Today the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships got started with a full day of action on the crystal clear waters of Sotavento beach, with spectators lining up to watch the first rounds of the Men’s and Women’s freestyle event.
Following the 11am rider’s meeting, the day’s events commenced with the Women’s Freestyle Elimination. Fuerteventura’s well known strong wind was blowing in full force, and the girls prepared themselves to compete in the forecasted 25 to 30 knots. Using kite sizes ranging from 6 to 9 metres, the girls were powered up and ready to battle it out on the water.
The first heat commenced with 9x World Champion Gisela Pulido (ES/Best) who hit the water together with UK rider and fellow Best kiteboarding team mate Hannah Whiteley (GB/Best). The Spanish rider came in shortly after to change to a larger kite. This enabled her to continue her heat in a powerful and stylish manner which allowed her to advance over her fellow team mate.
Next heat up was Brazilian rider and 1x World Champion Bruna Kajiya (BR/Airush) who faced Annabel Van Westerop (Aruba/Cabrinha) and Danish newcomer Therese Taabbel (DN/Cabrinha). It was Annabel who advanced in first place, with Bruna in second and Therese in third.
As the wind gradually continued to increase, it was time for current World Champion Karolina Winkoska (PL/ Slingshot) to face fellow Polish rider Helena Brochoka (PL/Liquid Force) Karolina was on fine form throwing down the highest women’s score of the day of 34.65 nailing a powerful S-bend to blind. This allowed her to advance over Helena.
For the girls, Round 2 got underway, which meant Annelous Lammerts (NL/Slingshot) was to face Therese Taabbel (DN/Cabrinha), a battle to see who would gain a spot in the quarter finals. Therese performed well despite having sustained an injury during her first heat of the day and having to receive two stitches, but she continued to perform with determination. However, it wasn’t enough to beat dutch rider Annelous who scored a 7.1 S-bend to blind amongst other powered tricks which allowed her break through to the next round. Joining her in the quarter finals will be Bruna Kajiya (BR/Airush) who defeated Spanish rider Rita Arnaus (ES/Best) in the final women’s heat of the day.
The Men’s freestyle elimination took place as the winds increased to over 30 knots. The guys were using a variety of kite sizes ranging from 9 to 11 metres. Current World Champion Christophe Tack (BE/Liquid Force) showed determination and style in his first heat, where he defeated french rider Paul Serin (FR/Naish) and Posito Martinez (DR/Da Silva). The Belgian current World Champion performed a massive back mobe which scored him 7.35 and gave him the advantage.
Heat 2 saw Patrick Blanc (SP/Ozone) take the win over Jerome Cloetens (BE/North) and Marc Jacobs (NZ/Switch). The spanish rider performed some great tricks including a backside 315 scoring 8.03.
Spanish rider and 2013 World Champion Alex Pastor (ES/Airush) won his heat and defeated fellow Spaniard David Tonijuan (ES/Cabrinha) and Rens Van der Schoot (NL/Cabrinha) by performing an impressive Front Blind Mobe that scored him a 7.43.
As the renowned winds of Fuerteventura continued to blow, 2x World Champion Youri Zoon (NL/Best) put on a great performance with a powerful start to his heat performing an explosive Backside 317. He dominated his heat showing confidence with his doubles throughout, which allowed him to defeat Dominican rider Ariel Corniel (DR/Naish).
Heat number 5 saw Brazilian riders Eudazio Da Silva (BR/Nobile) and Alex Neto (Br/Best) put on a great display alongside UK rider Lewis Crathern (UK/Best), with Eudazio being the dominating rider and finally taking the win.
Dominican rider Robinson Hilario (DR/Fone) delivered the goods today with a strong performance which included a Heart Attack scoring 6.58 that gave him the advantage over Oswald Smith (SA/Airush) and Stefan Speissberger (Aus/North).
The 17 year old Brazilian rider Carlos Mario (BR/Slingshot) managed to defeat Russian Sergei Borisov (RUS/Slinghshot) in heat number 6. Even though both riders crashed their kites shortly after the start of the heat, Carlos Mario managed to perform a Slim 5 that scored him 7.0 points and gave him the win.
The final men’s heat of the day saw UK rider and 5 x World Champion Aaron Hadlow (GB/North) ride a solid heat performing a Backside 315 and impressive back mobe 5, allowing him to defeat Austrian rider Michael Schitzhofer (AT/Best).
Tomorrow promises to be another exceptional day of strong winds and outstanding riding from the World’s top kiteboarders.