Full Freestyle Action in The Hague
The increasing wind experienced at the end of day one continued on through the night, howling into the early hours of the morning and making for a blustery and wind-blown beginning of the day, which measured up to 22 knots. Choppy conditions added to the challenging outlook, with rolling waves of around 2 meters. The women started with single eliminations straight away, with Jalou Langeree winning her first heat in her home country – an exciting win for the locals on the beach. Her brother, Kevin Langeree – the 2009 PKRA World Champion – informed the online audience of his excitement about this event in his own backyard. Revealing that this PKRA tour stop is a dream come true for him, Kevin went on to say that the O’Neill event has really impressed him so far and he’s looking forward to a podium placement in his near future.
In the singles, Stefan Spiessberger carried out a notable performance on day two, with a powered Slim Chance and high scoring S-Mobe, captivating many online and beach spectators alike. In recalling his single elimination heats, Spiessberger said that he felt good about his heats overall; however, strong currents and decreasing wind made big moves and upwind tacks a bit more difficult. Alberto Rondina also did very well throughout the day, scoring high and beating current World Champion Youri Zoon in the semi-finals. Stand out tricks of the day included a Slim 5 by Alex Pastor, which earned an 8.8, and a Front Blind Mobe scored at 7.8 by Youri Zoon.
For the women, Karolina Winkowska rode with full power, executing an impressive Blind Judge and an S-Bend in her final heat of the day with bold and calculated consistency. Additionally, current women’s World Champion, Gisela Pulido excelled in the conditions, landing a solid Front Mobe among other tricks. Commenting on her heat and the fact that this is her first time to Holland, Pulido said that she really loves it here and very much enjoys the riding. While she joked that she couldn’t feel her hands while competing, she plans on a steady climb in the double elimination ladder during the coming days.
By the afternoon, competitors began pumping up larger kites as the wind backed off slightly, yet not completely. Pastor and Rondina faced off in the men’s final in an incredibly close heat, while Bruna Kajiya and Gisela Pulido went head to head for the top position of the single eliminations as well. Pastor eventually won out with a big Blind Judge 3, and Kajiya edged out her competition in the last minutes of the heat, beating Pulido for the win.
The live stream web cast also carried on with new gear and equipment on day two, which made the project challenging at times. Regardless of these sometime tough encounters, the broadcast brought the action to viewers around the world and in real time with success. The live scoring system integration continues to be worked on and should be functioning soon. Commentator, Dave Tyburski, noted that in every location there are always surprising challenges to be dealt with, especially as a new endeavor for the PKRA. Still, the media team remains excited for the improvements and developments to come, making each stop better than the last. Currently the judges continue to utilize the iPad scoring system as well, with the new judging criteria for 2012.
Finally, in the late afternoon, the beginning of the doubles brought lighter winds and onshore conditions, which moved in the same direction as the current, forcing riders to pump up their 12 and 13-meter kites. Sebastian Garat advanced first and the initial round continued up until heat #30, at which time it was cancelled due to light winds. This marked the end of competition for the day in Scheveningen, Holland, at the O’Neill Kiteboard World Cup 2012. Tomorrow, the continuation of the double eliminations and/or racing is expected to take place, with the forecast averaging 12 knots from the SSW direction.