PKRA Canada 2008 

The fourth day of the PKRA 2008 World Tour stop in Canada, part of the on-going Festival of the Wind concludes with the freestyle double eliminations in the bag.


Just like the past three days, the weather was warm and sunny but there was no wind when the event was supposed to start so it was postponed until 10:00 in the morning.

As the day wore on, the wind slowly started to pick up speed so by 2:00 pm, the organizers moved the judges and the competitors to the same spot down the beach where the event started during the first day. The first heat went into the water by 3:00 pm.

Luckily as the day progressed, the wind continued to pick up. The competitors were on their largest kites during the start, however, they eventually downgraded to their 12-meter kites for the men who were sufficiently powered up.

Mario Rodwald (North, GER) went up against Reno Romeu (North, BRA) in the 28th heat of the Freestyle with the Brazilian kiteboarder taking the win with switch moves and a higher technical difficulty score. In the same heat, the man from Down Under, Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) defeated French rider Sebastien Garat (RRD) with more powered tricks and a higher technical variation score.

Tremendous powered moves including a regular and switch KGB and front mobe to blind for the Aussie gave him the win against some solid regular and switch slim, regular and switch back to blind air pass for Garat but unfortunately not enough overall technical difficulty mark cost him the heat.

In the next heat, Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) defeated Michael Schitzhofer (JN, AUT) in a close 3-2 decision. Pastor edged the Austrian kiteboarder with slight technical advantage, landing switch variations of slim, mobe and back to blind air pass and topped off the heat with a KGB to blind.

Schitzhofer landed a regular and switch slim, KGB, mobe and kiteloop slim. New Caledonian Tom Hebert (Airush) defeated Cesar Portas (North, ESP) also in the same heat, beating the Spanish kiteboarder over power and super clean execution plus throwing in some grabbed moves for a convincing 4-1 victory.

After coming in from the back of the draw, Yates defeated Romeu with more powered moves and variation moving one step up the ladder. Even though Romeu landed a switched slim and front mobe plus front mobe to blind, KGB, blind judge with aerial handle pass, mobe, 313 and kiteloop slim, they were not enough to beat the 18-year old Queensland native.

“The event was good. At the start I was very unfortunate to be one of four riders not to be qualified. I lost my first heat against Madison [Van Heurck] that put me way at the back of the draw so I fought my way back in the whole of the doubles.  I got through against Julian [Hosp] and I was so stoked because that was a huge monkey off my back and then the next one I was against Seb [Garat]. It was pretty close and I had a good heat. I saw Seb ripping so I tried to copy and I’m really happy to get that win. Then I went against Reno [Romeu] and I had a good heat as well and won a 3-2 decision and I was pretty stoked. Then I went against Tom Hebert and he did really well. He really has pretty good style, he grabs everything, does switch and he was the better rider so I finished 6th overall,” said Yates who will also be going to Brazil and Chile for the last two remaining stops of the PKRA 2008 World Tour.

Pastor also had a tough heat #30 and struggled against Hebert with only a regular and switch mobe/slim and a front mobe. Hebert’s regular and switch variations of slim, front mobe and KGB plus a mobe 5 and indy front to blind sealed the win for him and then went on to defeat Yates in the 31st heat with cleaner execution and more switch variety.

After a back-to-back win, Hebert’s charge to the podium came to an end at the hands of Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE). The Swedish freestyler landed a variation of regular and switch moves including back to blind air pass, front mobe, blind judge and slim, topped by a 313, s-bend to blind with air pass, and kiteloop handle pass to advance to the final round.

Blomvall then defeated Alvaro Onieva (Best, ESP) in the 33rd heat but not without a good fight from the Spanish champ. Blomvall won with a 3-2 decision for more cleaner execution, switch variation and grabbed moves. Unfortunately, he would succumbed to the riding powers of Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) in the next heat to settle for third place overall. Langeree, who had his eyes only on the championship seat, rode with much more power and height in all his moves.

However, he was defeated in the final round by no less than PKRA world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR) who only needed one final run to win the event. An action-packed final round finished-off the doubles with a total of 15 moves from Langeree and 18 moves from Hadlow.

Both riders were evenly matched but Hadlow came on top with greater technical difficulty score and switch variation, landing a regular and switch KGB/slim/hasselhoff/mobe, plus an s-bend to blind air pass, blind judge with aerial handle pass, shifty-3, mobe to wrapped, front mobe to blind, non-inverted slim 720 and a double front to blind.

Langeree had his own switch move variation of back to blind air pass, hasselhoff plus a blind judge 3, s-bend to blind air pass, mobe to wrapped, 313, double s-bend, front mobe and slim.

In the women’s event, Marilou Levalle (North, CAN) won against Elena Pitoulis in the 15th heat before Jo Wilson (Naish, GBR) defeated the Canadian rider with a raley to blind and krypt to surface pass in the 16th heat. Angela Peral (North, ESP) then defeated Wilson in their 17th heat duel with a close 3-2 decision.

Both riders landed a raley to blind and downloop to blind but with a back to toeside surface pass for Peral and a krypt to surface pass for Wilson. Peral had a slight technical difficulty advantage and took the win, although power was evenly matched.

As if preparing for the Brazilian round, Bruna Kajiya (Best, BRA) had a solid win via air pass moves over Peral in the 18th heat, taking the heat with more technical difficulty and power, facing Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, ESP) in the final. Peral settled for third overall.

It was a very close heat at the start of the final round with a blind judge and s-bend for Kajiya and a slim and blind judge for Pulido. However, Pulido, who was riding with her kite slightly higher to make sure she could land all her moves landed a 313, front mobe, s-bend, blind judge with aerial handle pass and mobe against Kajiya’s back to blind air pass and blind judge 3.

The decision was 5-0 for Pulido for technical difficulty and variety. Kajiya’s landed moves weren’t powerful enough to overcome the Spanish champion’s variation and technical difficulty.

The final day of the PKRA 2008 World Tour stop in Canada intertwined with Prince Edward Island’s Festival of the Wind started out cold with overcast skies. There was not enough wind to start the Big Air Best Trick contest so the event ended up having a full day of wind delays until finally at 3:00 pm, the awards ceremony was held to conclude the day and bring the competition to a close.

To pass the day, some of the athletes were on sight to teach some of the spectators how to fly a kite by using training foil kites.  There was also a football (soccer) game that the competitors staged for fun to pass the time.

The Canadian Tour stop is the 3rd to the last Tour stop of the PKRA 2008 World Tour and is the only North American venue of the PKRA.

Freestyle Double Results:

Men:

1st – Aaron Hadlow (GBR, Flexifoil)
2nd – Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish)
3rd – Mikael Blomvall (SWE, Nobile)
4th – Alvaro Onieva (ESP, Best)

Women:

1st – Gisela Pulido (ESP, Slingshot)
2nd – Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Best)
3rd – Angela Peral (ESP, North)
4th – Jo Wilson (GBR, Naish)

Source: PKRA