The second day of the PKRA Dakhla, Morocco started this morning with heat number 11 of the men. The winds were slightly offshore and a bit gusty but the race director decided to start the competition. The first three heats of the day were crucial due to the fact that the winner would go straight into the main event. The first upset of the day was in heat 11 when Nico Suriel from the Dominican Republic defeated Michael Schitzhofer to go into the main event. In heat number 12 and 13 Liam Whaley and Sam Light both secured a place into the main event.
After the first round of men, 13 men were qualified for the main event and 26 competitors remained for the ultimate three spots. After around two was completed, 12 men remained for the last three spots and three heats had to be run to pick the top three riders. Heat 20 was between Soussi, Hays, S. Garat and Guias. Sebastian Garat’s experience proved to be too much for the other riders consistently landing powered tricks and switch tricks. Garat was stoked to qualify for the main event after recovering from a serious shoulder injury. Heat 21 was between Barker, Corniel, Boulte and Schitzhofer. All four men are seasoned veterans of competitions and anyone could have won this heat; however Ariel Corniel’s explosive riding and 317 got him into the main event. The final heat of the trials was dominated by Mario Rodwald, whose down loop slim and technical riding got him into the main event.
After a short lunch break at Dakhla Attitude we started the main event in perfect 20 knot side shore conditions. With all the riders training over the winter, each rider became a contender to win his heat. The first heat was between Liam Whaley and Set Teixeira, Liam’s training was obvious from the start being able to land solid blind judges and 313’s. Teixeira was late getting to the heat but was able to quickly gain ground but in the end Liam took the win. Another exciting heat in round one was in between Alvaro Onieva and Eudazio da Silva. Onieva being a season competitor took a more conservative approach but da Silva came out throwing 317’s and blind judge 5’s. In the end da Silva’s technical tricks proved too much for Onieva even with all his experience.
Heat number six was between Mario Rodwald from Germany and Sam Light from the UK. Both riders came up through the qualifiers and were stoked to be in the main event. Sam Light went for some very technical moves like the Crow-Mobe but Mario was going for broke on every move, he put on a great display of power and took the win.
The first heat of the second round was between the eighth-seeded Christophe tack and Liam Whaley. Christophe tack set the pace with his first move landing a powerful slim 5, Liam landed a perfect 360 back mobe but it was not enough to defeat Christophe. The next heat was between Ewan Jaspan and Alberto Rondina. Alberto started the heat with a perfect back mobe, but Jaspan battle back with a great grab KGB an excellent S mobe and upset the number three rider in the world. The first heat between Alex Pastor and Eudazio da Silva was very close. At the end of the heats the judges missed a trick from Alex Pastor and the heat had to be rerun to make sure that we have a fair result. When the heat was started again both riders came out strong but the number two in the world had too much experience for the young Brazilian, landing a great front blind mobe and a 317. Da Silva landed a blind judge seven but it was not enough, we can be sure he will be a threat in the double elimination.
In heat 13 Marc Jacobs had a grab KGB and a grab back mobe and a few more big moves to defeat Borisov. The following heat was with Mario Rodwald and Kevin Langeree who came out on fire. Every move he sent was big and powered, this is what he had to say about that heat and is training: “I did a bunch of training this winter but I wasn’t super focused on learning new tricks, I went with a super mellow approach to the first event of the year and that strategy seemed to work pretty well. I’m also pretty stoked on my KGB were I scored a 7.8 which was my high score.” Kevin Langeree. Mario had already done four heats and ran out of steam, but put on a great show for the crowd.
The last two heats of the day were run as the sun was setting, the first heat between Reno Romeu and Sebastian Garat was very close, both riders had very similar tricks but in the end it was Reno who put an end to Garat’s streak. The final heat of the day was with the world champion Youri Zoon against Louis Hutter from France who had just performed a beautiful heat against Patrick Blanc. Youri was riding extremely well and on his way to victory but in the final minutes of the heat he crashed into Hutters kite and was disqualified. Youri he was not happy with the decision, but he knows he has to focus on the doubles to win this event.
Tomorrow the women will take to the water first, we asked to Gisela Pulido as she prepared for the season and how she feels about tomorrow. “I was training in South Africa all winter, I was able to train in different conditions. Then I went to Orlando to train on the cable park. I feel really well prepared for the season and ready to start the year. “Gisela Pulido
The forecast looks great for the rest the week, we should be switching over to her wave kites are discipline Friday morning.