The start of the single eliminations was expected to be a good day of action as there was a Brazilian rider in almost every single heat for the PKRA tour stop in Barra Do Cunhau, Brazil. Most of the Brazilian riders are unknown and it was a surprise to see their level of riding going down today.
The first round is always an interesting show as the top 18 to 12 overall riders of the tour have to meet the best riders of the trials, who this week are mostly Brazilians. Mario Rodwald (GER, North) noted that there is a pack of unreachable riders leading the tour at the moment; Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot), Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush), Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) and Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch). But the rest of the riders from the 5th place to the 12th are all fighting hard to get up the rankings and are all pretty much at the same level. The arrival of a new fleet of challengers in this event makes the competition even more interesting because they can come out of nowhere to take on some of the big names.
Evandro Da Silva (BRA, RRD) who had his moment of fame three years ago in Piaui, Brazil when he came all the way back up from the last place to the finals of the double eliminations against Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish). He had a chance today to get his revenge in his first heat of the day. Both riders did a lot of tricks but Kevin’s experience in competition finally gave him the advantage as he secured the end of the heat by landing a one handed back kite loop 3. He performed most of his tricks with more height and speed than Evandro and took the win.
Christopher Tack (BEL, Liquid Force) who has been training in Brazil these past few weeks knew what the deal was going to be for this event and tried to pull his tricks with a lot more speed than Romario de Souza (BRA) however this resulted in bad landings. Romario landed a wider variety of tricks and advanced into the next round against Mario Rodwald (GER, North).
A full on Brazilian heat was next pitching good friends Tomas Gomez Texeira (BRA, RRD) and Rafael Da Costa Souza (BRA) against one another. Both riders come from the “Lagune of Cauipe” in Cumbuco and train together every day.
Today they had five international judging them and seven minutes to give their best. It ended in a very close 3-2 decision as both riders did the same amount of tricks but Rafael made the difference with a nice front blind mobe and a better overall execution of his tricks.
The Austrian riders Stefan Spiesseberger (AUT, North) and Michael Schitzhofer (AUT, Best) made a very good impression, especially Stefan who landed a perfect front blind mobe with a clean landing. On his side Michael had to verse one of the most technical riders of the competition, Brazilian Carlos Madson (BRA, RRD) who landed everything regular and switch giving him the win at 5-0.
The top 8 of the PKRA were automatically qualified into the second round of competition and had to verse the best riders who made it from the first.
Two Brazilian riders shone in these heats, firstly Romario de Souza (BRA) who beat Mario Rodwald (GER, North) currently ranked 7th on the tour and secondly Carlos Madson (BRA) beating Dominican Ariel Corniel (DOM, Ozone). Madson promises to be a serious contender, landing a kite loop 7 and twice as many tricks as Ariel in this heat!
Reno Romeu (BRA, North) who has been riding on the tour for years now had a bad stroke of luck and broke his leash during a trick which made him loose his kite on the landing. Unfortunately Reno couldn’t swim back to the shore as the current was so strong in the bay and left Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD) to advance into the third round.
We met with Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) after his heat against Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish) and he was happy to take the win as he got used to the spot and the chop resulting from the current going through the bay. Kevin wasn’t too happy about this choppy water as it reminded him of the conditions in which he landed on the back of a wave and tore his ACL last year.
Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch), Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) and Tom Hebert (FRA, North) made their way into the next round with a better kite position than their competitors and understood that the power of their tricks will make the difference in the river mouth of Barra do Cunhau.
The last heat of the day for the men was expected to be a good one since world champion Youri Zoon (NED, Slinshot) had to verse the best Brazilian rider and winner of the nationals this week, Eudazio Da Silva (BRA). But Eudazio commented that he didn’t have his best heat while Youri recognized that he tried to keep his kite as low as possible to keep the power that made his reputation.
Tomorrow he will meet another strong rider and definitely the revelation of the day, Carlos Madson (BRA).
We finished with three heats of women; Asia Litwin (POL, Nobile) was on form and landed her usual tricks to secure her heat landing a Blind Judge, 313 and a slim chance.
As for Lennartsson (SWE) and Bonzom (FRA) they made the difference with a railey to blind and advanced into the next round.
Tomorrow will see the end of the single elimination in the beautiful river mouth of Barra do Cunhau, Brazil.
This event is organized by Dream Factory with the PKRA. The Kitesurf Wind Riders is sponsored by Volkswagen, co sponsored by the Kitesurf and Surf Association of Rio Grande de Norte (AKSRN), Viva Barra Association, the Ministry of Tourism, the State of Rio Grande do Norte, the secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte and Emprotur.