The PKRA 2008 World Tour in Matanzas, Chile wraps up a second successful day amidst the gloomy wind and wave forecast for the week ahead. The sky was cloudy to overcast in the morning but turned to a bright, sunny afternoon during the freestyle elimination rounds. Since the wind forecast for the coming days is not looking good, the organizers are keeping up the momentum to finish the games as fast as possible while keeping the excitement level to extreme.
The wind in the morning was mostly light, averaging only 8 knots. The mandatory skippers meeting started at 10:00 am followed by the drawing for the single elimination ladder. Since the wind was still building momentum, race director Eric Troostheide decided to delay the start until conditions were at PKRA standards.
Finally around 11:30 am, the wind was acceptable enough to start the men’s heats but since the wind on the inside was still lighter, most of the competitors headed out on their 8 to 9-meter kites. By the time the second round of the men’s elimination started, most of the riders had switched down to their smaller kites.
The wind stayed strong for the rest of the event, wrapping up another extreme kiteboarding day at 4:00 pm with a small awarding ceremony on the beach for the single elimination winners.
Day 2 Highlights
It was a fast-paced, action-packed second day as the freestyle single eliminations were completed for both the men and the women’s division. Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) turned up the heat with an easy win over Manuel Bustos (Morph, ARG) in heat #2b but bowed down to PKRA’s World Number 3 Alvaro Onieva (Best, ESP) in the 9th heat. Cayque Aquino (Naish, BRA) defeated local rider Jose Tomas Valenzuela (North, CHI) in their 8th heat match-up with the Brazilian rider winning over with a higher technical difficulty score and more trick variation.
Sebastien Garat (RRD, France) overtook North’s Tom Court (GBR) in the 9th heat with a blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe, kgb, s-bend to blind air pass, regular and switch slim, shifty 360 and a kiteloop handle pass. Court managed to land a blind judge, back to blind air pass, mobe, slim and kiteloop but lost via technical difficulty. Garat then defeated Onieva in the 13th heat with more varied tricks (front mobe, kgb, mobe 5 and shifty 3) plus a regular and switch slim. Onieva landed a blind judge, mobe, front side with air pass and slim.
Tom Hebert is doing absolutely fantastic this year, currently ranking number 6 in the PKRA and has been in all the Tour stops this year. He defeated Austria’s Michael Schitzhofer (JN Kites) in heat #10 with a display of greater technical riding skills, coupled with a greater height advantage and switch variety. He then faced current Tour title challenger Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) in the 13th heat, which spelled bad news for Hebert. Langeree won over Hebert with a much higher technical difficulty rating and landed more varied tricks. The Dutch rider then moved in for a kill in the 15th heat, defeating Garat to advance into the finals.
Despite Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) crashing heavily and ruining his kite in heat #11b, he already had enough moves landed to take the win over Madison Van Heurck (Naish, USVI). Pastor won with better executed moves and a higher technical riding score.
Heat #14 was a fight for the fourth in the total rankings between Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE) and Pastor. Blomvall took the win with a 3-2 decision, claiming 4th overall for now. With a 3 regular and switch moves to 1, Blomvall landed more technical moves and variety while Pastor went for the bigger moves but butt-checked a lot on his landings, including a mobe 7 and a NIS-5.
An all-fired up Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR) took an easy 15th heat win over Blomvall who had a bad heat, crashing several moves but still managing to land a regular and switch slim, kgb, mobe, shifty 3 and a hasselhoff. The current world champion landed 3 regular and switch moves as well as a front mobe to blind. Blomvall settled for third place overall by defeating Garat for the last podium .
The final heat was, again, between Langeree and Hadlow. Claiming the world championship title, Hadlow landed a regular and switch slim, regular and switch back to blind air pass, blind judge with aerial handle pass, s-bend to blind air pass, non-inverted slim, mobe, shifty 3 and kiteloop handle pass, winning with more switch variety and a lower kite position on top of riding with more power. Langeree went bigger in his moves but had his kite a bit higher and lacked the switch variety, landing a regular and switch back to blind air pass, blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe, 313, front side 360, mobe, mobe 7, non-inverted slim, late pass mobe and kiteloop 5. Congratulations to Aaron Hadlow, 5-time PKRA World Champion!
The ladies had their equal share of extreme kiteboarding action. Elena Pitoulis (North, GRE) won her heat by defeating Alexandra Maslova (North, RUS) in heat #6 with a 3-2 decision but lost to Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, ESP) in the 7th heat.
Bruna Kajiya (Best, BRA), winning with air pass moves defeated Susi Mai (Cabrinha, GER) in heat #7a. Kajiya landed a blind judge, s-bend to blind and back to blind air pass winning with a much higher technical rating while Mai landed a raley to blind and a big front roll tail grab.
In the fight for third place overall, Mai emerged victorious with a raley to blind and front to blind over Pitoulis who managed a raley and back to toeside. Mai won via technical difficulty. The final heat also had Gisela waving to the crowd from the top podium position, beating Bruna Kajiya (Best, BRA) with higher technical riding level and cleaner landings. Pulido landed a slim, blind judge, front mobe, and 313 over Kajiya’s blind judge, s-bend to blind, raley to wrapped and a butt-checked back to blind air pass. Congratulations to Gisela Pulido for winning the 2008 PKRA World Championship Title!
Tomorrow will be the start of the doubles with a skippers meeting at 10:00 am with first possible start at 10:30 am.
Freestyle Men’s Result:
1. Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR)
2. Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED)
3. Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE)
Freestyle Women’s Result:
1. Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, ESP)
2. Bruna Kajiya (Best, BRA)
3. Susi Mai (Cabrinha, GER)