Thierry Guibal – 1st place 100km of Leucate

Posted on June 10th, 2013 by Ozone Landkites

Like every year the “100 km of Leucate” was on once again, where as usual, the wind blew like crazy (gusting at 40 knots). The sun shines and the ground is dry except in certain parts of the course.

While the race directors are tracing the course, I’m testing the wing that would be perfect for the race among my set of Yakuza GT. Due to that crazy wind, the choice is pretty hard. My buddy Thomas Bouzerand lends me his Method 3.0 as he’ll take the Method 2.3. We think they would be perfect in these conditions compared to the Yakuza GT, especially as we are going to ride 100km long!

During the warm-up lap, we notice that the other riders with performance kites have an advantage in upwind legs. So we both decide to over size our wings: Method 4.0 for me and Method 3.0 for Thomas.

Then comes the startup. On the start line, I’m feeling over sized and I’m worried about the gusts… Even if at the start signal the wind calms down, I quickly take the lead of the race far enough from the second pilot. The first leg is upwind and curiously I keep the distance with the second rider. The next leg is a reaching leg with very tight crossings, we ride at about 80kph to arrive on a chicane upwind/downwind. A lap is about 4km so many laps remaining!

The Method is awesome as it rides upwind quite easily, reaches nice speeds on reaching legs and is very stable in this gusty wind. After a few laps, I do a bullsh**t which allowed the second rider to get back close to me. During about 10 laps we keep passing in front of each other depending on the manoeuvres. I feel the fatigue coming but suddenly the second pilot gets a wind hole which makes his wing twist. He will give up. So I end up the race without any stress as the next rider is a lap and a half late.

The rank showed that the choice was good concerning the Method in this gusty wind. In the top 4, 3 pilots rode with the Ozone Method: I’m 1st, Damien 3rd and Thomas 4th.

Thanks to Thomas to have lent me the Method 4.0, to the staff who organized such a nice race and to Christophe Cattelain for his nice pictures.

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