Day 1 – Qualifiers for the Main Event
Day one of the 2014 Fuerteventura World Cup experienced early strong winds in the typical side-offshore direction. At noon, the men’s freestyle trials and the first heats of the competition began, where riders channeled their motivation to perform their most impressive tricks in the classic Fuerteventura conditions.
As the day carried on, 17 men did battle for the remaining 10 spots in the main event. Using their 7-9 meter kites, PKRA riders provided an impressive show for the sizable crowd of spectators lining the beach. The spot at Sotavento is known for its incredibly strong wind that can prove to be quite gusty the closer one gets to the beach, proving the timing of tricks to be especially important. With this challenge comes incredible beach spectating action as the tricks unfold up close in the idyllic island’s clear waters.
In the qualifier elimination format, round two of the trials allows the first place finishers to advance straight into the main event, while the second and third place finishers must continue on to compete for the remaining four spots in round three.
Advancing straight from round two was Maxi Gomez, Jerome Cloetens, Paul Serin, and Ozzy Smith, while some newer faces including David Tonijuan and Oscar Armstrong also moved on directly into the main event. The second and third placed finishers from round two competed for the remaining four spots. In the end, it was Artem Garashenko, Jerrie Van De Kop, Sergei Sotov, and Ariel Corniel who moved on from round three into the main event.
Throughout the trials, competitors displayed a wide range and variety of tricks. Standout maneuvers came from Tonijuan, who executed a very powered Crow Mobe 5 during his heat. Also, Julien Leleu stomped an impressive Front Blind Mobe, despite not advancing to the main event.
As the wind stayed up until late in the evening, riders took advantage of the remaining daylight to train and get accustomed to the conditions, keeping the crowds entertained well after the trials were finished. With so much at stake, the main event is sure to be a battle royal as the up-and-comers try their best to disrupt the top riders looking to advance closer to the world title.
The exciting discipline of Slalom racing will take center stage for the day tomorrow. Riders will meet at 11 am with a first possible start set for 11:30 am.