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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Upcoming Big Air event in France: Your complete guide

by GKA Kite World Tour 11 Apr 03:35 PDT
Upcoming Big Air event in France © GKA Kite World Tour

The world's leading Big Air kiteboarding athletes are set to battle at Lords of Tram in Barcarès, France, as the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour teams up with the renowned event for the second successive year.

The lineup

The men's line-up contains six French riders, including former GKA Freestyle world champion, Arthur Guillebert, and Edgar Ulrich, the winner of the reality TV show, Love Island France.

But the roster also features a host of other big names like former Red Bull Kings of the Air Lorenzo Casati (ITA) and Marc Jacobs (NZL), Giel Vlugt (NED), Jamie Overbeek (NED), Josué San (BRA), Jeremy Burlando (ESP) and the veteran athlete, Aaron Hadlow (GBR).

Only one those riders and a clutch of others could unseat the current world champion, Andrea Principi, who enjoyed a stellar season last year with a trio of wins that included the Red Bull KOTA and Megaloop Challenge contests.

Men

  • Andrea Principi
  • Lorenzo Casati
  • Cohan van Dijk
  • Giel Vlugt
  • Jamie Overbeek
  • Josué San
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Jeremy Burlando
  • Jason van der Spuy
  • Aaron Hadlow
  • Stino Mul
  • Edgar Ulrich
  • Julian Huynh
  • Arthur Guillebert
  • Clement Huot
  • Valentin Garat
  • Nathan Texier
  • Evan Klijn
  • Leonardo Casati
  • Martin Rahnel
  • Shahar Tsabary
  • Ruben Swart
  • Josh Gillit
  • Max Tullett

Women

  • Nathalie Lambrecht
  • Angely Bouillot
  • Zara Hoogenraad
  • Justine Avril
  • Francesca Maini
  • Pippa van Iersel
  • Jasmine Cho
  • Sarah Sadek
  • Lana Herman
  • Svenja Peters
  • Alessa Mensch

Who's out?

The women's title holder, Mikaili Sol (USA), is to miss Barcarès after deciding to take some time off to recharge.

"I'm taking a break from competing," said Sol. "It's been 10 years that I've been competing. I'm 19 now and I've been competing, since I was 10. Basically, to get back motivation, to train more, and to feel ready for competition again, I need to take a little step back. But that doesn't mean that I'm not coming back. I'm just wishing everyone a great competition; lots of wind. I hope the girls smash it."

Former Freestyle world champion Liam Whaley (ESP), who won in Barcarès last year, was ranked number two in the starting line-up but has pulled out with a long-term back injury. Cohan van Dijk (NED) remains on the starting list and moves up the rankings to third, though an injury question mark still hangs over him.

The forecast

A promising outlook awaits from the 15th of April onward.

With the event spanning a month, the competition is poised to kick off at any moment. The seamless collaboration between Lords of Tram and GKA will dictate the optimal starting time, ensuring timely communication to riders, spectators, and staff once the weather forecast is confirmed.

  • Red light signifies that the contest is on standby
  • Yellow light signifies 96 hours prior
  • Green light indicates 72 hours before the start of the competition

Stay updated on the event status by following @gkakiteworldtour Instagram.

The spot

Wind: The Tramontana wind blowing northerly, or north-westerly offshore, is best. The spot is non-tidal, with flat waters and temperatures of 10-20C. The best wind for Big Air is 25-40 knots. (On Windguru the perfect forecast is 25 knots, with gusts of 30-35 knots—with the gusts as a reference point for the true wind.) The wind is usually 5-10 knots in excess of the forecast, especially if the air temperatures are cold.

Specifics of the spot: The wind funnels in the corner of the jump zone, with result that riders can often jump three metres to five metres higher than usual. The jump area has deep water, which makes it safer in the event of a crash.

Season: The best seasons for the Tramontana run from March to June, and September to December. During summer, southern France's hot weather can disrupt the pattern.

GKA x FKL

We are thrilled to announce the official partnership between Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour and Fantasy Kiteboarding as the 2024 Big Air season approaches. The GKA World Tour attracts the biggest names in the sport, who compete head-to-head in the ultimate display of Big Air kiteboarding.

Fans can join in the excitement of the competition through Fantasy Kiteboarding. Team selection is now open here, so make sure to lock in your teams before the start of the first Big Air stop of the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour.

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