Cabarete provided some extremely choppy conditions, but the wind was consistent and fairly strong allowing the riders to perform to a very high standard. The most exciting thing about this event is that there has never been one rider to win in two consecutive years and this year saw no exception. In fact it was quite the opposite. The Dominican riders were a strong contigent and between them they took out the top 3 riders of the pkra in early rounds. This meant that we had two Dominican riders in the top 4 after the single elimination. Next the PKRA top riders had to battle it out through each other really pushing the limits. Unfortunately pushing the limits took Youri Zoon (Slingshot) out of the contest. Aaron Hadlow and Kevin Langeree then competed against each other in the double elimination. The loser of which heat meant that they would be stopped at 7th place. Aaron clearly looked ready to kill after being knocked out the previous day. He answered all Kevin’s moves with the same thing onlywith more power. Aaron won the heat. The days were drawn out with just two riders on the water at any one time which meant that often riders would just get two heats in the day or some riders would get a whole day off before their heats began. It looked as though Aaron suffered from this whilst others thrived. With a strong and aggressive day under his belt Aaron was then knocked out the next day at 6th place against Rui Meira (Naish). Rui was on fire in this heat and clearly won against Aaron who although busted many tricks didn’t seem to find his normal spectacular form. Rui told me that it took everything he had to beat Aaron so when it came to his next heat against Mallory Delavillemarque (North) he had no strength left and was stopped at 5th place. The last few heats were remarkable. The atmosphere was immense with all the local support to the Dominican riders. There were cheers all over the place. The final saw Alvaro Onieva (Best) and Arial Corniel (EH Kiteboarding) literally battle it out, but on one hand Corniel was riding mega strong busting mega huge kite loops and handle passes and double handle passes while Alvaro had the harsh deals of the day with firstly his foot strap pulling out and then secondly a fin breaking on two separate manovres. By the last minutes of the heat Alvaro knew he had no chance left and put on a display of old school board offs and one footers. The crowd enjoyed every second and it was really moving to see a local kid win this world tour event. It puts cabarete on the map for producing great riders, it gives the pkra riders a little kick up the ass and a quick reminder that no matter who is on the tour there is someone somewhere equally as good even if they don’t compete plus it gives some riders who don’t have so much money a financial boost and some opportunites! It was great to see the Dominican kids on top!!!
For the girls it was a similar story to previous events with Bruna Kajya (Best) and Gizella Pulido (Slingshot) pulling out there handle passes including blind judges, 313’s, slim chances, NIS and front mobes, but again it was a local that put in an upset before the finals. Audey Meyer (EH kiteboarding and Dare2fly) landed her handle pass plus some big kite loops and down loops knocking both Jo Wilson (Naish) and Ania Grzlinska (North) out of the contest. Carolina Winkowski (Naish) nailed her s bend to blind and a blind judge to ensure she passed through the next two heats instead of Audrey Meyer and Angela Peral.
Finally the contest ended with a board off contest. It was just for fun, but 12 girls entered and 24 men, so it really was quite a show. Its funny because considering board off’s are not considered ‘cool’ there has definitely been some secret training going on… especially by Alvaro Onieva!
All in all the contest lasted a full 5 days and went extremely well. We already lok forward until next year.
Results – Freestyle
1st Arial Corniel (EH Kiteboarding)
2nd Alvaro Onieva (Best)
3rd Mallory Delavillemarque (North)
1st Bruna Kajya (Best)
2nd Gizella Pulido (Slingshot)
Results – Board Off
1st Alvaro Onieva (Best)
2nd Aaron Hadlow (flexifoil)
3rd Rui Meira (Naish)
1st Susi Mai (Cabrinha)
2nd Gizella Pulido (Slingshot)
3rd Bruna Kajya (Best)