Pastor and Winkowska win the single elimination
The third day of the PKRA Dakhla, Morocco once again brought perfect 20 knot winds with men riding 9 to 11 meter kites and the women on 7 to 9 meter kites. The action was intense right from the beginning. We started the competition with the women’s single elimination and right from the start we could see that the women had been training hard over the winter.
In the first heat of the day Annabel Van Westerop from Aruba came out and really impress the judges by landing a blind judge, a 313 and other handle passes. The second heat featured Marie Switala from France who was able to land enough tricks to defeat Karpuk. The final heat of the first round featured Novotnno and El Jouhavi. Novotnno landed a nice 313 and an air back to blind to secure a place in the next round. The second round of the women’s single elimination featured the top women in the world with Pulido, Kajiya, Winkowska and Jungo. All four women were able to win their heats and advanced to the semifinals.
The first semifinal was in between Gisela Pulido and Bruna kajiya, Bruna Kajiya was able to land some technical passes but her execution was not as good as Gisela’s. Pulido was kiting really well and was able to execute flawless tricks and an excellent slim chance. The second semifinal was between Karolina Winkowska and Manuela Jungo, the world champion’s power and execution was too much for Manuela. Karolina finished her heat with a perfect front blind mobe securing a place in the final.
The battle for the third place on the podium was won by Bruna Kajiya, whose experience and powerful riding beat Jungo who landed some nice handle passes. The final was really exciting with both girls being powered on 9 meter kites. The heat was very close with the girls landing a full repertoire of handle passes, but in the end, Karolina’s execution secured her win in the singles and gets her closer to her fourth PKRA event victory in a row.
We started the men’s competition with the quarterfinals without the current two time world champion Youri Zoon who had been disqualified in the last heat of day 2. The first quarter final featured Tack and Jaspan. Jaspan was still on fire from yesterday, once again landing his grab KGB and a nice Tootsie Roll. The next heat Alex Pastor easily defeated Corniel with flawless execution of a blind judge five and some powerful tricks. The third heat of the quarters between Kevin Langeree and Marc Jacobs, was won by Marc Jacobs whose go for broke attitude was able to defeat Kevin Langeree who was not able to find his rhythm. The last heat of the quarters featured Reno Romeu from Brazil and Louis Hutter from France. The heat was extremely close with Hutter landing a grab 313 and other nice handle passes but Reno’s experience and big moves were able to defeat the Frenchman.
The first semifinal between Jaspan and Pastor was probably the most exciting heat of the day. A couple of tricks into it, Pastor lost this kite and had to swim back to shore. Meanwhile Jaspan was able land some tricks and advance his lead. Luckily for Pastor the world champion Youri Zoon brought him a kite but without a safety leash and then the last minute and a half of the heat Alex Pastor landed four perfect tricks to regain the lead and advance to the final. The second semifinal featured Reno and Jacobs. Once again Marc’s powerful riding and grabbed handle passes got him into the final. The battle for the third-place was won by Reno, who trick after trick kept going bigger and bigger, Jaspan was unable to land all the tricks that I had gotten him this far and had to settle for a fourth place.
The final of the men’s single elimination was a high-scoring affair for both riders and was won by only half a point. For most of the heat Marc Jacobs and Alex Pastor were evenly matched on the tricks, landing excellent front blind mobes, powered grab slim chances and flawless KGB’s. The difference was made when Alex Pastor in the final minute of the heat landed a blind judge five and took the singles title.
Everyone took a lunch break at Dakhla Attitude and by 15:30 everyone was ready to start the double elimination. By four o’clock the wind was gusting to 25 knots and all the riders were really powered. The first heat of the doubles was between Liam Whaley and Patrick Blanc. They set the tone for the doubles. Whaley and Blanc were throwing the most massive tricks one after the other, but it was Liam’s back mobe five that made the difference and gave him the victory. The other two riders that really stood out in the double elimination were Nico Suriel from Dominican Republic and the world champion Youri Zoon. In the strong winds Youri Zoon put on his 11 meter and landed some of the biggest blind judge fives and 317’s that we have seen on tour recently.
The day was action-packed with many riders performing at levels that we have never seen before. It is exciting to see new talent come on tour and challenge the veterans. The double eliminations are not finished yet and with so much talent on tour, anyone can still win this first PKRA stop in Dakhla Morocco.