Double Eliminations Begin
The day started early for those competing in the double eliminations in the third official day of competition. Beggining at 9:30, with much milder conditions compared to the day before, riders entered the water on 12 to 14 meter kites in 13 to 18 knots of wind. Luis Alberto Cruz and Johnno Sholte took part in a smooth heat early on, executing some high-scoring Raleys and Fronts Mobes. Cruz won with a more powered approach, while Sholte generally flew his kite high by comparison.
Former World Champion Kevin Langeree and Stefan Speissberger also took part in a close, nearly completed heat, with some well done Front Blind Mobes and KGBs. On this sixth heat of the day, bigger kites were used to account for the lighter wind. Unlike the previous day, competitors really had to fly their kites to gain necessary speed and height. 400 online spectators tuned in to see the heat featuring current World Champion Youri Zoon and Robinson Hilario. In fact, Hilario surprised many by riding without a wetsuit in the frigid Mediterranean waters. After yesterday’s upset with Liam Whaley advancing past Zoon, today looked to be a long day for the World Champion, as he began his fight up through the double eliminations – a much further climb than he is accustomed to. In response to his disappointing past day, Zoon quipped, “Normally, strong and gusty conditions are really my strong point, but I just didn’t get it together. I was trying to go big instead of riding safe, but in those conditions, the crashes are much harder. A 10-heat climb will be a lot of work!” Unfortunately, Zoon’s first heat of the day was canceled near its end due to light winds, and while Youri did score some big points in his first attempts on the water, this heat represented the last, and incomplete heat of day three. Competition will therefore commence tomorrow, or until conditions permit.
Feedback from the live webcast came through loud and clear from the day prior, with incredibly positive responses and encouraging reactions. Commentator Dave Tyburski stated that, “It was great to get such positive and constructive initial feedback”. He also commented that he “looks forward to fine-tuning the broadcast with the PKRA and event media crews to provide the most engaging online viewer experience possible”. Amazingly, the live feed reached over 14,000 individuals by the morning in its only second day on air. Local personality Regis Mortier also added greatly to the live webcast experience. When asked what we can look forward to in the live feeds to come, Tyburski revealed that live time scoring and greater social media interaction will the viewer be a major part of the webcasts at future PKRA world tour stops.
As for the women, Karolina Winkowska commented on the new 9 versus 12 trick attempts and the prior day’s competition, saying that it was an especially fun and exciting day, due to the strong and gusty conditions. Winkowska commented that she wouldn’t normally go out in such circumstances, which made it interesting. Looking back on her heats under the new guidelines thus far, Winkowska explained that it can be difficult to decide whether to try a trick for a second time in order to gain a better score, or move onto a new trick category. This is simply another example of the learning and progression that is taking place within the new scoring guidelines.