Day 2 was very wet and gloomy in Surfer’s Paradise. Heavy rains swept through the area on more than one occasion throughout the morning and afternoon. It was the perfect weather conditions to make any quacking duck happy, but to the eager kitesurfer waiting on the beach not so.
Race director Olaf Van Tol ended up releasing the freestylers for the day and decided to focus on running as many wave heats the wind would allow him to.
Two heats ended up successfully being run with Australian competitor Mike Walker (Globe, AUS) from the first heat defeating Kelby Bright (North, NZL) as well as Sebastien Garat (RRD, FRA) enabling him a place in the second round. Abel Lago (RRD, ESP) also advanced to the second round having achieved a better overall score eliminating Australian riders Matt Tobin (Slingshot, AUS) and Paul Jackson (Naish, AUS).
Shortly after 5:00pm the conditions became unsuitable and the competition was called off for the day.
Day 3 also saw a lot of rain and a 12-15 knot average. Not ideal, but enough to kick things off at in the morning.
Sky Solbach (North, USA) was the first competitor to advance into the third round of heats eliminating Australian riders Luca Hearn (North, AUS) and Nathan Katterns (F-ONE, AUS). Solbach made the best out of a poor wave selection and performed with great power and style however needed a bit more wind to perform at the top of his ability.
F-One rider Mitu Monteiro (F-One, CPV) had the highest score on the judge’s sheets with a total of 9.83 points. Monteiro performed clean and clear turns with great power, speed and flow.
The competition was postponed after the third heat of the day for a couple of hours due to the deteriorating wind and extreme rain conditions, but at 2pm there was a break in the bad weather and the competition resumed under sunny skies with peaks of blue.
Brazilian rider Ian Glaza (Mormaii, BRA) dominated the score sheets this afternoon overtaking Monteiro's previous high score of 9.83 points with an overall higher score totalling 11.43 points putting Australian riders Mark Gee (Ben Wilson Surf, AUS) and Scott Johnson (Slingshot, AUS) back to the second round. Javi Diaz Amores (F-One, ESP) took first place in the fifth heat of the day leading him to the third round while Florian Daubos (Naish, FRA) and Daniel Bevan (F-One, AUS) would compete in the second round of the single elimination ladder.
In the final round of the men’s wave division heats, Australian rider Keahi De Aboitiz joined today’s first place winners moving him into the third round. De Aboitiz’s surf style, clean cut turns and smooth flow led him to a total of 11.27 points, which is just under Glaza’s high score of 11.43 meaning the current wave tour leader Guilly Brandao (Mormaii, BRA) will be set back to the second round along with Troy Gibson (Slingshot, AUS).
The first round of women’s wave heats were successfully completed this afternoon. Kari Schibevaag (Ozone, NOR) led the score sheets with a total of 7.73 points enabling her as well as Kristin Boese (Best, GER), Michel Blinkhorn (Cabrinha, AUS) and Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP) a spot in the third round.
Day 4 turned out to be a great day without rain, but unfortunately without wind to. It took until 11am for race director Olaf Van Tol to postpone the competition until the winds became more suitable. Surfers Paradise offered waist high waves with shoulder high sets, so while the riders waited for the wind to pick up everyone enjoyed going for a surf or had a spot of landboarding on the beach.