Carlos Mario opens the kite season with a triumph in Egypt

March 23, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Carlos Mario: taking over the skies of El Gouna | Photo: Christian Black

You might haven't noticed, but the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has already held the first event of the season, in El Gouna, Egypt.

Kiteboarding has been living the worst nightmare of its history, but IKA seems focused on putting up a full competitive schedule. However, fans - and even athletes - don't know how to call it. Is it Kiteboarding World Championships or World Kite League?

IKA is currently working with both designations. Nevertheless, the El Gouna Kiteboarding Grand Slam is over. The first of eight stages had freestyle and big air division on the menu. The number of kiteboarders involved has not been shared with the media.

We do know that the last day of competition had steady winds blowing in the 20 knots range, and waters revealing a small chop. The finals had a Karolina Winkowska versus Bruna Kajiya, and Carlos Mario versus Youri Zoon.

On the women's side, changed the course of the game with a big clean back mobe, while Kajiya couldn't land her front mobes. The tight matchup could only have one winner, and the Polish prevailed.

"I am so happy to take the win! It was a tough heat; a super hard and close final with Bruna Kajiya! Great day, and lots of emotions. Thanks to all my supporting team at the beach," expressed Karolina Winkowska.

On the men's side, there were two riders with a similar style and almost the same equipment choice fighting it out for the first title of the kiteboarding season. Zoon seemed fired up with a huge back mobe 540 and a flawless 317.

But Carlos Mario kept his composure and started building his scores. He kicked off with a spectacular backside 317, added a super clean KGB 540, sealed the deal with a butt-checked front mobe 720.

"Brazil, there's another title for us! Thank God and to all share their positive energy. Fortunately, everything went well. One more for Brazil!" wrote Carlos Mario.

El Gouna Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2016 | Freestyle Final Results

1. Carlos Mario (BRA)
2. Youri Zoon (NED)
3. Alex Pastor (ESP)

1. Karolina Winkowska (POL)
2. Bruna Kajiya (BRA)
3. Annabel van Westerop (ARU)