Airton Cozzolino crowned 2017 GKA Kitesurf World Tour champion

September 14, 2017 | Kiteboarding
Airton Cozzolino: he was crowned 2017 GKA Kitesurf World Tour champion at One Eye | Photo: Van der Heide/GKA

What better way to crown a wave kitesurfing champion than in the iconic reef break of One Eye, in Mauritius.

The 2017 GKA Kitesurf World Tour is over, and we have a new champion. The race for the championship title had two contenders - Matchu Lopes and Airton Cozzolino - and they put everything on each wave to raise the coveted trophy.

Both riders progressed through the early heats until the competition turned into a do-or-die showdown.

Airton and Kevin Langeree met in a quarter-final clash, and this could have been the moment Cozzolino's title-race against Matchu ended. The rider from Sal had to beat Langeree to celebrate a world title.

The Dutch pushed the limits and found a barrel that could threaten Cozzolino's hopes, but the Italian-Cape Verdean eventually answered with the highest scoring combo of the event and could throw the fireworks.

"I made it! Words simply can't describe how happy I am right now. I've been fighting for this second world title for more than five years now, and finally, all the hard work paid off," said Airton Cozzolino.

The rest is history. Match beat Airton in a mini-final, and Keahi de Aboitiz won the event. Moona Whyte is the women's world champion.

2017 GKA Kitesurf World Tour | Top 10

1. Airton Cozzolino
2. Matchu Lopes
3. Keahi de Aboitiz
4. Paulino Pereira
5. Mitu Monteiro
6. Sandro Pisu
7. Camille Delannoy
8. Ralph Boelen
9. Jan Marcos Riveras
10. Ismail Adarzane