Epic Close to the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014
On the eighth and final day of competition, an afternoon fade in the wind occurred just after the heats resumed. Following a two-hour hiatus, the wind returned to an average of 16 knots, allowing the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 to run to completion. In contestable winds, which lulled to 12 knots at times, the final six heats were run, and the top four men and women were decided. Christophe Tack (BE) and Karolina Winkowska (PL) successfully defended their finishes in the single eliminations, taking home the top podium positions.
Bruna Kajiya (BR) came out ready for action in her first heat against Annelous Lammerts, which (NL) set the tone for her heats to follow. Despite some strong tricks, Lammerts struggled at times and did not ride as strong as in her prior heats. Kajiya then met local favorite Gisela Pulido (ES). Pulido opened with a nice Blind Judge 3 and S1 before going into a Back-to-Blind. Kajiya kept her in check by mid-way through the heat utilizing a nice Front Blind and Back Mobe, as Pulido crashed on her last two attempts and was only able to land four of her five tricks. Kajiya advanced, forcing Pulido to settle for third.
The winner’s final proved to be a close heat when Karolina Winkowska met Kajiya to battle for the top spot. Kajiya began solid and rode with consistency, displaying confidence that she had built coming up through her earlier heats. With both women landing almost the same tricks, it was Winkowska’s execution that gave her the win, edging out Kajiya by 0.8 points.
“I’ve been waiting so long for that final for two days now and the whole day today.” Winkowska said. “When you wait, you always have so many thoughts in your head.”
Winkowska now sits in a better position in the overall points for the world title going into the next event. “We still have three events and nothing is ever certain. Gisela can still win the title. But I’m really happy for Bruna that she’s back on the strong side of her game, because now it’s going to make things more interesting for sure.” she said.
Youri Zoon (NL) met Tarifa local, Liam Whaley (ES), in the first men’s heat of the day. Continuing with his strategy shift seen in the singles, Zoon crashed on his first trick attempt, but recovered quickly, going on to land a high scoring S-Mobe 5 and Front Blind Mobe. Whaley managed a high scoring Back Mobe 5 and Crow Mobe 5, amongst others, taking the win by only 0.1 of a point.
Whaley was clearly determined in front of his hometown crowd as he met Eudazio Da Silva (BR). Although Da Silva put down solid high scoring tricks, Whaley’s execution and overall big powered tricks and technical Blind Judge 7 put him through to the finals.
In the final heat of the day, Whaley started out solid as he landed his three big tricks early on in the heat. Tack had a late start, but stomped a nice Front Blind Mobe and Crow Mobe 5 to gain momentum. Mid-heat, and right in front of the packed beach of fans and onlookers, Tack launched into a Slim 7 (9.53 points), giving him a boost of confidence to later land a Whirly Bird 5, a trick that has never been seen before in kiteboarding competition history.
“I landed the First Whirly Bird 5 in a competition. I thought I couldn’t pull it off, but then I saw this little wave and I thought okay, short edge, flat, and push the water away. I was just spinning, then passed the handle, and then I landed it. I couldn’t believe it!” reflected Tack. “I was stressing early on in the heat and then, when I landed that, I was asking myself why would I stress? He’s the guy who needs to beat me twice. I can make mistakes, he’s the guy without breathing room.” he admitted.
By all accounts, the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 was an epic event that saw progression and evolution of the sport on many fronts. With an unprecedented level of riding coming from so many riders, it is clear that the conditions here in Tarifa are world class across the disciplines of Big Air and Freestyle. As the PKRA tour continues on, the battles continue, and the stage is set for contention of the 2014 world titles. Join us as we move on to our next stop in Brazil, Sept 17th -21st.
Join us as we move on to our next stop in Brazil Sept 17th -21st. 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.
Double Elimination Results Men’s Freestyle
1st Christophe Tack (BE)
2nd Liam Whaley (ES)
3rd Eudazio Da Silva (BR)
4th Youri Zoon (NL)
Double Elimination Results Women’s Freestyle
1st Karolina Winkowska (PL)
2nd Bruno Kajiya (BR)
3rd Gisele Pulido (ES)
4th Annelous Lammerts (NL)
Big Air Results Men
1st Ariel Corniel (DR)
2nd Liam Whaley (ES)
3rd Felix Martinez (DO)
4th Reno Romeu (BR)
Big Air Women
1st Gisela Pulido (NL)
2nd Sabrina Lutz (DE)
3rd Annelous Lammerts (NL)
4th Celine Rodenas (FR)