Final Day and Awards in Playa Del Carmen
Day 4 played out somewhat as expected with considerably less wind than the previous days. Meeting at 10am, the racers arrived to a calm beach and a more serene atmosphere, with the hopes that the wind would shift and increase enough to hold racing or the remainder of the freestyle competition. Unfortunately, these hopes never came to fruition, and by 2:00, it was decided that both the race and freestyle portions of this final day would be cancelled.
While waiting for wind, riders entertained themselves beachside, lounging around Mamita’s Beach Club, SUPing, and reading books. Katja Roose, the top female rider of this competition spent some quality time with her mother and father who accompanied her to this event. When asked about her opinion concerning her performance in this event, she commented that she was really happy to have had great female competition, specifically mentioning Erica Heineken, who was often not far behind. Roose went on to say that she’s very excited that more and more females are beginning to take part in the sport, revealing that while the equipment can still be expensive, it is becoming more accessible – as racers only require one board and just a few kites.
Making a huge mark on the event as well, Erica Heineken, in her first PKRA race competition ever, finished at an impressive 2nd place. While she may not be able to make it to other PKRA race events this year, Heineken said she hopes to make it to more in the future, and will be competing at Worlds in 2012 alongside many of the local races from her home spot – San Fransisco.
For the men, the U.S. dominated this event, with John Heineken, Bryan Lake, and Adam Koch taking the top three podium finishes. Koch explained earlier in the event how appreciative he is to be racing alongside such talented racers. With a high level of respect between these riders, Koch revealed that they all challenge each other with every race, elevating the level of riding while still maintaining a healthy sense of camaraderie and admiration.
The SUP races commenced around 2:30 and provided a great source of entertainment for the otherwise laid back afternoon. The local Mexicans proved to be quite capable on their stand-up paddleboards; however, Sebastian Garat took the final win, just barely inching out Alberto Rondina after he tripped in the sand on the final run back to the finish line.
Finally, the closing ceremonies and awards signified the end of the MINI Kiteboard World Tour event. With a slight breeze and that ever-so-unique illumination of the “Mexican” sun, the top riders took their places on the podium, accepting with grace and pride their special gifts, champagne, and prizes.
Since the freestyle riders were unable to complete the single elimination ladder, the four finalists – Sean Farley (MEX) , Alberto Rondina (ITA), Noe Mixtli (MEX), and Miguel Manzanilla (MEX) gained equal recognition on stage for this event. While this podium did not reflect a completed competition, it was most certainly exciting to see the local riders from Playa Del Carmen and Progreso shine at their home spot. Additionally, Paolo Rista (ITA), Andrzej Ozog (POL), and Luis Nuno Morais (POR) won top placements for the Master’s division.
Final Men’s Results:
1. John Heineken (USA)
2. Bryan Lake (USA)
3. Adam Koch (USA)
Final Women’s Results:
1. Katja Roose (NED)
2. Erica Heineken (USA)
3. Nuria Goma (ESP)