no races on Day 3!
Day 3 - PKRA - Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2007
The third day of extreme kiteboarding competition at the Fuerteventura PKRA Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2007 continues with strong winds and choppy conditions as the crowds that lined up the beach were filled with excitement to see their favorite riders get into the water once more. The day started with an 11 am skippers meeting and with the wind blowing at 27 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 30 knots (6 bft), competition went underway after half an hour later with no course racing held for today. The weather continued to provide challenging conditions for the riders who had to push their limits in order to land their usual tricks and avoid crashing in the water. PKRA officials ran four-man heats in the eliminations but switched to two-man heats in heat #26 onwards for safety purposes and also to minimize judging difficulty.
First up in the water and opening the dayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s event was Laura Fernandez-Dominguez, the Cabrinha rider who hails from Spain who defeated Greek representative Elena Pitoulis in the first match up of the womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s double eliminations. Also in the same heat, Jalou Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) inched one notch up the doubles event ladder after routing Flexifoil rider Johara Sykes-Davies (UK) with a raley to blind and krypt surface pass. In the next heat, German pride Susanne Mai (Cabrinha) defeated course racer and freestyler Steph Bridge (North, UK) in a show of kiteboarding supremacy. Mai landed a raley, front to blind, downloop and a kiteloop while Bridge went for a downloop and kiteloop-backloop but lost out on the technical side. On the other hand, it took a Pauline Boussard (F-One, France) to stop Fernandez-Dominguez from taking one more charge up the competition ladder in the next match. Then, after overcoming an easy opponent, Langeree lost to current world number 4 Ania Grzelinska (North, Poland) in the second set of the 12th heat. Mai continued her winning streak by defeating young North rider Wiktoria Boszko (Poland) in a close battle in the first set of heat #13. Both kited superbly but with smoother and faster landings, Mai won through to the next round nailing a raley to blind and front to blind against BoszkoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s raley to blind and raley to wrapped. In the second set, UKÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Jo Wilson (Naish) outperformed Kari Schivebaag (Ozone, Norway) to advance in the next round.
In the semi-finals, Grzelinska continued to storm her opponents, outmaneuvering Boussard in heat #14 before stopping Mai in heat #15 for a chance at the third podium spot at least. Mai defeated Wilson in a tight battle in heat #14 with more technical moves including a raley to blind and front to blind before loosing out to Grzelinska in heat #15. The PolandÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pride did more technical riding than the German ace, including a raley to blind, raley to wrapped, krypt surface pass and kiteloop-frontloop against a butt-checked raley to blind.
Angela PeralÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s (North, Spain) win was short-lived. After defeating Karolina Winkowska (Naish, Poland) in heat #17 with a raley to blind, Peral had a tough match in the following heat courtesy of fellow Spaniard Gisela Pulido (Movistar). Pulido stomped a blind judge, front mobe and high handle pass move, riding with more technical difficulty against PeralÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s raley to blind. As the battle inched to the final heats, the competition got even more intense as Bruna Kajiya (Best, Brazil) went neck and neck against Pulido in a closely contested round. Move for move, the two riders fought it out against the extreme choppy conditions until the dying seconds when Pulido nailed a high handle pass move. Both female riders went for their big tricks but the Spanish rider gained the advantage with the handle pass, taking the win and forcing a second final. In the re-match, both girls gave the judges a run for their money with some more technical moves but in the end, Pulido proved to be the better female kiteboarder by landing more moves and better technical difficulties, landing a front mobe, a high handlepass, blind judge and an s-bend to blind with airpass. In fairness, Kajiya did her best with a blind judge and s-bend to blind with airpass but could not match the technical difficulties of the young Spanish ace.
Meanwhile, kicking off for the menÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s double elimination round is heat #22 between Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha, Russia) who won the heat against German rider Philipp Brueckmann (Carved). Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, Italy) defeated Tom Court (North, UK) in the same heat.
