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Drama at Opening of TT:R Youth Worlds throws up surprises in perfect racing conditions

Costly mistakes by many of the favourites to take the titles at the 2018 TwinTip:Racing (TT:R) Slalom Youth World Championships in Hainan, China, threw up a few surprises at the top of standings after the first day of racing. After two frustrating, windless opening days, many of the young athletes seemed over-anxious and committed the cardinal error of crossing the start-lines early and were eliminated from heats or the all-important elimination round decider. As a result some, like reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R Youth World Champion Sofia Tomasoni (ITA) and boys’ title holder Cameron Maramenides (USA), found themselves down the leaderboard. The pressure was magnified by a field stacked with the strongest TT:R talent as athletes from around the globe have gathered to fight for the eight remaining places for kiteboarding’s first medals at the Youth Olympics Games (YOG) in Argentina in October. Day three of the competition being contested on the warm waters of Bo’ao’s Asia Bay finally served up the conditions the 38 boys and 24 girls from 26 countries need for the high-octane downwind slalom discipline. The breeze quickly built from 12kts eventually hitting more than 20kts by mid-afternoon, seeing most of the competitors switch from …

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