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Zhigulevskoe More Marathon and Russian Snowkite Championship 2013. Tatiana Sysoeva report

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ImageIn Russia, the main contests of the 2012/2013 winter season were held in Tolyatti from February 5th to February 10th. The official programme (course racing and freestyle) was followed by a traditional Zhigulevskoe More marathon.

February 4th. Arrival. We went by car, which was quite convenient, because Samara was the farthest you could get to by train or plane. According to Windguru, the temperature that day was above zero with a wind speed of more than 20 meters per second. We decided not to waste our energy; nobody went riding. This bad weather resulted in lots of hard-packed snow drifts on the surface of the lake.

February 5th. Snowboarders had three races this day (upwind – downwind jibe – upwind – downwind – reaching). The reaching leg was rather long and high-speed, and at the end those who outmaneuvered all the rest tactically risked finding themselves beaten by contestants with larger and more powerful kites. With my short non-race board, Edge 13 and 17 m kites and 32 m race (fine) lines, I finished in the middle of the fleet most of the time.  Between the races, there was enough time to jump and take pictures.

February 6th. Next morning the wind was stronger, but it was as sunny and warm as the day before. The referees extended the upwind leg and cut the reaching leg, which seemed logical. But after the 1st race they decided to cut the jibing leg, almost by a half, and many contestants wasted much time looking for the jibe mark. It should be noted that the course was longer than the one during the contest on Lake Plescheevo and the summer races. The wind died down by the start of the third race; and the referees announced a break. 2 more races were held after the break. In the evening, the organizers let us enjoy a large wood-heated banya with a pool!

February 7th.  The sun was shining; the people were sunbathing, chatting and having a good time. The wind did not pick up that day. The organizers announced the course racing part completed, as the minimum number of races required by the official programme of the Russian championship had taken place. I took first place among women by a large margin, secured 11th place in the overall ranking and topped the list of short boarders. Pity that, like at Lake Plescheevo, only one worst performance was ignored.

February 8th. It grew cold; the sun vanished from the sky. But it was time for the Marathon and freestyle contest to begin. Compacted by the riders, the surface turned into a concrete-like bumpy sheet of ice and show. The wind was blowing quite strongly; it was decided to start the freestyle competition in the morning. During daytime, the skiers and snowboarders were invited for a single race. I placed third. Nor was the life easy for the marathoners who had to make 35 km across the wind over extremely bumpy surface with poor visibility; but nobody dropped. In the evening, we went to banya again!

February 9th.  The wind was not that strong, but the visibility was great. I felt immediately that I could not miss the opportunity of experiencing the same emotions that the yesterday’s riders had; so, I joined the marathoners. It was another 35 km ride across the wind, with one upwind leg for the snowboarders and two upwind legs for the skiers. It was a difficult task for one on a short board, but it was so beautiful))! Right before the interim finish line, there was a small windless spot; it took much effort to pass it on a snowboard, as you had to watch other canopies and take some steps in advance to steer them around. After all this, it turned out that there was no wind at the upper mark, and the course was cut to the interim finish line.

February 10th. The wind was very strong on the final day. They decided to change the marathon course by excluding the downwind leg, leaving one long upwind loop for the snowboarders and two upwind loops for the skiers. There were spots of dead calm and spots with stronger wind. O a broad reach, the speed was pretty good so that one could hit an ice ridge and had a bad injury. The luck was with me, and I reached the finish line without any problems and I went to the shore; when I came to the car with my board in my hands the bindings detached from the board. All the four bolts loosened and fell out because of the vibration!!! We packed our things and waited for the award ceremony.

I’m satisfied with the contest, results, organization, refereeing, weather, etc. I was happy to meet my friends. Great thanks to all those who made this event possible!!! Thanks to Gyu for the photo shoots. Thanks to Ozone kites, Timeless and Slava Voroshilov for his support!\












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