After a slow start to the third stop of Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) due to insufficient winds, competition resumed today and saw an incredible level. With the arrival of strong Levante – cross ofshore gusty winds – VKWC crew and organizers decided to move from Playa de Los Lances to the spot of Balneario. A decision that all riders were enthusiastic with as the place is one of the top local spots offering great conditions. Balneario is located right on the tip of town and attracts large audience with its pristine water and long sandy beach.
The world’s best battled this afternoon to avoid early elimination as the contest ran through freestyle male and female Rounds 1 and 2.
Carlos Mario (BR) was the only rider who could quietly enjoy the show today as he already earned his place in Round 3 before yesterday, during the only heat completed.
The first to hit the water were Christophe Tack (BE), Alex Pastor (ES) and Michael Schitzhofer (AT). Reigning world champion Tack performed the highest score of the day (41.13 points) nailing a massive 317, a Slim 7 and a Back Side 317 sending him straight to Round 3. The Belgian rider seems determined to get back on top of the podium and will face Sergei Borisov (RU) tomorrow.
The next most impressive rider of the day was Posito Martinez (DO) who obtained the second highest score (40 points) thanks to incredibly high and powerful double Handle Passes, such as a seldom seen Hinterberger Mobe 7. Martinez will be up against Marc Jacobs (NZ) in Round 3.
Eudazio Da Silva (BR) and Aaron Hadlow (GB) – now installed in Tarifa – both eliminated their opponents in their respective heats and jumped to the third round where they will meet Stefan Spiessberger (AT) and Patrick Blanc (ES).
Youri Zoon (NL) and Robinson Hilario (DO) also advanced straight to Round 3, as well as Liam Whaley (ES). Current number one – who has been resting before the event because of some pain in his knee – felt quite confident riding on his home turf. He kicked off the heat with his signature moves: grabbed Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5, Double Heart Attack, 317 and Back Side 317 followed by a very committed Double Half Cab. Whaley will face his local mate Jerome Cloetens (BE) who also put on a display of very powerful manoeuvres in Round 2.
The female competition saw Gisela Pulido (ES) in great shape – playing at home and enjoying the support of her local fans – dealing with her opponents with strength and commitment. The nine-time world champion put on a well-constructed heat that sent her directly to Round 3. She rode consistently and dispatched Hannah Whiteley (GB) and Dioneia Vieira (BR) by landing tricks almost as powered as the guys’. Tomorrow, Pulido will face Annelous Lammerts (NL).
Dutch girl Lammerts did not start the day that good as she fell behind Paula Novotna’s (CZ) performance in Round 1. She finally seized the opportunity to reach Round 3 eliminating Spanish wildcard Rita Arnaus in Round 2 by pulling off a S-Bend to Blind, a Back Mobe and a 313.
As for Paula Novotna, she earned the second highest score of the day (40 points) delivering a very powerful heat, landing some perfectly executed Heart Attack and KGB scoring in the high 8. Tomorrow she will be up against Dioneia Vieira who booked her ticket for Round 3 dominating her heat against Katarzyna Lange (PL).
Current world champion Karolina Winkowska (PL) established a commanding lead over her two opponents – Kristiin Oja (EE) and Katarzyna Lange – thanks to her consistency and clean moves who gave her the highest female score of the day with a 41.13. In Round 3, she will face Annabel Van Westerop (AU) who took down Helena Brochocka (PL) in Round 2.
2009 world champion Bruna Kajiya (BR) brightly jumped into Round 3, advancing over Arnaus and Van Westerop. Tomorrow she will be confronted to Kristiin Oja who dispatched Hannah Whiteley in a close heat in Round 2.
Levante wind is looking even stronger for tomorrow and should last until the end of the event. Riders’ meeting is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. with a first possible start expected at 1:00.