Day Two in La Franqui commenced with strong winds, as predicted. After an early 7.30 am skipper’s meeting for the Qualifier League Event, the heats got underway immediately.
The conditions remained tough, with the wind averaging 35 knots. Riders were on 5 to 6 metre kites during the morning and larger sizes during the afternoon. There were many crashes throughout the day as riders were struggling to successfully land their tricks. As the heats progressed the athletes started to take more risks, as they had to work harder to push their way into the top 9 which would guarantee them a spot in the Elite League.
Former World Champion Aaron Hadlow from the UK put on a strong performance showing his experience in competing here in La Franqui. His consistent riding has now guaranteed a spot for him in the Elite League.
Oswald Smith from South Africa proved that gusty and challenging conditions were not an issue for him and rode exceptionally well, with Leucate showing many similarities with the conditions he trains in at his South African home spots.
Luis Alberto Cruz landed the highest scoring trick of the day, a 317 scoring him 7.73 and allowing him one more opportunity tomorrow to gain a spot in the Elite League.
It was a celebration for Dominican riders Adeuri Corniel and Robinson Hiilario, who both rode incredibly well in the penultimate heat of the day, also guaranteeing them both a position in the Elite League for 2017.
Rens Van der Schoot, Nicolas Delmas, Arthur Guillebert and Christian Tio also pass through to the Elite, and showed some powerful riding, and a glimpse of the talent and motivation prevalent in this new generation of riders.
There is still one more spot open in the Elite League for the Men, and this will be decided in tomorrows heat number 23, where you will witness a tough fight between Colombian new talent Juan Rodriguez, Julien Krikken from France, Mauritian rider Simone Lamusse and Dominican talent Luis Alberto Cruz.
For the Women, the full first round was completed. The athletes who will pass directly to Round Three are Therese Taabbel from Denmark, Vera Klabbers from Netherlands, Isabeau Galiart also from Netherlands and Francesca Bagnoli from Italy. The Women struggled to perform high scoring tricks due to the increasing wind conditions.
The Skippers meeting has been called for 7.30 am tomorrow morning with the first possible start at 8am. The priority will be to finish one more heat of the Mens to get get the last qualified rider, and two more rounds of the Womens. Once this is completed, we will move on to the Elite League Event.