Barely ten days after the Canadian stop of the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) World Tour, thirty eight professional kiteboarders from 16 different countries are once again celebrating another exciting venue of the Tour with the opening of the Kite-Extreme Brasil 2008. The event is being held at the northern coast of Piaui, Brazil in the city of Parnaiba – one of Brazil’s famous kite spots.
This Tour stop brings a total of $40,000 prize money and an important venue for two of the top PKRA riders, Netherland’s Kevin Langeree and United Kingdom’s Aaron Hadlow who are both gunning for the World Championship Title. Langeree became the first PKRA rider in the men’s division to have a repeat win in Cabarete. On the other hand, Hadlow has never won in Brazil and is looking for his first ever Brazilian title so it will be an exciting event to follow.
Day 1 Highlights
Day one started out on time under perfect weather conditions. The sky was perfectly clear with the temperature peaking at 34° Celsius during mid-afternoon. The average wind speed was recorded between 18 to 25 knots which provided the fuel to complete two rounds of the men and one round of the women’s freestyle events. The wind was lighter during the morning at around 18 knots compared to yesterday during the training but by the time the first heat started, the wind had filled in and was very consistent for the rest of the day with minor lulls from time to time. Most of the men rigged their either their 7-meter to 10-meters kites.
The mandatory riders meeting went right on schedule at 10:30 am. After an hour and a half, the men’s heats started followed by the women’s heats which lasted until 3:45 pm.
Ariel Corniel (DOM) of EH Kiteboarding is back on the Tour with an exciting comeback, defeating Tom Court (GBR) of North Kiteboarding in the first heat of the day. Court crashed early on in the heat and then again later with his kite deflating in the water. Corniel was on fire and was keen on making a good impression winning with a higher technical difficulty score plus more variation. Corniel then knocked out Tom Hebert (Airush, New Caledonia) in the 9th heat of round two with much more variation and a higher technical difficulty score including a s-bend to blind air pass, blind judge, mobe, slim, double back mobe, kgb, late pass mobe and a toeside 360 against Hebert’s regular and switch slim/mobe, kgb and front mobe.
Local rider Tomas Teixera (BRA) broke the front lines of his RRD kite early on in heat #2b but thanks to a great team on the beach, he was able to grab another kite and stomped several moves to run away with a tight win over Florian Daubos (FRA). Teixera won with a 3-2 decision for cleaner execution and bigger moves. He then continued his charged up the ladder by defeating Tour regular Alvaro Onieva (Best, ESP) in heat #9b of the second round with more variety, landing a regular and switch mobe/blind judge, shifty 360, slim, kiteloop slim, mobe to wrapped, front side 360 and back to blind air pass. Onieva landed a mobe 5, slim, back side 360 and front side 5.
In the third heat, Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) won against Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) with a decisive win. In a re-run of the closely contested heat in Canada, Garat had a point to prove and went about business, landing a regular and switch slim, regular and switch back to blind air pass, mobe to wrapped, front mobe, blind judge with aerial handle pass and shifty 360.
After the match between Garat and Yates, North Kiteboarding’s Reno Romeu (BRA) took the home ground advantage to win against Eli Zarka (F-One, ISR), landing a nice indy glide to front side 360 amongst several other great moves. However, his win was short-lived as he was stopped in the 10th heat by Garat who rode with more technical difficulty and cleaner executions including a regular and switch back to blind air pass, regular and switch slim, front mobe 5, s-bend to blind, mobe 5, blind judge and front mobe. Romeu landed a regular and switch slim, 313, blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe, late pass mobe and kgb.
The 10th heat also proved to be a ‘warm up’ heat for World title challenger Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) against Kleber Pinho (BRA). The Brazilian rider tried his heart out to beat Langeree in this heat but proved no match for the Dutch destroyer. With a mobe 5, slim, blind judge and kiteloop slim but with several crashes, Langeree went on to do his usual repertoire of tricks and moved into the next round.
In contrast, the 11th heat was a super-tight battle between Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE) and another great local rider Evandro Da Silva (Naish, BRA). Blomvall landed several solid moves to score a 3-2 win over Da Silva, winning with a higher technical difficulty score for his regular and switch moves (mobe, blind judge 3, kgb) and cleaner execution.
The 12th heat was also a very close fight between Cesar Portas (North, ESP) and Petr Yuskevich (Cabrinha, RUS) but still a 5-0 decision in favor of the Spanish rider. The heat was evenly matched for moves but Portas won over technical difficulty and power with a front mobe 5 giving him just enough to win the heat.
Also in the same heat, the Italian stallion Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) succumbed to the awesome riding power of tour leader Aaron Hadlow (Fexifoil, GBR). Rondina gave all his might in this heat and threw down as much as he could but unfortunately, most of it ended in big crashes and could only manage to land a mobe, s-bend to blind, back to blind air pass, blind judge with aerial handle pass and a 313. Hadlow landed a lot of tricks which are too many to mention including a nice mobe 720 and nearly a blind judge 5 in the last seconds.
The women’s events had a rough first heat straight away with Jo Wilson (Naish, GBR) coming thru with the win against Audrey Meyer (EH, FRA) via a higher technical difficulty score. Wilson landed a raley to blind, downloop to blind and a back to blind plus a vulcan to surface pass and a butt-checked high handle pass. Meyer landed a few nice moves but lacked the blind moves for technical difficulty.
In the second heat, Joanna Litwin (Nobile, POL) defeated Laura Fernandez (Cabrinha, ESP) with a blind judge, raley to blind and slim against the Spanish rider’s front loop/down loop, a surface pass, tail grab air and a double back loop. Litwin won via technical difficulty.
Despite riding with a borrowed gear, Marilou Lavallee (North, CAN) gave Angela Peral (North, ESP) a run for her money with several powered moves. A huge kiteloop-backloop, back to toeside and an indy glide gave Peral a scare but not enough technical difficulty to defeat the Spanish rider’s raley to blind, downloop to blind and krypt to surface pass moves.