Zoals beloofd een update omtrent de PKRA – Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014. Dag drie was sick met veel actie en een solid wind van 20-25 knopen. Toen de deelnemers op dag vier ‘s ochtends arriveerden, troffen zij een glassy zee aan met een helder blauwe hemel. De wind bleef de rest van de dag uit, de wedstrijden werden uitgesteld naar dag vijf. Echter hadden de deelnemers geen problemen zichzelf te vermaken. Op deze manier was er meer tijd om te relaxen en bij te praten met de andere riders.
Dag vier werd volledig goed gemaakt op dag vijf met veel rides van hoog niveau. PKRA heeft ons weer voorzien van de dagverslagen. Uiteraard delen wij deze weer graag met jullie!
Stay tuned op onze website voor het vervolg van de PKRA – Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014.
Day 3 – Corniel and Pulido Win the Big Air
Day three of the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 went large on all fronts with Ariel Corniel (DO) and current world champion Gisela Pulido (ES) taking home the top spots of the Big Air discipline with non-stop kiteboarding action running throughout the day.
Getting off to an early start, the men’s and women’s freestyle trials took advantage of the 20-25 knots Levante wind for the early part of the morning. Twenty-six men and twelve women competed for the coveted spots in the freestyle main event. For those riders that participated in all three parts of the day’s competition, it was a demanding day, beginning with the freestyle qualifiers, the spectacular final rounds of the Big Air division, and finally the freestyle single elimination.
The Big Air discipline highlighted the day as strong winds were gusting up to 35 knots. The timing of the jumps played out to be very important, as there were some large holes on the inside of the competition area. Although luck did play a part at times, the riders that consistently went the biggest, moved on to the next round. Massive jumps were had by all of the top finishers who combined variations on spins, kite-loops and board-offs for both the men’s and women’s divisions. Each high jump sent the crowds lining the beach into a roar, clearly pumping the competitors up with confidence to go even bigger on their next pass.
Local favorites Liam Whaley (ES) and Gisela Pulido made their home crew proud on their home turf with a solid second for Whaley and Pulido’s win. However, in the men’s division, it was Corniel taking first in the final with consistent big jumps, combined with inverted spins, and a risky double handle pass.
This is a big win for Corniel who rose to prominence in 2007 by winning the freestyle discipline in his home spot of Cabarete, Dominican Republic, a result that he has been working to repeat since. “I feel really happy and content about my performance today competing against so many great riders and to win in the challenging conditions that we had in the finals” commented Corniel. “For me, the big air discipline is one of the most explosive aspects of the sport. Since it was the original discipline from which the sport developed, it is great to have it coming back now, especially here in Tarifa with such good conditions and strong winds” he added.
By 5:30 pm, the wind was still strong enough for powered freestyle conditions and the single elimination of the men’s freestyle main event got underway. In the end, only six heats were completed as the wind continued to drop, with riders struggling at times on their 12-13m kites. Soon after, the competition was called for a day with hopes that the Lavante winds would hold for another early start for the next morning.
With six days left of the event period, the freestyle discipline now shifts to center stage and will be the priority in the coming days. If strong wind conditions return after completing the freestyle double elimination, another round of the Big Air competition will be run.
Riders will meet at 9:30 am with a first possible start at 10 am. As always, stay tuned to the PKRA Facebook page and Twitter feed for start times, updates and all the latest from the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014.
Day 4 – Lay day for the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour
Day four of the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 came up short on wind as the strong conditions from the day prior diminished overnight. Arriving to the event site in the morning, competitors were greeted by overcast skies and glassy conditions in the competition area. As the forecast anticipated the wind to shift from the east to the west, both riders and organizers remained hopeful throughout the morning that the thermal Poniente winds would materialize. Clouds hung over the mountains with no sign of wind by the afternoon, wherein the event was called and competitors were released for the day.
Despite the lack of wind, riders had no difficulty finding ways to enjoy the remainder of the day. Some chose to go to into the town or relaxed in the chill-out area at the Gisela Pulido Pro Center, while others headed in search of an afternoon surf session. With such a long and action-packed day yesterday, it seemed only appropriate for the wind gods to take a siesta today, in true Spanish fashion.
As the anticipation mounts for the freestyle discipline, the action in the coming days is certainly going to be interesting. Coming up in the second round of the men’s ladder, former world champions Youri Zoon (NL) and Aaron Hadlow (UK) will meet in a match up that is sure to see both riders putting it all on the line. With another top rider out of the mix due to injury, second ranked Marc Jacobs’ (NZ) absence will now allow more opportunities for movement in the top seats of the overall tour rankings.
Five days now remain in the event, and the stage is set to provide more intense freestyle action as the forecast promises optimal freestyle conditions throughout the remainder of the event. Tomorrow, riders will meet at 12 pm with a first possible start at 12:30 pm. Stay tuned to the PKRA Facebook page and Twitter feeds throughout the event period for daily start times, live stream info, and results.
Day 5 – Tack and Winkowska Take the Singles in Tarifa
Day five of the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 stood out with an incredibly high level of riding as the single elimination ran to completion with Christophe Tack (BE) and Karolina Winkowska (PL) topping the podiums in their respective divisions. Eudazio Da Silva (BR) earned second for the men in his highest career finish ever, while Youri Zoon (NL) demonstrated his intentions for the doubles, finishing closest to the podium since his injury.
“For me it’s like a dream come true,” commented Da Silva about his result today. “I’ve been waiting for three years now to be in the finals and I’ve finally reached them. I believe that I can be the world champion someday and I’m going to work hard to achieve it.”
In his semi-final heat against Zoon, Da Silva scored a 39.47 for the highest score of the event so far. Both riders landed big, clean Blind Judge 7s with Da Silva securing the highest trick score of the day with 9.3 points. Still, Zoon rode exceptionally well and with renewed confidence after taking out former world champion Aaron Hadlow in his second heat of the day.
Tarifa local, Liam Whaley, was disrupted on his way to the winner’s final after losing in the semi-finals against Tack. “Everyone on the beach was telling me they thought that I won, but then I didn’t, so I was down for a bit,” stated Whaley. Commenting on his performance in front of his home crowd, “I’m kind of in my zone, but at the same time, in the back of my head I’ve got that extra pressure, home pressure, and I know I have to do well, but in the end it helps. I knew had to win against Youri.”
For the women’s side of the ladder, the usual battles played out, as Karolina Winkowska, beat out current World Champion, Gisela Pulido. Pulido crashed on multiple early trick attempts in the final heat, putting her at a deficit. Although she landed a nice Hinterberger Mobe and Front Blind near the end of the heat, she was not able to score high enough to take the lead.
The highlight trick of the day came from Felix Martinez (DO), who squared off on a kicker wave. With his kite positioned extremely low, Martinez launched into a huge one-handed Front Blind Mobe that sent spectators and competitors into an uproar for a dramatic response from the crowd lining the beach.
Tack and Pulido now sit in pole position with no shortage of determined talent waiting for another chance in the double elimination. With winds averaging 14-16 knots, today offered optimal freestyle conditions for the competitors to push their ever-expanding limits. With so many big and technical tricks being landed, it is a testament to the continuing evolution of the freestyle discipline. Tomorrow is forecast to be the same as today. Riders will meet at 12:00 with a first possible start at 12:30. As always, stay tuned to the PKRA Facebook page and Twitter feed for live stream start times, updates and all the latest from the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014.