Well after a very big self sacrifice on the part of a select few PKRA riders by going out to unearthly hours of the morning and endulging in a little bit of local rum the final day of Round 4 in Dominican Republic was blessed with some awesome winds and a day without thunder or lightening or rain.
The wind picked up around 12noon and the competition got underway soon afterwards. Having already got part the way through the double elimination there was only around 3 more hours of competition to be run.
Surprise early exits were from Alvaro Onieva (Best) and Etienne Lhote (F One). This could be down the the judges having ‘realised’ that power is their main style that they want to see – by power originally they were counting it as moves done with the kite around 45 degrees of lower. Gone are the days where they want to see the kite sent! However, apparently the judges have done their research and have realised that some riders have been riding with their kite around 45 degrees, but they have been riding on a smaller kite and as such even though it looks like a powered move – it’s really not!!? Judges want to see big moves, kite low, fast speed in and out of the move and a long distance covered in the air while executing the move!
Riders continuing through the double elimination were Rui Meira (Naish), Cesar Portas (North), Mallory Delavillemarque (North), Yuori Zoon (Slingshot). Mallory was riding powered and landing some good tricks, but he soon came up against local Dominican rider Alex Soto (Cabrinha.) Alex rode a mixture of some awesome moves and some awesome crashes, but still came out riding strong and managed to defend his place of 4th from the single elimination.
Next riding strong was Mike Blomvall (JN). Mike was going for it an opted for a huge kite 16.5m’s while most riders were on 12m’s. He was obviously going to give his 110% to get his first time on the podium since entering PKRA events. With 313’s on both tacs (railey to flat 360 rotation with a aerial handle pass), mobe’s, KGB’s, wrapped mobes and more he not only managed to defend his 3rd spot, but he managed to take the current World Champion and 2006 points leader Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil) down. Aaron was clearly not at ease with this location and was going for far less moves with far less aggression then normal and even taking a few wipeouts where he lost the board – before here I thought that Aaron super glued his board to his feet because no matter what the board would still be with him despite whatever the wipeout. May be the heat and humidity to this location made the glue less tacky?
So for the first time in PKRA kiteboarding this year there was no
As soon as Kevin hit the water it was clear that his confidence increased 10 fold by Aaron being knocked out by Mike. His first move was an enormous handle pass off a kicker right close in to shore in the opening 5 seconds. From there on he didn’t really do anything new, but he bust out trick after trick at some freakishly fast rate. He rode fast and hard and went big and with style!!! Mike rode well against him but it was clear that Kevin wasn’t going to let Mike stand in his way for his first ever PKRA win. It was some awesome rding and I’ll get some footage up on the site as soon as possible so you can see quite how awesome!!!
For the girls I was first on the water. I had Katja Roose – my Protest team buddy! We have ridden together quite a lot lately and as such knew what moves I wanted to land to pass the heat. Too be fair I had some sketchy landings, some quality wipeouts, but also landed a few big tricks and it just got the edge over Katja.
On the other side of the draw Susi Mai (Cabrinha) had been making a comeback from the single landing her signature moves to blind and some big kite loops, but she was holted by angela peral who landed a combo of the two with a big kite loop to blind with a surface handle pass amongst other tricks.
I was to come up next against Angela Peral and knew that I had to kite my absolute best to pass the heat. Well the conditions were perfect. Full power on 12m and I don’t know where from but it was this heat that I managed to pull all my tricks out the bag. I landed grabbed down loop s bend, F16, s bend to surface handle pass, raileys on both tacs, railey to blind surface handle pass and back loop to blind surface handle pass. It didn’t matter if Angela beat me because you can’t do anymore then kite your best and if you still don’t continue then you know that you have to take it on the chin and head out free riding to learn some more stuff! Well things were in my favour and I passed this heat too.
Next up it was my turn to try to take down Canadian 16 year old Morgan Skiperdene (Airush). The heat was full of complications beginning with a local press helicopter choosing to fly low down in the middle of the comp area making our kites do some interesting things, but after the first two minutes he flew further out, but instead the wind decinded it needed a rest. The judges watch Morgan and I do a comp of sprintning up the beach and then when we were both close to exhaustion and passing out – they called it off! With just enough time to catch our breaths and cool down a bit the wind kicked back in and the comp got back underway.
Morgan went through to beat me, but then was holted by Brunha Kajya who landed a sweet blind judge (railey to flat 180 rotation with air handle pass). On top of this Brunha pulled out some huge down loops and nice rotations to blind with surface handle pass!
Ania Grezlinska (North) was up next and rode a solid but safe heat against Brunha. Brunha looked more powered and impressive, but the heat was given to Ania in a 3-2 decision by the judges possibly down to more variation.
The final was nothing unusual. Kristin Boese (Best) continued to be unstoppable being the only girl of the day to land her aerial handles passes. However she did take some wipeouts in her usual solid moves to blind. It was a closer heat then usual, but still went to Kristin.
1st Kevin Langeree (Naish)
2nd Mike Blomvall (JN)
3rd Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil)
4th Alex Soto (Cabrinha)
5th Mallory Delavillemarque (North)
1st Kristin Boese (Best)
2nd Ania Grzelinska (North)
3rd Brunha Kajya (Best)
4th Morgan Skiperdene (Airsuh)
5th Jo Wilson (Naish)
Photo Credit: Coming in the next two hours