PKRA Round Four: Cabarete, Day two
The second day of the Cabarete World Cup 2008 ? PKRA's fourth four stop this year brought the best out of the competitors as there were no easy heats all day. The mandatory skippers meeting started as scheduled with the Cabarete weather getting back to standards even though the wind was still on the light side. The competition went into a wind delay about half way through but luckily strengthened shortly thereafter. The moderate breeze measured a maximum of only 13-15 knots around 2:00 pm ? the best that the Cabarete weather could do all day.
The first heat of the men's freestyle single elimination between US Virgin Island local Madison Van Heurck (Naish) and Michael Schitzhofer (JN Kites) was the first tough match to hit the water. The Austrian-born Schitzhofer landed some good moves but were overshadowed by too many crashes giving Van Heurck the chance to stomp some moves and win the heat. A regular and switch slim, regular and switch KGB plus a front mobe and kiteloop handle pass won the heat for the Naish rider.
First time PKRA competitor Andy Yates (Australia) out-nerved Tour pro Julian Hosp (Best, Austria) also in the first heat. Powered by a Slingshot, the 18 years old freestyle rider from Queensland put on a better show beating Hosp's variety and power, stomping a blind judge 3, slim, 313 5, KGB and double s-bend to blind.
In the second heat, the 'Dominican ripper' Manuel David Rondon powered by an EH kite clearly outclassed countryman Luciano Gonzales to advance in the second round while current PKRA #5 Alvaro Onieva (Best, Spain) defeated Reno Romeu (North, Brazil) with a nose grab slim, switch slim, grab hasselhoff, regular and switch KGB also in the same heat.
Heat #4 was a crowd pleaser as locals Alex Soto (Starkites) and Luis Alberto Peralta (Best) faced-off once again with Soto taking the win once more, proving to be the better athlete. The local crowd cheered wildly for both riders as they went head to head with Soto landing more technical and powered moves.
Managing a spot in yesterdays qualifying events, Mikael Blomvall (Nobile) of Sweden defeated PKRA #4 Cesar Portas (North, Spain) in an upset heat #6 with cleaner and more powered moves. North's Marc Jacobs (New Zealand) also surrended from the race to the podium courtesy of a defeat from Las Terranas local Yan Carlos Paulino (Starkites). The young Starkite rider landed a greater variety of moves including a front mobe to blind, mobe, blind judge, 313 and hasselhoff while Jacobs struggled in the chop but still managed to land a blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313, front mobe and s-bend to blind.
Continuing with the day's tough heats, Airush-powered Tom Hebert (New Caledonia) went down to last year's Cabarete champion Ariel Corniel (EH Kiteboarding). Although Hebert landed several regular and switch moves, the overall power and variety of Corniel's tricks gave him the edge he needed for a close 2-1 decision.
Starting off the second round was a close tussle between Van Heurck and Yates with the former putting his experience into action winning the heat through speed and power which are critical to a good run. Yates put up a good fight but the quality of Van Heurck's moves won the heat.
Proving the toughness of the condition and the competitiveness of the Cabarete event, Rondon continued his charge with an upset win over Onieva in the same heat, landing all sorts of regular and switch moves with technical variations. Onieva tried to step it up with some grabs and style but did not have enough tricks up his sleeves to take the win.
Current PKRA #2 Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) dropped one local rider down the ladder by ending Soto's run in heat #10 although it took a page-full of tricks to defeat the Dominican ace. Langeree managed to seal the win and advanced in the third round where he defeated United Kingdom's Tom Court (North).
Going into the quarter finals, Van Heurck struggled in the condition and went down to Rondon who stomped all his moves while Blomvall continued his climb up the ladder with a win over Pastor in heat #14 as if gearing up the excitement for the next round. In what could have easily been the final, Corniel went up against world champion Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK) with both extreme athletes landing about 16 tricks each. Both had double passes with plenty of power and speed but the advantage went to Hadlow for his switch technical moves and variation, including a regular and switch mobe, regular and switch hasselhoff and regular and switch slim. Hadlow went on to defeat Blomvall in the semi-finals for a chance at the singles crown while Langeree defeated Rondon also in the semis for a berth in the single elimination finals tomorrow.
With the current single semi-final result, it looks like history will be repeating itself and the Cabarete record broken as Langeree and Hadlow will try to battle it out to be the first PKRA rider to win the men's freestyle single two times in Cabarete.
In the women's division, Poland's Joanna Litwin (Nobile) ousted French kiteboarder Audrey Meyer (EH Kiteboarding) in heat #3 via a slim and a huge kite loop while Meyer landed a raley to surface pass and kiteloop to surface pass. Angela Peral (North) bowed down to fellow Spaniard and last year's PKRA champion Gisela Pulido (Slingshot) in heat #5 with Pulido landing a blind judge, 313, slim and front mobe against Peral's raley to blind and downloop to blind.
In heat #6 of the second round, Karolina Winkowska (Naish) defeated Litwin with a raley to blind, blind judge and slim while Bruna Kajiya (Best, Brazil) emerged victorious against Jo Wilson (Naish, UK) also in the same heat. Kajiya landed a blind judge, s-bend to blind with air pass and front side 360 off the waves rolling in. Wilson tried her best and went for a blind judge and back to blind air pass but only managed a raley to blind and a back to blind.
Pulido secured the first spot in the final by beating Susi Mai (Cabrinha, Germany) with a slim, 313, raley to blind and mobe. Mai landed a nice raley to blind and kiteloop but loosing to Pulido over technical difficulty. Kajiya grabbed the other spot in the final with a win over Winkowska, landing a blind judge, s-bend to blind, back to blind air pass and front side 360.
The wind began to drop at around 4:30 pm so the competition was called off for the day with the finals being postponed for tomorrow, much to the delight of the remaining competitors. The wind forecast for Friday is still questionable but Saturday and Sunday have a better forecasts.
Stay tuned here at Kiteworldmag.com for more updates, or head to the PKRA's official tour website: www.kiteworldtour.com
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