Onto the fourth day of the Telefonica Movistar Kite Pro 2008 in Tarifa, Spain and the long wait for the wind to arrive finally ended at 4:00 pm which signalled the start of the day’s events for the continuation of the freestyle doubles. The riders’ meeting was held at 11:30 am but light winds prevailed from morning to mid-afternoon hence the long wait for the wind lasted for about 4 ½ hours. Sunny clear skies also prevailed during much of the day.
At 4:00 pm, the wind started to blow at an average of 15 – 17 knots which signalled the raising of the green flag for the start of the events. Most of the men went to the water with 12-14m kites.
In some of today’s highlights, the more experienced rider in Marc Jacobs (North, Australia) showed his strengths early on in the first round of heat #22 against fellow Australian Andy Yates (Slingshot) with several opening moves. Jacobs won the heat, riding with more power, going for bigger and faster moves.
Two heats later, another North rider, Reno Romeu (Brazil) ran away with the win over Denmark’s Nick Jacobsen (Slingshot), riding with more power and landing more technical moves, including a regular and switch slim, kiteloop handle pass, front mobe and 313 against Jacobsen’s front mobe, mobe, slim and blind judge. In the following heat, Michael Schitzhofer (JN Kites) of Austria outclassed Jo Ciastula (Airush) of Spain with technical and switch moves with a lot of variation while Madison Van Heurck of the U.S. Virgin Islands defeated Sylvester Ruckdaschel of Germany despite the latter landing several clean moves. Van Heurck won the heat thru powered riding and technical difficulties with a KGB, 313 and mobe.
In the 26th heat, Tom Court (North, UK) had a tough battle against his North team mate Marc Jacobs who emerged the winner with cleaner execution and more technical difficulty points, landing a slim, mobe, blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, back to blind air pass, front mobe and s-bend to blind air pass against Court’s 313, regular and switch mobe, blind judge, slim and back to blind air pass. Jacobs ironically suffered a defeat in heat #28 courtesy of Russian Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha) who won with more technically difficult landings, switch moves and variation.
Meanwhile, Sebastien Garat (RRD) of France stopped a charging Romeu in the 27th heat to end the Brazilian’s bid for a podium spot. Garat had cleaner execution and more variation to his moves including a regular and switch slim, blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe to blind, mobe, kiteloop and non-inverted slim against Romeu’s blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe, KGB, and a higher kite angle slim and mobe. The young French rider also took out Spain’s Cesar Portas (North) in heat #29 to advance up the ladder.
Also more notable among the heats was the road back for world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK) which began with a win over Germany’s Mario Rodwald (North). Hadlow landed several moves which were more powered and more technical including a blind judge with aerial handle pass, regular and switch moves of back to blind air pass, slim, kiteloop with aerial handle pass, hasselhoff and mobe as well as a kiteloop slim and mobe to wrapped. Rodwald was knocked down by a lack of switch moves and powered landings. In the 30th heat, Hadlow clearly outclassed Tyuskevich on all fronts, defeating the Russian kiteboarder with more powered moves and higher technical difficulty level.
After several winning heats and powered riding, Van Heurck seemed to finally ran out of power as he had several crashes in heat #29 against Tom Hebert (Airush) of New Caledonia. The USVI native kiteboarder also had his kite uncharacteristically higher than usual which cost him the heat.
On a mission to prove that he is the man to beat, Hadlow never left anything for chance. He defeated Garat in the 31st heat with 15 awesome moves including a regular and switch mobe, regular and switch front mobe, regular and switch back to blind air pass, regular and switch slim and front mobe to blind which proved all too much for the French’s regular and switch slim, regular and switch KGB, front mobe and blind judge with aerial handle pass.
In the women’s division, Susi Mai (Cabrinha, Germany) defeated Jo Wilson (Naish, UK) in the opening heat of the women’s double. Trying to go for extra power to really differentiate herself from Mai, Wilson crashed several moves and lost the heat. Mai also defeated local bet Angela Peral (Spain, North) in the 14th heat to keep her event alive. A raley to wrapped, double back kiteloop, raley to blind, front to blind, back to blind and downloop to blind move blinded the opposition who landed a back to wrapped, downloop to blind and raley to blind. The German pride was more powered, more technical and had more variation.
In the 11th heat, Erika Lindberg (Slingshot) of Sweden opened up the round early with a back to toeside surface pass and Vulcan surface pass but crashed her more technical raley to blind and downloop. Her opponent, UK’s Johara Sykes-Davies (Flexifoil) had a flurry of moves towards the opposite end of the heat, taking the win with a raley to blind, downloop to blind and back to toeside surface pass.
Two heats later, Spain’s Laura Fernandez (Cabrinha) lost to Davies via technical difficulty. Davies won with a downloop raley and back to toeside surface pass.
In the last ran heat of the day, Jalou Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) won against Davies with a krypt to surface pass, Vulcan to surface pass, front to blind, kiteloop and raley to blind over Davies’ raley to blind and back loop.
With the wind dying down at 7:00 pm, the race directory finally called the day off with the remaining heats of the doubles to be decided tomorrow. The mandatory skippers meeting will start at 11:00 am with first possible start at 11:30 am.