INTRO: Results and images from the first event in the weeklong throwdown in Sardinia
The Kiteworld team are in Sardinia for the first Red Bull Unfastened strapless event, featuring 8 international riders invited by 2011 KSP World Wave Champion Airton Cozzolino. There are three possible disciplines scheduled for the week: pure wave riding, flat water strapless freestyle and a wave performance category which combines wave riding with freestyle in the surf. Yesterday we started with the flat water freestyle.
For many of the riders, training for flat water freestyle isn't the passion itself, but it allows them to perfect the moves they can apply in the waves to take their surf kiting performance to the next level. It's a legitimate discipline for a throwdown and Airton Cozzolino displayed the most diversity, commitment and technical difficulty to win the double elimination.
Patri McLaughlin from Hawaii beat Airton to win the single elimination with an incredible flow from one trick to the next and with some of the biggest forwards in the contest which he regularly stomped and with his kite continuously in power.
Airton has a deft handle-pass perfected on both tacks and was the only rider to include unhooked manoeuvres on top of a wealth of board flips and rotations and beat Patri twice in the double elimination to take the overall discipline win.
Patrick Rebstock from California impressed by winning five heats on the trot in the double elimination to lift him to third place overall after losing his first round in the singles. His natural flair in and around the waves was impressive and attractive to watch.
Watch the action video round up we compiled for The Kite Show coming later today and in the meantime check out the images.
1st Airton Cozzolino
2nd Patri McLaughlin
3rd Patrick Rebstock