Day 1 - Trials get underway for the PKRA Argentina
The Kitesurf World Cup Mendoza kicked off today with an opening ceremony attended by riders, media, organizers and sponsors alike. Celebrating the commencement of the event, organizers and regional politicians spoke and made it clear with an enthusiastic sense of pride that the area of Mendoza is honored to officially inaugurate the 2013 PKRA Kitesurf World Cup Mendoza and to add kiteboarding to the long list of adventures and activities offered in the region. Closing the ceremony, the forthcoming 2013 freestyle World Champions - Alex Pastor and Gisela Pulido - added a few inspiring words and well-wishes for all the competitors.
The drive to the event site was filled with anticipation for all. The route to the event site passes through the Valle de Mendoza and its world famous vineyards. Green lines of grapes gave way to dramatic mountains, snow-capped Andean peaks and finally the emerald-blue water of Lago Potrerillos.
After a brief riders meeting, and with the wind just filling in, many Slalom racers went out to train and to get used to the conditions in anticipation for tomorrows races. Shortly after 2 pm, the men’s freestyle trials got underway in 15 knots of wind. The riders used kites in sizes ranging from 11m and 14m
For the trials, the heats are run in a dingle format, which allows each competitor two attempts to advance. Competitors winning first place in thier three or four-man heat move straight into the main event- the other riders go back into the ladder to compete again.
Early round trials action saw few surprises with the most seasoned riders moving on. Heat one saw Evandro Da Silva advance in the closest heat of the day against the Brazilian rider Reis. Reis landed some nice technical tricks but Da Silva took the win showing better overall execution.
Carlos Madson advanced in Heat two, unanimously showing his variety and technical ability with a 315 and 313 Osmosis. During the early minutes of heat three, the wind became light and the heat had to be abandoned. Only minutes later, the wind returned and we were able to resume competition. Carlos Mario, younger brother of Carlos Madson advanced throughout heat three, and was the most notable rider of today’s heats.
”Bebe” as he is known, landed both a Double Hinterberger 5 and Blind Judge 5 - showing why, at 15 years old, he is the 2013 Brazilian national champion. Heat four saw Hutter firing his arsenal of stock moves including a grabbed Hinterberger Mobe. Neto advanced with a very solid Slim Chance and Crow Mobe in Heat five and Umpierre landed a nice Hinterberger Mobe and 313 which put him through in Heat six. In light wind heat seven, Bakker advanced with a Front to Blind and 313. Near the end of this heat, it was clear that the day’s thermal wind was on its way down. At approximately 4:30 pm, conditions were not suitable to continue running heats and the decision was made to call it for the day.
While today’s action was just a sample of what is to come, it proved without a doubt that the venue here in Mendoza, Argentina is worthy of a PKRA Tour stop. With the level of talent present, the Kitesurf World Cup Mendoza is sure to provide some of the most spectacular kiteboarding action witnessed to date.
Tomorrow the action continues with the termination of the Men’s Freestyle trials followed by Slalom Racing throughout the afternoon. Riders meeting begins onsite at 11:00am with a first possible start at 11:30 am.