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Image: Red Bull Airlords

Image: Red Bull Airlords

Huge swell, blue skies – but lacklustre winds - failed to get kiteboarders a irborne for long enough at the Red Bull Airlords kiteboarding competition at Mangawhai Heads today (Saturday November 30).

The Freestyle Day was put on hold after competition reached the quarter finals, as the less-than-idea l light wind conditions turned to little more than a gentle breeze. However the 10 knot onshore winds of the morning were still enough to get some impre ssive action from the world’s best who have gathered for the event.

If the weather gods failed to put the wind up competitors in the morning, then reigning World Champion kiteboarder Cindy Mosey certainly did. With a repetoir e of moves that includes taking her board off while spinning in the air, Nelson-born Mosey made it through to the quarter finals before the dying winds put an early halt to the day.

Mosey is the only female competitor against a field of 32 from New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the mecca of kiteboardin g – Hawaii.

The Red Bull Airlords has been on hold since Wednesday awaiti ng the right wind conditions and will officially end tomorrow (Sunday December 1). There is NZ$25,000 in prizemoney available. A decision will be made tomorrow on whether there is enough wind to complete Freestyle Day and crown this year’s Red Bull ‘Airlord’, or whether to split prizemoney between competitors.

The event includes a Freestyle Day in which athletes showcase w hat tricks they’ve developed in the past year, and a Hang Time contest that rewards the competitor with the longest time spent in the air.

Kiteboarding combines the technicality and style of wakeboarding and snowboarding with wave riding and the potential for some massive air.

It’s the third year that the Red Bull Airlords kiteboarding competition has been held and there is no sign that the sport’s enthusiasts are slowing down. Today’s heats saw competitors landing increasingly more technical loops and spins despite light wind conditions.


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