After two rounds of racing on the opening day, French kiteboarder Alex CAIZERGUES and the USA's Melissa GIL have taken the lead in this year's Speed World Championship, held in Port St. Louis, France.
In total, 35 competitors registered for the first event of the season, and although the weather forecast is not brilliant for the upcoming days, there is hope for the weekend to bring more wind to allow for more racing.
The first heat of the competition was won by Rob DOUGLAS (USA), the first kiter that broke the speedsailing dominance of the windsurfers last year in Luderitz, and one of the three kiteboarders that made it over 50 knots. Heat two was then won by World Record Holder Alex CAIZERGUES (FRA). Second in both legs was Sylvain HOCEINI (FRA), ensuring him a second place in the overall ranking as well. Rob DOUGLAS (USA) is in third overall, and US course racing star Damien LEROY on an excellent fourth place in his first speed competition. In fifth, local hero Sylvain MAURIN (FRA).
In the women's fleet, newcomer Melissa GIL (USA) was able to defeat reigning champion Charlotte CONSORTI (FRA), they are both tied in points but GIL with a slightly better top speed. In third is reigning world record holder Sjoukje BREDENKAMP (RSA).
Racing continues until Sunday 5 April, with daily racing from 10:00 hours.
Get all the latest results and updates from www.internationalkiteboarding.org