It was an extremely wet and wild day here in Hua Hin, Thailand. The competition got underway very early this morning in very gusty and extraordinarily fierce weather conditions. Thai natives have declared that these conditions are similar to a winter chaos storm in Europe which is extremely rare, uncommon and simply unheard of. Despite the particularly intense conditions the riders made the best out of what was handed to them by Mother Nature. The rider who can handle all or nothing weather conditions will be the one who comes out on top.
The men’s freestyle single elimination resumed this morning with Heat #20 Cesar Portas (North, ESP) versus Marc Jacobs (Switch, NZL). Jacobs defeated Portas leading him into the final heat against Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED). It was an action packed final as these two incredible riders battled it out not only against each other but also in the ferocious conditions. It was a very close final heat between Zoon and Jacobs. Zoon took the single elimination title due to his overall better execution of a variety of powered combo tricks. In the loser’s final Alvaro Onieva (Slingshot, ESP) was up against Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA). Both competitors were struggling with the conditions however Rondina took the win finishing the single elimination in 3rd place while Onieva takes 4th.
In the women’s freestyle division it was a great day for Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL). Winkowska moved up the ladder very quickly defeating Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) in the semi final leading her to the final heat against the 2010 PKRA freestyle world champion Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP). Both riders executed a variety of powered tricks however Pulido takes the win for the freestyle single elimination while Winkowska finishes in second. Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) took on Holly Kennedy (North, GBR) in the loser’s final winning in a 5/0 judge’s decision.
A short intermission took place in order to make a few adjustments in preparation for the freestyle double eliminations. The double eliminations took off just before noon and wrapped up near 3:00pm. The conditions were as forceful as they were early this morning. During the double elimination the wind picked up significantly from 25 to 30 knots. Cesar Portas (North, ESP) won two consecutive heats defeating Belgian rider Christophe Tack (Liquid Force, BEL) as well as Reno Romeu (North, BRA) in the fourth round.
Two thumbs up for Spanish rider Alex Pastor (Airush, ESP) who was without a doubt on fire today winning 4 continuous heats eliminating Mario Rodwald (North, GER), Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS), Cesar Portas (North, ESP), as well as Alvaro Onieva (Slingshot, ESP). Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, ITA) defeated Pastor in his fifth consecutive heat enabling Rondina a chance to claim third place.
Brazilian rider Reno Romeu (North, BRA) was certainly on a roll today defeating three contenders in a series of heats leading him into the fourth round where his winning streak was ended by Portas. German rider Mario Rodwald (North, GER) had two great heats today defeating Thomas Paris (North, FRA) in the first round followed by Tom Hebert (North, NCL) in the second round but was also defeated by Pastor in the third round. The 2010 PKRA Freestyle World Champion Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) had a rough start in the single eliminations but proved that he wasn’t going to walk away from the doubles without putting up a fight. Yates defeated Austrian riders Stefan Spiessberger (North, AUT) as well as Michael Schitzhofer in the first two rounds followed by Alex Soto (F-ONE, D.R.) in the third round. Pastor who has been eliminating top riders on a winning streak put an end to Yates’ fast track to the final in the fourth round. Marc Jacobs (Switch, NZL) went on to fight Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) for a second time in the final heat of the men’s freestyle double elimination. Both riders were riding to the best of their ability, landing super powered tricks however Zoon had an overall better execution and added finesse to defeat Jacobs. This event is the first ever PKRA event podium placement for Jacobs and the first PKRA event title of the 2011 PKRA world tour season for Zoon.
In the women’s freestyle double elimination division it was an all around exciting day for Asia Litwin (Nobile, POL). Litwin quickly climbed her way up the ladder eliminating Aina Renolen (Gin, NOR), Sofia Lennartsson (Ozone, SWE) as well as Holly Kennedy (North, GBR) consecutively earning her a spot against Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) for third place. Kajiya put an end to Litwin’s fast track to the top in the loser’s final, which enable her third place in the doubles while Litwin took fourth. Kajiya was then defeated by Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL) who moved on to the final heat in the freestyle double elimination against Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP). It was an intense final heat where both riders competed with great power and style however Pulido yet again defeated Winkowska enabling her the first PKRA event title of the 2011 PKRA world tour season.
There’s a myth stating that the winner of the first event of the season normally predicates the PKRA freestyle world champion title… let’s see if that’s a fact or fiction!
Racers were released for the day at 3:00pm and the board-off discipline wrapped up the successful action packed day, results will be announced on Saturday. Tomorrow’s skipper’s meeting is set for 10:00am.