In the following heat, Michael Blomvall (JN Kites, Sweden) won another exciting round against Mallory de la Villemarque (North, France) displaying superb kiteboarding talent. The JN-Kites rider outperformed his French rival with more technical moves and lower kite angle, landing a regular and switch mobe, slim, front mobe and blind judge with aerial handlepass against his opponentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s blind judge, front mobe and a heelside backroll with a frontside 540. Naish rider Michael Schitzhofer (Austria) also advanced to the next level after defeating Turbulence guy Ali Barrett of UK in the same round. On the other hand, South African Taro Niehaus (Best) bowed out to the more superior Jo Ciastula (Airush, Spain) in their encounter in heat #24.
Young English rider Lewis Crathern (Slingshot) once again proved to be the better man against Victor Adamo (North, Brazil) when they came across each other in the same heat. Crathern beat Adamo with cleaner, faster landings and more power in his moves. Randy Hereman (F-One, Netherlands) continued his winning streak by defeating Russian kiteboarder Boris Ogar (Ripcurl). Meanwhile, the other Ogar brother Gleb, defeated German opponent Silvester Ruckdaschel (F-One) and got the chance to avenge his brother against Hereman in heat #27. Ruckdaschel landed a blind judge before losing his kite and borrowing another from Julian Hosp, but the German rider received assistance inside the competition box which meant automatic disqualification.
In the first round of the quarter final, Rondina ended TyuskevichÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s run for a podium position, outperforming him with more variety and technical riding. Rondina landed a regular and switch blind judge, a huge kiteloop-backloop, a 313, slim and back to blind airpass. The Russian model landed a blind judge with aerial handlepass, back to blind airpass and a slimchance. Meanwhile, Schitzhofer ended BlomvallÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s winning rampage in the second set with a blind judge, 313, mobe, regular and switch slim and hasselhoff against BlomvallÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s blind judge and slim.
Ciastula is on fire today, winning three heats in a row, adding Crathern among his victims courtesy of a blind judge and slim over CrathernÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s high handlepass. Russian Gleb Ogar did not get a chance to avenge the lost of his brother, Boris, against the mightier Hereman when he too succumbed to the kiteboarding power of the Dutch powerhouse in heat #27.
In the second round of the quarter final, Rondina continued his charge towards the podium by defeating the young Marc Jacobs (North, New Zealand) in heat #28. Arriving late into his heat after a quick kite change, Jacobs looked unsettled and Rondina ran away with this heat with a regular and switch blind judge, slim, and a huge kiteloop-backloop with indy grab. Jacobs only managed to cleanly land a 313 and a blind judge. SchitzhoferÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s luck finally ran out courtesy of Rui Meira (Naish,Portugal) who gave the Austrian rider no chance in getting thru to the semi final round. Schitzhofer broke a borrowed board since his gear has not arrived yet and tried to go for it on another borrowed board but had too much to make up so Meira ran away with the heat. The Naish rider stomped a massive blind judge with aerial handlepass, hasselhoff, s-bend to blind with airpass and back to blind airpass, landing more technically difficult moves over SchitzhoferÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s 313, slim and blind judge. CiastulaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s run was also short-lived, this time courtesy of Cesar Portas (North, Spain) who gave the young Spaniard a run for his money. Portas landed a massive blind judge with aerial handlepass, kiteloop-backloop, slim, raley to blind and regular and switch mobes. Ciastula meanwhile, struggled to land his moves and with only a slim and blind judge had to bow out of the Fuerteventura leg. Meanwhile, it took a well-rested Ruben Lenten (Slingshot, Netherlands) to halt the rampaging (and probably exhausted) Hereman, stopping him in heat #29. Lenten outperformed his Dutch opponent with more power, technical difficulties and clean landings, including a blind judge, a super-powered KGB and mobe against HeremanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s high kite front mobe, mobe and slim.
