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17 March 2014

Tomek Janiak: Cape Town report

This year I have been in Cape Town for more than two weeks, we managed to test Addiction in all conditions, with winds range from 6 to 35 knts, thanks to this we checked all sizes. This season Addiction will be available in: 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9 and 7 m, color version until the official release remains a secret, I can only tell that it fits in with the new collection of wetsuits and harnesses RRD. ;-)
Of course color is not in this case, the most important and priority properties are volatile, speed, etc.

This time we focused on setting the bridle. The kite is very light at the bar, most of the power is transferred to the front lines, but without loosing maneuverability and speed maneuvers, which allows for very efficient and comfortable sailing.
New Addiction will have the possibility of adjusting the angle of attack to the wind (closer or further to the edge of the wind window), relative to the stability of the kite and the pressure on the bar.
In the case of race or regatta, you can set in the “wind angle” position, while for freeride and big air would be better to use the “stability”option. This adjustment will be trivially simple and will involve changing the setting only 2 knots.

It should be noted that the design and shape of the new race kite is perfect for the big air style in sizes from 7 to 15m, while for freeride Addiction 17m and 19m for super light wind conditions (from 8knts). Another structural improvement in the new Addiction is no “one pump” system . As a result , kites are lighter and, above of all, struts are able to be pumped higher pressure , allowing more stable profile ( particularly during gusts ).

Race Tests were held mostly in the Langeban and Shark Bay spots, approximately 1.5 hour drive north of Bloubergstrand (Cape Town district) where we used to live. Unlike in Cape Town, here it was easier to find flat water spots, depending on the wind force and currents – larger or smaller choppy, rather gusty wind. The water was warmer than in Big Bay, while it was necessary to be careful not to hit at high speed the floating seals!

As well in Langeban we had some photo/video sessions with 2015 equipment (race, freeride and freestyle). Action pictures and videos are coming soon on the official RRD website www.robertoriccidesigns.com and brochures. We had also some cool sunset and night photosession taken by our big Dave White.

To come in Cape Town was a great opportunity for me not only to test race equipment, but also to kite with my team mate and masters of waveriding, such as Luke McGillewie, Local hero Oswald Smith or my test mate Abel Lago, and improve my kitewave skills.

It was also a great opportunity to test wave equipment. In the Big Bay and Hakat where we were used to have our test sessions, blew usually 20 to 38 knts of wind, and between waves often formed an unpleasant choppy, impeding smooth ride. Under these conditions, the best choice was Maquina 5’9” and 5’11”, which definitely made my day. Also Huevo 5’5” on the smaller waves and strapless freestyle is an excellent choice. While the Barracuda is designed for those who prefer a more windsurfing “aggressive” riding style in straps.
The only quad in the collection, Salerosa better “works” under the feet in the straps and is intended for more on shore conditions.

New models of kites wave (Religion) proven to satisfy in local conditions side shore and onshore. We have improved significantly speed maneuvers the kite and depower system, which allowed to forget about the kite and allowed to concentrate on riding.

We stayed in the Roberto Ricci house (Bloomberg district), situated on the sea, with a breathtaking view of Table Mountain and evening sunsets. Because of its location, house was an excellent base for both the nearby spots and the city center. The most popular spot here Big Bay can be reached on foot in 5 minutes.
We lived here also with RRD windsurfing team, which, as it is not difficult to guess generate evening “eternal” discussions on WS superiority over KS and vice versa, all of course with the emotional backing, but a large dose of humor, fortunately we had equipment in separate garages ;-) . In fact, most of the windsurfers on the team, doing already KS and all kitesurfers have windsurfing roots, so… there is full symbiosis.

A few words about Cape Town – due to its position, the configuration of the coastline offers plenty of surf / wind / kite spots with hot or cold water, with sharks or less “likely” sharks (no I have not met but that they are aware of the causes that maneuvers done something faster).
You can find here a goofy wave spots (mostly) but also regular, spots such as Langeban and Shark Bay with flat water and shallow lagoons. In the absence of wind – excellent alternative, complementary to the opportunity to surf or SUP. This is where You can do cycling or skating, not to mention running or trekking to the nearby Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.
Such a variety of conditions means that everyone will find something for yourself. You can feel here more like in Europe than like in Africa. It is therefore an excellent alternative for us to spend the winter here, the climate is pleasant. To cool and basically cold water can also be used to.
In conclusion, the time and the results of the competition will verify whether we made good job …

Tomek Janiak
foto credit: Dave White

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