Main Event Starts - GKA Mauritius
GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2017
8th September 2017: Le Morne, Mauritius
Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Yesterday saw a packed day of competition in the qualifying rounds as 39 riders took to the water hoping to gain a place in the main event. The day rounded out with just a few heats left to complete in the qualifiers and then this morning the riders were straight back into the remaining trials heats.
Although the wind was variable, it was still legit 9 metre weather and there was a slightly smaller swell but with some perfect peeling sets out on the reef.
Kevin Langeree and James Storm Carew won the first two heats of the day and went straight through to the final round of the trials where they would come face to face to decide which of them would progress to the main event.
Carew had been one of the standout riders during the trials but, although he rode well, he just couldn’t rise to the flying Dutchman and his competition was over as Kevin progressed to the main event.
Jeremy Chan, the local rider who famously routed Airton in round three last year at One Eye, also didn’t make the cut and eight riders progressed into the main event with Kevin the highest seeded of them all.
After a short break, the main event began as the tour’s big names finally hit the water in three man heats for round one. Heat winners in round one would progress straight through to round three while second and third place finishers would have to head back out in round two to avoid an early exit from the main event.
AIRton Cozzolino got the highest combo score of the day, which is the average score across a rider's two highest scoring waves, of 17.2 points and Keahi de Aboitiz got the second highest of 15.2.
Kevin Langeree demonstrated his unreal competitive ability after qualifying from the trials in top position before decimating his round one heat against Sandro Pisu and Jan Marcos Riveras.
In round two the first riders would begin to drop and there were some tough draws. Theo Demanez suffered defeat at the hands of Gustavo Arrojo and Camille Delannoy had an extremely tight heat against One Eye veteran Mitu Monteiro but Mitu’s experience on this wave proved too much for Camille.
ROUND TWO RESULTS BELOW
M. Lois - 1
T. Cili - 2 (Out)
Adarzane - 1
T. Holl - 2 (Out)
S. Pisu - 1
B. Ribot - 2 (Out)
G. Arrojo - 1
T. Demanez - 2 (Out)
F. Ferreira - 1
A. Tulet - 2 (Out)
M. Monteiro - 1
C. Delannoy - 2 (Out)
R. Boelen - 1
J. Bertran - 2 (Out)
P. Matos - 1
J. M. Riveras - 2 (Out)
With round two complete, the final act of the day was round one of the women’s division in which 14 riders competed in eight heats. The wind was ratcheting up ever higher with most of the riders on 5 metre kites and there’s a depth of talent in this division with former world champion Jalou Langeree, Hawaiian shredder Moona Whyte, 10 x freestyle world champion Gisela Pulido and local ripper (and two time winner at One Eye) Ninja-Maria Bichler.
Jalou Langeree was the outstanding rider of the day though and, speaking after her heat against her, Gisela Pulido admitted that she’d been a tough competitor to come up against in her first heat!
The waves continued to drop during round one and, as the sun began to set, time was called on the competition for today.
Great to see 10 x World Champion Gisela Pulido back in competition. Specialising in freestyle in her career up to now she had the toughest of first rounds against a previous World Champion, Jalou Langeree. We'll see her in round two.
ROUND ONE RESULTS WOMEN (INCLUDING BYES)
C. Herreira - 1
N. Abadjied - 2
T. Mukhina - 1
J. Catharina - 2
Heat 2A (bye)
L. Fadeeva - 1
E. Bolle - 2
M. Whyte - 1
M. Gautron - 2
K. Ernest - 1
S. Gabriel - 2
Heat 4A (bye)
J. Langeree - 1
G. Pulido - 2
Tomorrow's first call will be at 9am with a first possible start at 9.30am as action continues. There’s a strong wind forecasted for the day but the waves may be dropping a little, so we could just see progress through the men's third and fourth rounds before a big swell rolls in early next week, so let’s see what the morning brings.