In the fifth round, Meira beat Rondina, opening his heat with a massive front mobe and making it clear that he wanted to win this heat. A blind judge, heelside backroll with frontside 540, back to blind airpass, slim and a 313 put the icing on the cake and seal the win. However, Rondina did not go down without a decent fight, landing a blind judge, slim, back to blind airpass and a big kiteloop-backloop but lacked the technical difficulties and power of MeiraÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s tricks. Also in the same round, Portas was up against one of the best kiteboarders in the tour in the person of Lenten, but the Spanish rider seemed to be on a mission in this heat. Even under extreme conditions with strong and gusty winds, Portas went all out and claimed the win with a massive blind judge with aerial handlepass to open the heat, followed by a kiteloop-backloop at the judges tower. After the opening act, he landed a slim, regular and switch mobe, a non-inverted slimchance, hasselhoff, sent front mobe and mobe, matching the power and height of LentenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s moves before finally landing a switch trick. On the other hand, being not so strong with switch tricks the Dutch rider also went all out but came short on a few powered and fast landings, stomping a blind judge, back to blind airpass, 313, slim and mobe but lacked variety, including switch tricks.
As the guys inched closer and closer to the final battle, the competition got more intense and action-packed in heat #31 between Portas and Meira who went insane with 12 powerful moves each. Both riders matched each other move for move but with a higher technical difficulty score, Meira took the win coupled with smoother landings and lower kite angle. A KGB, front mobe, blind judge with aerial handlepass, s-bend to blind with aerial handlepass, mobe, non-inverted slim, and 313 were the winning tricks against PortasÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ blind judge with aerial handlepass, front mobe, slim and regular and switch mobes.
In the seventh round, Meira lost with a 3-2 decision against the well-rested Alvaro Onieva (Best, Spain), landing more clean moves coupled with a lower kite position for more power. Meira landed a front mobe, blind judge with aerial handlepass, back to blind airpass, non-inverted slimchance 540 and a mobe while Onieva landed a massive blind judge with aerial handlepass to open up the heat plus a hasselhoff, kiteloop handlepass, mobe and a front side 540 off the rollers coming in. And in another tight heat, Alex Pastor (Naish, Spain) won on a 3-2 decision against Onieva in the third to the last round. Pastor landed his tricks more cleanly and landed more technically difficult tricks including a blind judge, front mobe, s-bend to blind with airpass, slim, heelside backroll with frontside 540, 313 and topping it off with a mobe 7. Onieva on the other side, landed a blind judge with aerial handlepass, front mobe, s-bend to blind with aerial handlepass and mobe but crashed a few important moves like a kiteloop handlepass, 313 and double s-bend to blind with aerial handle pass.
Tiring from his earlier encounters, Pastor could not match the power and technical moves of Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK) who landed a blind judge with aerial handlepass, KGB, front mobe, kiteloop handlepass, mobe and front side handlepass off the kickers. Pastor on the other hand, landed some beautiful moves including an s-bend to blind with aerial handlepass, front mobe, slim and mobe but with a higher kite angle, meaning less power, settling for third place. In the final round, a role reversal ensued between Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) and Hadlow with Langeree doing the defending and Hadlow doing the challenging. With over 15 moves a piece, both riders did not hold back against each other and the extreme conditions. It was however, an event made for Langeree as he grabbed another top podium spot landing a front mobe to blind, blind judge with aerial handlepass, hasselhoff, non-inverted slimchance, KGB, front side 360, 313, mobe, a massive late pass mobe, kiteloop handlepass and (whew!) a butt-checked mobe 7 to seal the deal. Hadlow went hard with a blind judge, s-bend to blind with aerial handle pass, back to blind airpass, kiteloop handlepass 540, mobe, and slim but in a rare occasion of having a higher kite angle, less technical moves and variety to settle for second.
Congratulations to Kevin and Gisela for winning the Fuerteventura freestyle event! The course racing event will be held tomorrow after the skippers meeting at 11 am.
Freestyle Final Result:
1. Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands)
2. Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK)
3. Alex Pastor (Naish, Spain)
1. Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, Spain)
2. Bruna Kajiya (BEST, Brazil)
3. Angela Peral (North, Spain)
The PKRA Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2007 is organized by Pro Center RenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© Egli and supported by La ConcejalÃƒÆ’Ã‚Âa de Turismo del Ayuntamiento de PÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡jara. For the latest travel news, information and up-to-the-minute live results, visit http://www.extremeelements.com
. Fresh, HD-quality videos and highlights of the Fuerteventura PKRA Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2007 are available via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/extremeelementstv
. The latest PKRA World Rankings are at http://www.kiteworldtour.com