Day 8 - PKRA - Gard Kitesurf World Cup 2007
ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Day 8 of the Gard Kitesurf World Cup 2007 at St. Peter-Ording in Northern Germany. In the morning, the sun was up in full force, warming up the competition area then changed to overcast skies late in the morning with periods of light rain early in the afternoon. The mercury peaked at 18 degrees Celsius which is quite typical in this part of the region, while the wind blew at a steady 14-18 knots coming from the west direction and provided the much needed fuel to begin todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s contest. As early as 8:00 in the morning, the wind showed signs of staying for the day even though it slightly subsided while the boarder course racing course was being set but nevertheless, the wind strength was still enough to hold a competition. The boarder cross competition kicked off in the morning after the mandatory skippers meeting with light winds for the first few rounds.
The Boardercross competition is a single elimination format. But there are required tricks that every rider should perform per race so it was important to finish every race as no one knew who may or may not have performed the tricks properly. A zigzag course including a double spin move (720 rotation), a sausage jump (floating long obstacle to jump over) and a double sausage jump with a board grab are some of the tricks that every competitor should hurdle to finish. There were plenty of areas on the course where riders could mess up and be penalized a place (if a rider was not able to perform the required tricks, he or she would be penalized one position and only the top two competitors of each heat would advance.) There were as many as six competitors per race.
The Boardercross competition was won by Sky Solbach (North, U.S.) and GermanyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Kristin Boese (Best). The game was concluded at 12:30 pm which by that time, the wind started to show some building strength. Everyone at the event site had a one-hour break after the boarder cross to allow the competitors to have some lunch and get ready for the freestyle final rounds.
The Freestyle event started underway at exactly 2:00 pm as planned. Julian Hosp (Rodwy, Austria) and Christophe Tack (Slingshot, Belgium) had the honors of opening up the dayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s freestyle game in heat #18a but Hosp was disqualified for sailing into tack. In the 19th heat, Mario Rodwald (Carved,
Germany) was also disqualified after crashing his kite into fellow German Kim Albrecht (North) who was competing against SpainÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Alex Pastor (Naish) in the same heat which Pastor won after a re-run.
In heat #21, Rocky Chatwell (Crazyfly, US) had a close heat against Bas Koole (Best) of Netherlands. Both riders performed technical and powered tricks but Chatwell won with a few switch variations. Also more notable in the dayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s competition came courtesy of heat #23 between Pastor and Russian Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha). The heat was also closely-contested but the Russian kiteboarding champ eventually won with switch varieties including a regular to switched front mobe although both riders did land powered moves and super technical tricks.
In heat #24, Marc Jacobs (North, New Zealand) got schooled by higher ranked team De La Villemarque. Finding some form, the French champ won with more technical tricks to beat JacobÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s variety of moves and slightly more powered riding. The cleaner landings and more technical moves of De La Villemarque was enough to bring him home and into the next round. Also, some notable matches of the games were in heat #26, first between Mikael Blomvall (JN-Kites, Sweden) and Michael Schitzhofer (Naish, Austria) who both battled it out in a very close heat with both riders performing superb regular to switch moves. But for this heat, it would be Blomvall moving into the next round, riding with more power. Then in the second round, Tyuskevich beat Leander Vyvey (JN-Kites, Belgium) with cleaner landings and more powered moves. Vyvey went for the big moves such as kiteloop double back mobe and double s-bend to blind with aerial handle pass but came unstuck on a few landings.
Meanwhile, after two interesting matches, Alberto Rondina (Cabrinha, Italy) went up against Chatwell who was definitely on fire the whole day winning four out of five matches. Chatwell clearly dominated the round, ending RondinaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s run with more powered moves and technical variety. Then shortly, Blomvall went into the waters to go up against PortugalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Rui Meira
(Naish) in a closely-contested heat. Both riders were matched for power and technical difficulties but Meira, who went for a front mobe to blind plus with generally smoother and faster moves won the game for him.
Ruben Lenten (Slingshot) of Netherlands was also fired up for the day (mainly due to the several days of wind delay, most of the guys out here were all pumped up for some action.) Lenten took on the Russian male model body builder stomping some huge and powered moves. He stole the show and won the heat with his usual repertoire of tricks including a mobe, slim, a massive kiteloop 540, KGB, blind judge with aerial handle pass and sent front mobe. These tricks proved too much for TyuskevichÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s front mobe, KGB, mobe and low kiteloop with aerial handle pass and slim.
In a 5-0 decision, the well-rested Randy Hereman (F-One, Netherlands) ended De La VillemarqueÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s run for the podium. Riding with renewed vigor and regaining confidence from last winterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s knee injury, the F-One rider landed a regular to switched mobe, regular to switched slim, back to blind air pass, and a 313, displaying more power and speed. North rider De La Villemarque on the other hand nailed a regular to switched blind judge, a regular to switched mobe, a front mobe, slim and KGB.
Heat #30 was also a closely-fought battle but ended up in a 4-1 judges decision between Rui Meira (Nais, Portugal) and Lenten. The Portuguese kiteboarding star rode more powered and fast like Lenten but Meira had the edge of performing two regular to switch moves. Although they were not perfectly executed, the added technical difficulty gave him the edge. In the second round of the same heat, the all-fired up Chatwell met Hereman and battled fiercely. Hereman rode more powered with greater height in moves plus the added bonus of switch moves. He nailed a regular to switched mobe, front mobe, slim, 313 540, back to blind airpass and a front mobe to blind in the last minute to seal the win and have a chance at the podium. On the other hand, Chatwell landed a regular to switched mobe, KGB, kiteloop slim
and front mobe.
There was not much action though in the womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s event, at least not until heat #14 courtesy of Jalou Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) and Angela Peral (North, Spain) who had a nice old tussle. Both women riders landing downloop to blind and raley to blind. Langeree had the chance to do a technical trick courtesy of a vulcan to surface pass and krypt to surface pass which eventually won her the heat. The Naish girls, Karolina Winkowska (Poland) and Nina Schumacher (Germany) battled it out in the same heat with Winkowska smoking the German rider with a blind judge, raley to blind and front to blind. Schumacher landed a big kiteloop-backloop but didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t even come close.