The End of Double Elimination Dakhla
After cutting the afternoon short on day four as a result of light winds, day five began with the expectation of a similar wind forecast – steady wind in the early afternoon and possibly decreasing throughout the day. The wait for wind began at 10, with the first possible start at 10:30; however, competition did not commence until 12:45. At that point, Eudazio Da Silva and Ariel Corniel started straight away, fighting for the advancing position in the next round. Da Silva eventually won this close heat, with an overall score of 43.1 in his first competition outside of Brazil.
What followed was a remarkable performance by Da Silva, who climbed all the way from heat 40 through to heat 46 – which he lost to Youri Zoon. This loss did not come without a fight. During the duration of his ascent in the single elimination ladder, Da Silva stayed with the quick pace of the heats, earning 40.2 points on his last go. This spectacle brought many onlookers front and center, cheering loudly and chanting Da Silva’s name. Later, Da Silva commented that he very much looks forward to competing against the best riders in the world and that he found Morocco to be a very beautiful place.
The women brought their toughest game yet on day five, as Clementine Bonzom and Gisela Pulido entered onto the water. This heat was followed by match-ups between Manuela Jungo and Pulido as well as Pulido and Karolina Winkowska, until the World Champion (Pulido) ultimately lost to Winkowska. Bruna Kajiya and Winkowska stood out as the final women competitors, working with the lighter winds of the day. In fact, one of the final heats was put on hold at one point, due to light winds, which jeopardized the entire last day of the singles. Luckily, however, the wind picked up again, and allowed the final heats of the day to play out.
Anticipation in this final day reached a crescendo with the men’s final heat . Alex Pastor and World Champion Youri Zoon engaged in a battle to the end, displaying their most spectacular of moves, competing against each other in two last heats. Youri Zoon came out victorious with a score of over 50.7 in the super final. His biggest trick, a Blind Judge 5, earned an impressive 8.2. Alex Pastor, not far behind, executed a Front Blind Mobe at 7.9 and a 315 at 7.9, grossing 50.4 points. This was by far the highest ranking and tightest heat of the day.
At the end of the final eliminations of the 2012 PKRA Dakhla tour stop, Youri Zoon and Bruna Kajiya earned first place, with Alex Pastor and Karolina Winkowska achieving second, Eudazio Da Silva and Asia Litwin coming in third. $37,000 in prize money was divided between the riders, along with a host of local gifts and presents. The event in Dakhla, Morocco was incredibly well received, and plans for next year’s freestyle event is already in the works.
1. Youri Zoon
2. Alex Pastor
3. Eudazio Da Silva
4. Marc Jacobs
1. Bruna Kajiya
2. Karolina Winkowska
3. Asia Litwin
4. Gisela Pulido