The REEF Kitesurf Pro Begins
The pleasant ambience of the beautiful island of New Caledonia welcomed more riders on this day of stunning weather, which was lacking in wind, but still put a smile on competitor’s faces. The blue water, palm trees, and glassy conditions seemed to calm everyone’s nerves when it was needed the most, allowing for a day of relaxation, mental preparation, and rest. 28 men and 8 women representing 12 different nations have arrived, ready to take on this final and most important kiting competition of the entire year – the Reef Kitesurf Pro 2012.
Local kite legend and PKRA competitor Tom Hebert took a few riders surfing and explored the island and several riders took out stand up paddleboards, while others enjoyed the poolside lounge area and comfortable accommodations. The live stream setup was also tested and is working and ready to go for the beginning of competition.
As many consider this the highlight stop of the year, as well as the most important, there is no lack of anticipation in the air. The competitive energy is beginning to build and many riders, such as possible women’s world champion, Karolina Winkowska (POL) is bracing for a monumental few days. When asked about this final tour stop, Winkowska said, “I feel pretty okay. I don’t know what is going to happen since now there is no wind now and don’t know what size kite we’ll be riding but I feel good. It is probably the most important competition of my life so far I think. ”
She also went on to reveal, “New Cal is pretty sick because the event is one of the best of the tour because it is sunny and the flat water for freestyle. Actually it is the best spot for freestyle that we go to this year and the hotel is so close to the beach and everyone is all the time together. Another good thing is that the beach is really small and you can see the action so close with the offshore conditions- it is really cool to watch as well.”
Karolina, along with Gisela Pulido (ESP), and Bruna Kajiya (BRA) all remain in the running for first place, and it is this event that will determine the final outcome for 2012 World Champion. For the men, Alex Pastor (ESP) and Youri Zoon (NED) currently hold top placement, with each hoping to come out victorious. Alberto Rondina (ITA), Kevin Langeree (NED), and Marc Jacobs (NZE) are also fighting for top positioning going into this 2012 PKRA finale.
Alex Pastor was one of the riders to be delayed in his arrival to New Caledonia, and commented, “I am pretty stoked to be here actually. It was such a long trip, and we couldn’t leave China and missed our flight by 8 minutes and we were all so ready to be in New Cal.” Lucky for him and the rest of the delayed riders, they have arrived safe and sound, just in time to get ready for the biggest action of the year.
For tomorrow, the forecast looks light; however, the wind is expected to build and provide excellent conditions for the REEF Kitesurf Pro 2012. Stay tuned into all the action through the PKRA homepage, Facebook, and via live stream with commentator Dave Tyburski, once the action begins.