in the lead ahead of Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha/Aguera) and Christine Boenniger (GER, Flysurfer/Royal).
The competition kicked off in the early morning with 12-15 knots sideshore winds, and a 5 mark downwind slalom course. The first heats went off smoothly with almost all favourites advancing, however in the men’s final, a whole group of riders went over the line too early causing a general recall, leaving only the two Germans in the final to take glory in the re-run of the heat.
Florian Gruber won this two-man final with a margin over NKB teammate Dirk Hanel. The unlucky finalists who were all black flag disqualified were Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD), Maxime Nocher (FRA, North),Rolf van der Vlugt (NED, Airush), Gunnar Biniasch (GER, Flysurfer/Royal), Tomek Janiak (POL, RRD) and Blazej Ozog (POL, North).
The women’s final was dominated by Katja Roose who beat Caroline Adrien in second and Kristin Boese (GER, Best) in third. Sabrina Lutz (GER, North) came in fourth, Michalina Laskowska (POL) in fifth and Kathrin Borgward (GER, Cabrinha) in six.
Elimination two was quickly re-seeded and got underway shortly after noon, with Kerneur taking victory this time over Nocher in second, and van der Vlugt in third. Last year’s worlds third ranked Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabinha/Aguera) took fourth, with Gruber, Biniasch, Maus (GER, North) and Hanel completing the men’s final.
Katja Roose again dominated the woman’s final, ahead of Caroline Adrien and Christine Boenniger.
Race Day 2 (30 June)
Elimination three kicked off on Saturday with the re-seeded fleets and four quarterfinals of the men, and half fleet races for the women. Kerneur had a black flag start again in his semi final and was only able to win the losers final, giving Maxime Nocher (FRA, North) the chance to take victory ahead of Rolf van der Vlugt (NED, Airush). The women’s final was won by Katja Roose again, ahead of Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha) and Kristin Boese (GER, Best) this time.
The race committee pushed for further results and immediately went into sequence for a half fleet race for the men and a full fleet race for the women. 15 kiteboarders on the line in each of the semi finals proved to be a spectacular show. The men’s final went off with the usual suspects; Kerneur taking first place, van der Vlugt in second, Nocher in third and Solbach (USA, North) in fourth.
In the women’s fleet, Kristin Boese managed to win this elimination in front of her home crowd, with Katja Roose coming in second and Boenniger (GER, Flysurfer) third.
Finally, the last kiteboarding slalom race of the event, a full fleet race for both men and women. The race committee re-set the course to include a one kilometre reaching start and longer slalom legs, and the fleet took off with 30 men on the line after the woman’s full fleet race, which was again won by Katja Roose ahead of Caroline Adrien and Michalina Laskowska (POL).
In the men’s race, Kerneur dominated again and won this final heat with quite a margin. Nocher came in second, with Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha/Aguera) taking third. The new free-race boards proved to work perfectly in the conditions ranging from 8 to 14 knots on this final day of slalom racing, allowing for high speeds on the reaches and fast turns at the marks.
Final Results after 5 Eliminations
Men’s Slalom World Championship 2012 Results
- Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD) – 2.1 points
- Maxime Nocher (FRA, North) – 4.7 points
- Rolf van der Vlugt (NED, Airush) – 8.0 points
- Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabinha/Aguera) – 9.0 points
- Florian Gruber (GER, North) – 11.7 points
Women’s Slalom World Championship 2012 Results
- Katja Roose (NED, Airush) – 2.1 points
- Caroline Adrien (FRA, Cabrinha/Aguera) – 6.0 points
- Kristin Boese (GER, Best) – 6.7 points
- Michalina Laskowska (POL) – 11.0 points
- Christine Boenniger (GER, Flysurfer) – 11.0 points
The next major slalom event will be the European Slalom Championship in Gizzeria, Italy, from 25 – 29 July, with another 10 000 Euro in cash prize money up for grabs.
If you were lucky enough to be in Sylt for the Slalom World Championships, or you followed the action, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the event in the comments below.
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