I'm at a PKRA World Cup event (again) this time in Kumkov Burc Beach. It is on the European side of Turkey on the edge of the Black Sea, very near the entrance of the Bosporus. Today was the first day and we had fantastic wind to do the kite boarding. Three upwind downwind races in quick succession and now the freestyle riders are doing their jumps and loops. I’m here as an IJ to chair the Protest committee. So far no work today – no protests.
I talked to the riders and others about the sport and about the rules. And helped with the finish. The biggest problem at the finish in these circumstances is to recognize the number on the riders. They are issued with a pullover with a big black number, but the finish is outside the surf and about a 100 meters from the beach. Even with binoculars it is sometimes impossible to see. The number is on their backs and if the wind angle is towards shore, like here, they face the beach with their back away from you.
I racked my brain how to improve this, but have not found he answer. Everything I suggested was shot down as to disturbing to the kite performance – like putting a sail number on the kite. The material is similar to spinnaker cloth and any stickers would drastically impact the bending. Streamers between the lines just would interfere with looping and might vibrate the lines, as do any other flags or stuff on the lines.
For now we just look at the kite – colour and make – and write those down. When the riders return to the beach we run around sorting out numbers and pray and hope we get it right. Preliminary results have been published and no requests for redress as of yet. There are several similar kites in make and colour, so that is a relief for the finish committee….
If any of you have suggestions how to improve the identification, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.