Day 3 - PKRA - Kite Masters Portimao World Tour 2007
The Kite Masters Portimao World Tour 2007 continues on its third day of competition in sunny Praia de Alvor in the southern coast of Portugal. The sun was up all afternoon with clear skies and warm weather; the mercury peaked at 26Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â° Celsius while wind speed averaged 16-18 knots. There were a total of three races and a freestyle event held during the day of competition which delighted the crowd on the beach.
Kiteboarding Course Racing World Tour 2007
The first race started at about 3:30 pm when the cross offshore wind began to build up. Race organizers use the same course as yesterday but with slightly altered buoy positions to give the riders longer reach down the beach and more space to pass around the buoys on the inside.
A squarer starting line enticed Sean Farley (Mexico) to start on port in the first race of the day, passing in front of all starboard riders. Trying to maintain his overall lead, Farley searched for new tacks upwind to find a way to throw off Sami Gali (BEST, Spain) and Bruno Sroka (France) but failed in the second and third races and had to settle for third in the 1st and 2nd races and fourth place in the last race. There seemed to be an advantage in taking two massive beats up to the mark and only having to tack once.
Sroka won in all of the three races followed by Gali who finished second on each of the three. These riders had several minutes lead over the field come finishing time and will be the ones to watch over the next course of events in Fuerteventura and Germany.
Meanwhile in the womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s event, Jalou Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) finished fourth in the 1st race but after switching to a more specialized course boards, promptly claimed the top spot in the second and third races beating crowd favorites Steph Bridge (United Kingdom) and Angela Peral (North, Spain). Freestyle pocket rocket Peral also claimed top spot in the first race.
Kite Masters Portimao World Tour 2007
After the tabulation of the scores in the round robin portion of the menÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Freestyle event, the top four ranked riders in each group made it thru the
1. Michael Schitzhofer (Naish, Austria)
2. Abel Lago (RRD, Spain)
3. Francisco Lufinha (RRD, Portugal)
4. Denzil Williams (UK)
1. Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands)
2. Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, Italy)
3. Fabio Martins (Portugal)
4. Paulino Pereira (Portugal)
There were also few surprises in the womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s division. Making it thru to the final to battle it out for first and second will be Angela Peral (North,
Spain) and Jalou Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) while third and fourth places will be settled between Ania Grzelinska (North, Poland) and Steph Bridge (England). Missing out was tour regular Kari Schivebaag (Ozone, Norway)
First off to the water was womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s heat #5 between Langeree and Bridge.
Bridge had an upset win landing some huge and powered kiteloops and frontloops as well as backloops against the smaller tricks of Langeree added to the fact that the latter did no kiteloops. In heat #6, Grzelinska took the win over Kari Schivebaag with some solid moves including a raley to blind, a big kiteloop, kiteloop/frontloop and raley to wrapped. Schivebaag, equally rode well with several kiteloops and rolls but crashed her raley to blind and krypt to surface pass attempts. In heat#7, Peral took down Bridge with some technical riding. A massive downloop to blind and raley to blind with several jumps demolished BridgeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s downloop-frontloop, kiteloop-backloop and transitions. In the following heat, Grzelinska lost to Langeree via more powered and technical moves. Langeree landed a raley to blind, krypt to surface pass and a powered vulcan while Grzelinska struggled on her landings, spoiling her trusty raley to blind and raley to wrapped.
Langeree continued on her winning streak by taking out Schivebaag in heat #9 with a back breaking kiteloop, krypt to surface pass and some huge air.
Schivebaag on the other hand, landed a krypt to surface pass and smaller kiteloops but the tricks were generally less powerful throughout the heat.
Peral took the win over her North team mate Grzelinska with another massive downloop to blind and blind judge. In fairness, Grzelinska did her best with a raley to blind, a huge kiteloop-backloop and went for several board offs in hoping to grab the advantage of the required moves for this event and win the heat but failed. Third and fourth overall go on to ride against each other to determine a final rank of 3rd and 4th while the first and second ranked after the round-robin go on to battle for the top two podium positions and the glory of kitemaster champion.
Heat #6 between Rondina and local rider Martins took to the water in the start of the freestyle event for the men. Rondina beat Martins with several powered and technical moves including a regular and switch blind judge, kiteloop handlepass, a slim, hasselhoff and aerial back to blind. Martins came out strong with some big sent passes but with much less technical difficulty and powered riding. Meanwhile, rookie of the year Schitzhofer edged another local chap in the person of Lufinha in heat #7. Schitzhofer displayed a powerful repertoire of moves including a mobe, blind judge, 313, slim and kiteloop-frontloop which proved too much for Lufinha who went equally big with a kung fu and kiteloop handlepass and one-footer.
Top ranked Kevin Langeree gave the third Portuguese a run for their money with several world cup worthy moves, completely outperforming his opponent with more technical and much more powered riding plus having the advantage of a board off and kiteloop, Kevin is proving that he deserves to be the top-ranked kiteboarder that he is.
In heat #10, old school legend and wave event regular Lago beat out Lufinha in a display of moves reminiscent of the early part of the decade. A kiteloop, tail attacks, indy grab board off and even a board pass proved to be too much for Lufinha to handle, being a product of new school kiting. In fairness, Lufinha landed a few sent handle passes and kiteloops but the lack of a board off was the deciding factor for this heat. In the meantime, the rampaging Rondina (only loosing to Langeree) beat Pereira with more moves from an increasing solid repertoire of regular and switch power moves. A tail attack board off, regular and switch blind judge, a front mobe, 313, slim and a huge kiteloop were the killer moves that Pereira had to match, but only landed a sent handlepass and a blind judge while crashing the rest of his moves.
Busting out a sent handlepass, a massive downloop-frontloop, kiteloop-backloop and raley to blind, Williams really gave Schitzhofer a push early on in the 11th heat of the menÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s freestyle event. However, Schitzhofer quickly got into his freestyle groove and most certainly has his mojo after beating Langeree in Tarifa only having to re-run the heat due to a person running into Langeree in the last minute. The Austrian rider quickly turned up the heat with a regular and switch slim, regular and switch blind judge, back to blind air pass, mobe 5 and kiteloop handle pass.
Williams went hard and busted out a back to blind air pass in the last second but it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t enough, which unfortunately would make him finish on zero points in group 1. Meanwhile, feeling very confident, Langeree hammered it up for the Extreme Elements camera, busting out a double back mobe, KGB, blind judge, a huge board off, late pass mobe, kiteloop handle pass and 313.
Martins on the other hand had his work cut out for him and stepped up with an equally huge kiteloop and sent handle pass but came unstuck on the more technical tricks and would eventually settle for zero points and 3rd in group 2.
Those who ranked first and second from each group will now go on to face each other in the semifinals. The 1st ranked in the first group will meet the 2nd ranked in the second group while the 2nd ranked in the first group will battle it out with the 1st ranked in the second group. The winners will go on to the final round to battle for 1st and 2nd while the losers will battle for 3rd and 4th places.
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This spectacular event is being organized by the CEST group under the able leadership of its General Director Erich Steffen and General Coordinator Eduardo Piloni. The tournament is also supported by Air Italy, Coca-Cola, Record, RTP-Antena 3, TV Cabo, Expo Arade, and Allgarve.