The third day of the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships on Fuerteventura saw an immediate start to the action directly after the 11am rider’s meeting. With the conditions for the day looking good, the riders prepared themselves to be immediately immersed in the day’s events, and to continue with the Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Eliminations.
The first heat of the day saw Marc Jacobs (NZ/Switch) face Brazilian rider Alex Neto (BR/Best). Jacobs started his heat riding strong and fully powered on his 9m kite, but took a massive crash whilst performing a Hinterberger Mobe. Neto maintained a more constant performance throughout the heat, also throwing a Hinterberger Mobe and nice S-Mobe. Halfway through the heat, Marc decided to change kite to a smaller size, as the wind appeared to be increasing to above 30 knots. In the end, Neto’s consistency gave him the advantage and he passed through to the next round.
Whilst the wind was gradually increasing, it was time for Russian rider Sergei Borisov (RU/Slingshot) to compete against Dominican rider Posito Martinez (DR/Da Silva). Martinez managed to nail an impressive 317 in the tough conditions riding on his 7m kite. Borisov executed a good S-Mobe and Backmobe, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to beat the Dominican rider.
For heat number 12, Michael Shitzhofer (AT/Best) faced the young dutch rider Rens Van Der Schoot (NL/Cabrinha). The young rider performed well, but was unable to beat the Austrian rider who showed more experience and flow, which in turn, opened the door for him to the next round.
As the eliminations continued, the beach began filling up with spectators. Fuerteventura never fails to disappoint, so people are happy to travel from all over the world to come and visit this amazing location and get a piece of the action. The strong winds continued to blow with gusts reaching up to 35 knots, and it was the chance for young Belgian rider Jerome Cloetens (BE/North) to prove his ability in these strong wind conditions. Jerome, being based in Tarifa, Spain and accustomed to training in the strong levante winds, was able to defeat Lewis Crathern (GB/Best) by fighting through the strong gusts and performing an impressive Hinterberger Mobe right at the end of his heat.
Also passing through to the next round was Stefan Spiessberger (AT/North) who landed an impressive S-Mobe right at the end of his heat, beating Dominican rider Ariel Corniel(DR/Naish). Although Ariel did not make it through to the following round, he did put in a solid and consistent performance, with the crowds loving his power and speed which he exhibited during his heat.
Passing over to the women’s Quarter Finals, the opening heat saw Spanish rider Gisela Pulido (ES/Best) defeat Annelous Lammerts (NL/Slingshot). Both riders displayed good determination but it was Gisela who passed on to the next round, landing a stylish S-Mobe and Hinterberger mobe. The wind conditions were particularly strong at this point, but that didn’t stop Annabel Van Westerop (Aruba/Cabrinha) from giving it her all and nailing a 313 and Blind Judge during her heat, which gave her the advantage over Polish rider Helena Brochoka (PL/Liquid Force). Following suit in the next heat was Paula Novotna (CZ/North) who rode superbly, landing a great Back to Blind which gave her the win over Hannah Whiteley (GB/Best).
The final Women’s heat of the day was a duel between Current World Champion Karolina Winkwoska (PL/Slingshot) and Former World Champion Bruna Kajiya (BR/Airush). Both riders put on an amazing display of powered riding but eventually it was Brazilian rider Bruna who passed through to the next round, after an impressive heat where she rode hard on her new 2016 airush gear and put on a great show for the spectators. It was a very close heat where both girls could be proud of their efforts considering the challenging wind and wave conditions, and was in fact the first heat of the year that Winkowska was unable to win.
Round 3 of the men got underway with a great heat between Current World Champion Christophe Tack (BE/Liquid Force) and Brazilian rider Alex Neto (BR/Best). It was a close heat, but eventually it was Tack who advanced, after landing a great Front Blind Mobe and Backside 315. Neto landed a perfect KGB with great speed and an equally impressive Crow Mobe 5, but unfortunately it was not enough to get him through to the next round. Joining him in the Quarter Finals will be Posito Martinez (DR/DaSilva), who gained the advantage of Patrick Blanc (ES/Ozone) by landing the most impressive trick of the day, a powered and explosive 317.
Heat 19 saw Alex Pastor (ES/Airush) battle it out against his fellow Airush team rider Oswald Smith (ZA/Airush). Smith failed to land his best tricks until the end of the heat, whilst Pastor managed to maintain more consistency which finally allowed him to pass through to the next round. For heat 20, Former World Champion Youri Zoon (NL/Best) put on another display of solid and confident riding, throwing down a 317 and Backside 315, giving him the advantage over fellow Best rider Michael Schitzhofer (AT/Best).
Brazilian rider Eudazio Da Silva (BR/Nobile) took some big crashes during his heat against Paul Serin (FR/Naish), but managed to pull off an impressive Double Heart Attack, however it was not enough to defeat the French rider. For heat 22, the young Jerome Cloetens (BE/North) now had to face Brazilian rider Carlos Mario (BR/Slingshot) in some very gusty and choppy conditions, which made trick execution and successful landing even more difficult. Jerome performed some solid and powerful tricks, but unfortunately could not match the 317 and Backside 315 of Mario. The young brazilian passed through to the next round and will be hoping to gain a place on the podium once again during this event.
Dominican rider Robinson Hilario (DR/F-One) put up a good battle but was defeated by Spanish rider David Tonijuan (ES/Cabrinha) who managed to perform the best Back Mobe 5 of the day. For the final heat of the day, Aaron Hadlow (GB/North) faced Austrian Stefan Spiessberger (AT/North) in a great heat to decide who would take the last place in the Quarter Finals. Eventually it was Hadlow who took the win with a stylish and powered Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5. Spiessberger put up a good fight, but was unable to land his signature S-Mobe on this occassion.
Tomorrow we will be continuing the action with the start of the Big Air Elimination. Rider’s meeting is set for 11.30 am, with the first possible start at 12pm.