The PKRA 2008 World Tour is about to close another successful year with the last Tour stop happening in Matanzas, Chile but not without a grand finale. The 10th and last leg of the World Tour is currently being held in the remote but magnificent Playa de Matanzas, a small village on the western coast of Chile. This far-flung community is a famous surfing and kiteboarding spot because of its big waves and strong winds. It will be the home of 24 extreme kiteboard freestylers from 17 different nationalities for 8 challenging days and will be joined in by another 24 wave riders who will be competing for the 2008 PKRA Wave World Championship.
The Freestyle competition dubbed Movistar Kiteboard World Cup 2008 is the culmination of this year’s Tour which will run until the 11th of October. A win here by Kevin Langeree would tie him to current Tour leader Aaron Hadlow for the World Championship crown so this last Tour stop will be an interesting event to follow.
Day 1 Highlights
Today’s events started at 11:00 am. Clear, bright skies dominated the first day while the air was cold at 15° Celsius but felt much colder because of the 17-20 knots side shore wind that blew particularly during the afternoon. The waves ranged from 2 to 3 meters with only the larger set of waves bringing in the 3-meter heights.
Kicking off the competition were the wave riders who ran the entire day’s event. The competition ladder for the wave riding is a dingle format where the first round winners will automatically advance to the third round while the 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the first round would compete in a second round elimination. The winner from the second round will then advance to the third round and compete with the 1st place winners of the first round. From there, the competition went man on man and the winner advanced to the next round while the loser will be out of the game.
In the first round elimination, Fernando Paraud (Best, PER), Sky Solbach (North, USA), Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED), Eduardo Carrad (No Stress, BRA), Jeremy Eloy (North, FRA), Guilly Brandao (Mormaii, BRA), Roberto Nascimiento (Best, BRA), and Etienne Lhote (Fone, FRA) all defeated their respective competitors and advanced to the third round. This same batch of winners also emerged victorious in the third round with the exception of Lhote who lost to Dreu Beavis (North, AUS).
In round number four, Paraud defeated Solbach while Langeree defeated Carrad in the 17th heat runs. Eloy lost to Brandao and Beavis was defeated by Nascimiento in the 18th heats.
Race Director Eric Troostheide decided to have a 10-minute break immediately following the semi-finals before running the finals.
It was a Langeree-Brandao fight in the finals while Paraud met Beavis for the third podium spot. Although the wave competition was completed, the results will not be released until Saturday for the awarding ceremony. The judging criteria’s were basically a point system with the best two waves during a heat which counted to their overall score. The competitor with the best wave selection and ability to ride it would score the highest.
All the heats of the day ran for about 12 minutes with a 2-minute transition time. The final two heats were 15-minute heats to allow the competitors extra time to show the judges and crowd why they were the best.
The day wrapped up at around 6:00 pm with dying winds and waves while tomorrow’s skippers meeting is set for 10:00 am with a first possible start half an hour later. If there is enough wind and waves, there might be another dingle round for the waves before the competition will switch over to the freestyle.