Close Battles Highlight the Start of the Doubles
In light winds and up and down conditions, the sixth day of the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour saw the beginning of the double eliminations with a total of two men’s rounds and one women’s round completed. High-level riding punctuated the men’s ladder in a close match up that came down to the last seconds of competition.
Today’s double elimination got off to a late start as the wind was slow to reach contestable levels. With less swell action and the wind blowing more side-onshore than the day before, the conditions proved more challenging, as the current along the beach became a factor. At times, the wind would drop from an average of 15-16 knots down to below 10 knots, forcing the cancellation of several heats.
The first round of the men got underway just after 3:00 pm and it was immediately clear that it is an accomplishment just to move through one heat. The second round of the men’s double saw the action get thicker, most notably, in the heat with David Tonijuan (ES) against Aaron Hadlow (UK).
As a new threat to the more seasoned tour riders, Tonijuan came out with determination going trick for trick, as Hadlow maintained a negligible lead in the early part of the heat. Mid way through, Tonijuan turned it on to gain a slight lead on the former world champ. Coming down to the last minute, Tonijuan missed a Blind Judge 5 attempt but was still in the lead. Hadlow then went for the same trick right at the horn, landing an impressive Blind Judge 5, earning an 8.37 from the judges, and taking the lead and the win at the last second.
In the last heat of the day, Felix Martinez (DO) met Jerome Cloetens (BE) in another close battle that came down to the last trick of the heat. Martinez again landed his one-handed Front Blind Mobe amongst others, but Cloetens was intent on putting solid scores down on almost all of his trick attempts, and maintained the lead in the final minutes of the heat. In the remaining seconds, Martinez finally landed a solid KGB that put him in the lead to take win by only .71 of a point.
The four heat women’s round saw good action from the ladies despite the wind not cooperating fully in some of the heats. With some close match ups, it was Sabrina Lutz (DE) and Kristin Oja (EE) putting down the highest heat scores for the day earning 20.12 points and 19.20 points respectively.
A notable upset occurred when Arial Corniel (DO) beat Reno Romeu (BR). Romeu seemed to be on a solid streak with two podium finishes already this year, but met his match as Corniel rode strong, landing a high scoring Front Blind Mobe and Crow Mobe 5 in only inches of water to take the win.
With three days remaining in the contest period, hopes are high for the wind to continue. West winds are forecast, but the wind strength will depend on local thermal conditions. Tomorrow is forecast to be the same as today. Riders will meet at 12:00 with a first possible start at 12:30. As always, stay tuned to the PKRA Facebook page and Twitter feed for live stream start times, updates and all the latest from the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014.