For the third day of competition up-and-coming talents were given their first clinic. Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) Youth Cup is also a learning experience where young kiteboarders are given advices and information to improve their competitive skills.
This morning, judges explained how the scoring system works by detailing the trick categories and judging criteria such as power, technical difficulty, risk factor and innovation. Even if they score the Youth Cup by overall impression – apart from finals where tricks will be given points – it is relevant for future VKWC generation to understand and be comfortable with rules and strategy.
While waiting for the contest to start, kids made the most of their time on the beach beneath a bright sunshine. Wind picked up late, around 3:20 p.m. (GMT+2), allowing riders to finally kick off their heats.
U17 last semifinal saw Lazare Gournay (FR) facing Louka Pitot (Mauritius) in an extremely close heat. Both contenders came out strong, head to head, with great crowds of spectators applauding each of their tricks. Gournay did a great job but Pitot was slightly more technical and made the difference, advancing into final where he will meet the Mexican Anthar Racca – one of the toughest competitors of the championship.
Louka Pitot: “My heat was not so good. The wind was light so I started with my 13 to secure some tricks because I had never rode with my 15 before and it is like a truck. I didn’t think I would win. I am happy because I was hoping to be in top 5 and now the worst I can do is a third place while last year I ended up 7. In the final I will be against Anthar (Racca) who is very good and I’m afraid it is quite impossible to beat him.”
Competition moved on to U15 semifinals with local boy Alec Mur (ES) against Christian Tio (Philippines). Mur might know the place very well, he could not match Tio’s level. The grom from Philippines put on a display of great tricks and easily advanced into final.
Christian Tio: “My heat was very good, I was really happy I won. Tom is quite hard but I am motivated to be in final.”
The last U15 semifinal saw Maxime Chabloz (Switzerland) opposed with defending category champion Tom Bridge (GB) in a fierce competition. On a 13 meter kite, Bridge showcased impressive consistency and pulled off all his tricks meticulously. Chabloz was underpowered with an 11 m and got nervous after several crashes. He lost too much time relaunching his kite and could not manage to land his usual moves allowing Bridge to reach the final against Tio. A scenario already seen last year in which Bridge beat his opponent.
Tom Bridge: “I was a bit underpowered but I landed as many tricks as I wanted so my heat was good. I think the final is going to be hard because Tio has improved since last year but I will hopefully defend my title.”
Around 4:30 p.m. race director Eric Troostheide called off the competition due to insufficient winds, postponing all the finals as well as the double elimination to tomorrow since the forecast is looking much stronger for the next three days.
Riders’ meeting is scheduled at 10 a.m. with a first possible start at 10:30 a.m.