An Eventful Day in Germany
With the event about half way completed, day five proved to be incredibly busy and action packed. The wind began in the perfect range for freestyle competition, and riders arrived early to the event to kick off the first heats of the single eliminations. Choppy conditions and 16-21 knots of winds allowed for big tricks, powered maneuvers, and even some remarkable crashes.
The first heats certainly offered a hint at what the day would bring as talented riders such as Johnno Sholte (NED) and Alvaro Onieva (ESP) took to the water with a wide range of varied tricks, including KGBs, Back to Blinds, and Blind Judges. Ariel Corniel (DR) also impressed with a nice Back Mobe 5, while Mario Rodwald (GER) won an early heat with a well-executed Double S-Bend, among other big tricks.
Throughout the day, the clouds and rain came and went, barely ever hinting at the possibility of sunshine. This was classic German weather as many have come to experience, and local rider Mario Rodwald joked that it “sometimes” doesn’t rain. Regardless of this stormier weather at the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup, it remained clear that St. Peter-Ording is a great spot for such a large scale and important event. In fact, the spectators and onlookers hardly seemed phased by the passing inclement weather and watched in fascination every moment of each heat.
Into the afternoon the single eliminations progressed, with several pauses due to rain and light wind. Sebastian Garat (FRA) and Alex Pastor (ESP) enthralled many beachgoers with their high-scoring heat, wherein Pastor earned a solid 8.13 for his Blind Judge 5. The women proved just as strong in their competitive convictions, and handled their heats well. A great semi-final heat between Karolina Winkowska (POL) and top-ranked Bruna Kajiya (BRA) proved to be a suspenseful one, Winkowska eventually earning the advancing position with her 6.4 Back to Blind. Stefan Spiessberger (AUT) and Youri Zoon (NED) also took part in an incredible heat as dark storm clouds filled in close behind them. Zoon executed a high scoring S-Mobe and Slim 5, while Spiessberger answered back with a powered 7.2 Back Mobe and others.
During these last heats, more and more onlookers crowded the beach in order to take in the action and watch the very best in the world compete against each other at this near perfect German kiting destination. While racers had been released from competition early in the day, they still remained at the event village, watching and waiting to see who would earn the all-important single elimination titles.
The final battles came down to Winkowska against Pulido and Langeree against Zoon. Pulido and Winkowska rode in a quickly rising tide and winds that required 7 and 8-meter kites. Both competitors pulled off extraordinary moves, giving the crowd plenty to cheer for. With a mix of a Slim, 313, and a Blind Judge, Pulido eventually came out victorious with 24.54 points compared to Winkowska’s total of 21.49.
Shortly after, and with the look of complete focus, the two male competitors instantly began at the sound of the horn. Not surprisingly, it seems the top competitors have now gained a good grasp of what the new scoring system requires, and have adjusted their competition repertoire accordingly. Riders such as Langeree and Zoon have determined what tricks they want to execute and even in what order. If a trick is missed, they often tack back and try it again, hoping for a perfect execution. In this specific heat, the battle was close. The judges scored very consistently on all of the maneuvers, including a Grabbed 313 and Front Mobe. Ultimately, Langeree took the win with 43.15 points compared to Zoon’s 42.50.
Speaking about his big win of the day, Kevin revealed, “St. Peter-Ording is always really special for me. I’m of course very happy with my results. I had a really good heat against Alex and was hoping to go up against Youri in the finals, so that was great. My goal now is to win the championship, which would make it the 4th time I’ve won here in Germany at this event.” Langeree also emanated excitement over his major trick of the day – the 8.6 Front Mobe – explaining that his kite pulled a little strong to one side, but that he came out of it with a solid landing and heard the crowd going crazy, at which time he knew it was a good one.
The end of the day came to a close with an hour of Airstyle trial heats. This discipline will likely continue tomorrow, as will the freestyle double eliminations and racing. The conditions are looking suitable for all three of these categories, with 13-28 knots expected from the west and southwest direction.
1. Kevin Langeree (NED)
2. Youri Zoon (NED)
3. Stefan Spiessberger (AUT)
4. Alex Pastor (ESP)
1. Gisela Pulido (ESP)
2. Karolina Winkowska (POL)
3. Bruna Kajiya (BRA)
4. Asia Litwin (POL)