PKRA, the world foremost authority on kiteboarding concludes the Freestyle competition in this beautiful beach in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Under a perfect weather, another round of exciting kiteboarding action drew to a close as the Freestyle double finished off with intensity that only PKRA can deliver.

Providing the perfect finish to a perfect start, the weather cooperated all day with the wind and the sun providing the much needed fuel to finish the doubles event. Although there was a short 20-minute wind delay at 2:00 pm, the sky was clear in general with the wind all powered-up for a great final. The mandatory skippers meeting started on time at 11:00am and the competition finished at 4:15 pm with an awards ceremony on the beach.

History unfolded today as two world class PKRA athletes won back-to-back titles in the single and double events. Kevin Langeree became the first repeat winner of the Cabarete World Cup since the PKRA brought the tour here in 2001 while Gisela Pulido won her first-ever Cabarete title in the women’s division.

Freestyle Double Highlights

Reno Romeu (North, Brazil) continued his massive climb up the rankings in heat #26. After winning his two heats yesterday, Romeu went up against Austrian Michael Shitzhofer (JN Kites) in a very close heat but winning with a 4-1 decision. Romeu landed a 313, blind judge 3, mobe 5, a big kiteloop slim, front mobe and kiteloop 5. Shitzhofer landed his own 313, blind judge 3, kiteloop handle pass and a big front mobe but had less power than his North opponent.  The Brazilian rider also won against UK’s Tom Court (North) in heat #30 after Court crashed hard on the water while Romeu kept plugging away and landed his staple tricks.  It took an aggressive local rider Alex Soto (Starkites) to stop Romeu’s assault up the ladder in heat #31 going into the last four heats. The Dominican rider who was fresh from a win against countryman Ariel Corniel, ended Romeu’s magic with higher technical difficulty and switch variety.

Soto actually started his assault up the rankings in heat #27 taking out North rider Cesar Portas. Riding with more power and landing more technically difficult moves, Soto stomped a regular and switch mobe, regular and switch KGB, a front mobe to blind, double s-bend to blind and a nose grab slim against the regular and switch front mobe, slim, blind judge, front side 360 and mobe from Portas. The Dominican rider then faced off with another Spanish rider Alex Pastor (Naish) in the 29th heat, again out-powering and beating Pastor with regular and switch moves, powered slim, 313, backside 360 and a double s-bend to blind tail grab.

Andy Yates (Australia) powered by a Slingshot kite knocked down 3rd ranked Alvaro Onieva (Best, Spain) with some super clean riding skills in heat #27. Landing a regular and switch slim, s-bend to blind with aerial handle pass, KGB, blind judge with aerial handle pass, mobe 5 and front mobe, Yates overpowered the more experienced Alvaro who started the heat on an 11m kite but changed down to a 9m when the wind picked up while Yates was on a 13m the whole heat. After an initially abandoned heat due to a massive drop in the wind, Yates went up against the Dominican pocket-rocket Ariel Corniel (EH Kiteboarding). The young Australian rider put up a good fight with his regular and switch slim, front mobe, mobe to wrapped, front mobe to blind, a double s-bend to blind, blind judge and mobe 5 but ended up loosing the heat because Corniel unleashed a bag-full of tricks, nearly doubling the number of moves that Yates had. The former Cabarete champion  won with greater variation, technical difficulty and power, landing a blind judge, KGB, front mobe, front mobe to blind, pete rose, 313, mobe, slim, mobe to wrapped, non-inverted slim, and a double s-bend to blind with air pass.

In the last four heats of the competition, Sweden’s Mikael Blomvall (Nobile) stopped Soto from aspiring for a podium position in heat #32 to the disappointment of the local crowd but Manuel David Rondon (EH Kiteboarding) came to the rescue in the following heat, lifting the crowd spirit when he defeated Blomvall.  Rondon’s regular and switch moves along with a 313, front side 360 and raley to wrapped earned him the heat.

Despite snapping two lines in heat #34, world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK) managed to land enough tricks to take the win against Rondon. The Dominican bet had a lot of crashes and failed to take advantage of Hadlow having to swim in and find another kite.
The final event heat of the day was between Hadlow and Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) who faced off once again. Langeree came out firing in the heat and did not give up even when he crashed his kite hard onto the beach. Completely unfazed Langeree went for 20 moves to Hadlow’s 15, who had fewer crashes but lacked in power, height and speed. Langeree seems to be more focused this year and has stepped up his riding, becoming the first ever repeat winner of the Cabarete World Cup since winning the title in 2006.

The women’s division showed equally exciting matches with Joanna Litwin (Nobile, Poland) opening up the women’s heat with a slim against seasoned rider Jo Wilson (Naish, UK) but Wilson stayed focused on her game plan and came away with a raley to blind, back to blind, a handle pass and double blind to win the heat.

In the second round of heat #14, Johara Sykes-Davis (Flexifoil, UK) and Angela Peral (North, Spain) started neck and neck with both landing raley to blind and downloop to blind but Peral got the edge with a back to blind, a back to toeside surface pass and a back to wrapped with an ole while Sykes-Davies continued on with a krypt to surface pass. Peral took the win with more technical difficulty and power. The North-sponsored Spanish rider went on to defeat Wilson in heat #15 with more powered landings but lost to Karolina Winkowska (Naish, Poland) in heat #16.

Winkowska then went onto win over Germany’s Susi Mai (Cabrinha), landing a slim, front side 360 and a blind judge against Mai’s raley to blind and raley to wrapped. The Poland’s pride then went on to defeat tour leader Bruna Kajiya (Best) outclassing the Brazilian athlete with a blind judge, slim, raley to blind and blind judge 3. Kajiya landed a front side 360, blind judge with aerial handle pass and s-bend to blind, Winkowska winning with more technical difficulty and cleaner landings.

In the final heat, Gisela Pulido went out fresh and ready, stomping a blind judge, front mobe, slim, 313, and mobe over Winkowska’s blind judge 3 and slim – eliminating the need for a second final as Pulido went with more technical difficulty and cleaner landings giving the young Spanish champion her first ever win in Cabarete.

The King of Board-Off will be held tomorrow with a skippers meeting at 11:00 am. Congratulations to all the winners!

Freestyle double results:

Men:

1.    Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands)
2.    Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK)
3.    Manuel David Rondon (EH, Dominican Republic)

Women:

1.    Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, Spain)
2.    Karolina Winkowska (Naish, Poland)
3.    Bruna Kajiya (Best, Brazil)

Source: PKRA