Marvin Baumiester wins the Lighthouse to Leighton

Marvin Baumeister wins the L2L in record time
Looks like long distance racing and doing laps around a course are very different things if Marvin Baumeister’s performance is anything to go by at this weeks Lighthouse to Leighton event in WA.

Winning in record time, Marvin crossed the stretch of open ocean between Rottnest Island and Leighton Beach in a time of only 23minutes (That’s an average speed of almost 50km/h!) to beat fellow German, Florian Gruber over the line.

Florian, who won the Kite Racing Oceanic Championships overall was hot on Marvin’s heels throughout the race, dodging patches of weed trying to catch the honorary local, but Marvin held out the lead on a custom TemaVento slalom board to take the win. Patches of weed seemed to be the biggest problem for the entire fleet of 88 racers, the large patches sticking to board fins and slowing them down immensely.

It was thought that the front runners would all be racing on hydrofoils this year, but it seems as though that was a false prophecy! Pre-race conversation was a fierce debate on whether the foils would perform better in the seaweed, due to them only having a single fin (mast) for weed to stick to, the theory being that the foil would sit under water and remain free of weed. Some gave it a try, but the results speak for themselves, the top three were all on conventional slalom boards. These boards are slightly narrower than normal race board, using smaller fins which are less prone to tail-walking at high speeds. Last year’s winner Jonno Keys was using a very similar board from the same manufacturer – TemaVento from Italy. These hand shaped race machines are all the rage in the race scene right now, and with this latest string of wins in the long distance racing, they’ll be in business for a while yet!

In other news from WA – the Kite Racing Oceanics finished up after the Lighthouse to Leighton on Sunday. After his second place in the endurance race on Saturday, Florain Gruber took the overall win over the UK’s Olly Bridge (who’s very young!). In Third place for the mens was Riccaro Leccese from Italy, who it currently leading the world rankings for racing.

"It was good to win the last race, and now I'll party. I do enjoy the light wind a bit more, but I trained more in strong winds and now have the perfect package", "This event is so nice, so well organised, everything about it is great - the location, the conditions. I've a few days now before I fly home, so I'm super relaxed". said Florian Gruber after the presentation.

In the womens fleet it was Aga Grzymska from Poland in first place. She held a commanding lead through the series, often finding herself way out in front of the rest of the pack, only rivaled by Ariane Imbert from France. Almost double Arianes score was Nuria Goma from Spain who finished in second.

As for the event as a whole, again the Lighthouse to Leighton was voted the best event in Australia by competitors. The pure logistics of such an event is mind-blowing, yet somehow the organizers manage to get it all sorted every year. If only Marvin would remember his harness next time, that would help immensely! The Kite Racing Oceanics were held in the same high regard too, with so many overseas entrants, WA really had a chance to show off the world class conditions and of course it well and truly delivered in the wind department. You can be sure the competitors will be back for 2014!

Kite Racing Oceanic Results
1. Florian Gruber (Germany) 16 pts
2. Olly Bridge (Great Britain) 33 pts
3. Riccardo Leccese (Italy) 54 pts

1. Aga Grzymska (Poland) 24 pts
2. Ariane Imbert (France) 36 pts
3. Nuria Goma (Spain) 70 pts
Under 21: ?1. Florian Gruber (Germany)
2. Olly Bridge (UK)
3. Maks Zakowski (Poland)

Masters (35 and over):
1. Ric Black (Australia)
2. Ejder Ginyol (Turkey)
3. Alty Frisby (Australia)

Lighthouse to Leighton Race Results
1. Marvin Baumeister (GER) Record time: 23.50
2. Florian Gruber (GER)
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
1. Marie Desandre Navarre (FRA)
2. Ariane Imbert (FRA)
3. Lisa Hickman (AUS)

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