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.

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PKRA Canada 2008

It’s the second day of the PKRA 2008 World Tour in Canada for the Festival of the Wind with the day starting out very early – very early in fact that even Mother Nature wasn’t even awake.

The result was no wind as forecasted. Since the wind was more out of the North, a decision was made to move the competition to the North shore where both the wind and location were more favorable. As a result there was a wind and change of venue delay until 10:00 am so race director Eric Troostheide decided to go for an 11:00 am start.

Day 2 Highlights

The men’s Freestyle singles picked up from where it left yesterday with an early show of exciting kiteboarding action and an opening heat between Reno Romeu (North, BRA) and Alvaro Onieva (Best, ESP) in heat #13.

Onieva displayed more variety and powered moves, landing a blind judge, s-bend, regular and switch back to blind air pass, regular and switch slim, double s-bend, kiteloop handle pass and 313 against Romeu’s blind judge with air pass, 313, mobe 5, slim and KGB.

Current world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, GBR) defeated Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) in the same heat. Both riders displayed strong moves packed with high technical score and power but Hadlow’s switch variety gave him the edge.

Fresh from his win against Hosp yesterday, Mikael Blomvall (Nobile, SWE) had a good showing in this heat, defeating Alex Pastor (Naish, ESP) in the 14th heat with a regular and switch variations of KGB, front mobe and slim, a huge double s-bend and shifty 3.

Pastor landed his own regular and switch moves plus a mobe, front mobe to blind and s-bend but not enough to match Blomvall’s greater technical score and switch variation plus power.

Meanwhile, Kevin Langeree’s (Naish, NED) fight to the throne continues with a win against Tom Hebert (Airush, New Caledonia) in the same heat. Hebert displayed several switch variation but the power and execution of Langeree gave him the win, including a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, regular and switch KGB, double back mobe, double s-bend, indy grab, non-inverted slim, s-bend to blind and mobe.

Langeree then went off to defeat Blomvall in the semi-final with an exceptional show of talent, landing a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, regular and switch KGB, regular and switch front mobe, s-bend, non-inverted slim and kiteloop handle pass. Blomvall lost with less switch moves, less power and variety.

Hadlow also had his eye on the Canadian Freestyle crown, defeating Onieva in the semis to fight Langeree for the top spot. Breezing by Onieva with textbook moves, Hadlow landed several regular and switch moves and a double pass.

In the battle for third place, Onieva got the better of Blomvall who was performing exceptionally well this season. A more solid performance from Onieva enabled him to take the 3rd podium spot winning with more variety and a higher technical difficulty score.

Onieva stomped a regular and switch variation of back to blind air pass and hasselhoff, a mobe to wrapped, front mobe to blind, kiteloop handle pass, slim, mobe and a blind judge. Blomvall on the other hand, landed his regular and switch variation of KGB, front mobe and mobe, plus a slim, shifty 3, blind judge and a double s-bend to blind.

The classic battle of Hadlow – Langeree once again brought the Canadian crowd to awe as both athletes displayed amazing trick after trick, unleashing their repertoire of moves that delighted the crowd. Langeree had his days but this time, Hadlow would once again dominate the event, winning the first Prince Edward Island PKRA singles crown.

The UK-born kiteboarding champion took the first round honors with a more solid display of switch moves and technical variation including double pass moves. Hadlow landed regular and switch variations of back to blind air pass, mobe, slim and hasselhoff plus a grabbed blind judge with aerial handle pass, grabbed non-inverted slim, front mobe to blind, mobe to wrapped, blind judge with aerial handle pass, s-bend and a heavily butt-checked NIS-7.

Langeree nailed a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, mobe, regular and switch KGB/front mobe, double s-bend, double back mobe, s-bend, indy back to blind air pass and a nose grab 313.

After a no-game day for the women yesterday, they had the privilege of going to the water before anybody else today. The second-round heat started off the day’s events with tour regular Angela Peral (North, ESP) having an easy win over Marilou Lavallee (North, CAN) in heat #5.

Lavallee kited very strong, landing a few powered rolls and grabs but lost her kite (broken leash or chicken loop) on a huge kiteloop-backloop. Peral was defeated in the 7th heat by world number two Bruna Kajiya (Best, BRA) with some powered moves and had to settle for third place overall after defeating Jo Wilson (Naish, GBR) in the loosers’ final.

In the final heat of the women’s single, current world champion Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, ESP) once again proved that she is still the best among the best by defeating Kajiya for the top podium position. Both freestylers had a very strong showing but Pulido won by landing a blind judge, front mobe, 313, slim and s-bend taking the women’s singles freestyle crown.

Kajiya landed a blind judge, s-bend, back to blind air pass and blind judge with aerial handle pass, butt-crashing several non-inverted slim attempts.

The singles event wrapped up on the North shore then the games were moved back to the original location for the rest of the day. There was a short lunch break which was followed by the awards ceremony for the singles freestyle.

Since the tide was still out, the competition was moved again down the beach were the games started yesterday to start the doubles event. Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) defeated Hosp in the 23rd heat, advancing to the fourth round after winning by default in the third because his would-be opponent did not launch due to an injury suffered yesterday.

Mario Rodwald (North, GER) went up against Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha, RUS) who had a tough 26th heat fight.

Rodwald advanced to the next round with more variation and cleaner execution, including a regular and switch slim, regular and switch KGB, kiteloop handle pass, front mobe, blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, and mobe against Tyuskevich’s regular and switch slim, hasselhoff, 313, mobe, double s-bend, blind judge with aerial handle pass and back to blind air pass.

The wind was up and down during the doubles which caused the first heat to be cancelled halfway through because of failing winds. The event eventually finished a few more heats without postponements until 6:00 pm when the wind totally died down which prompted Troostheide to call it for the day.

PKRA Canada 2008

Just a few days after the successful German stop of the PKRA 2008 World Tour, the guys and gals of the only kiteboarding authority in the world are back in action.

For the first time, the Tour is being hosted by Canada and will be held until September 13 at Green Shore Park, Summerside at Prince Edward Island. 

This Tour stop is the only North American venue of the PKRA and is being participated in by professional kiteboarders from seventeen different countries who will be testing the wind and waves of the Canadian shores.

The PKRA competition is part of the much larger Summerside International Festival of the Wind which is being held from the 9th until the 13th of September. The festival will also include a visit by tall ships from across the globe, a Round-The-Island race and the top class Summerside Roots Folk Music Festival giving the event an all-week-long showcase of kiteboarding action, fun and entertainment.

Day 1

Today marks the debut of the PKRA 2008 World Tour in Canada with the men’s Freestyle out to test the Canadian waters first. The day started out nice, sunny and warm. However, fairly light wind prevailed for most of the day plus there was a low tide which prompted a series of postponements before the Freestyle.

As the day wore on, the clouds moved in and so did some small rain showers towards the end of the day.

The mandatory skippers meeting started at 12:00 noon. At 2:00 pm, an opening ceremony was held at the park with the Minister of Tourism and other local government officials formally opening the event. After a few wind delays, the men’s Freestyle started at exactly 3:15 pm.

However, since the tide was out and there was no possibility of running the heats in front of the competition event, the game was moved 500 meters down the beach where there was more water plus given the wind direction, it was a more favourable spot.

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