This year's PKRA has started with a bang this week with both current world champions suffering defeats. We will be reviewing the top riders' chances in issue #45, out in May. For now, here's the news from the front line with action videos posted below...
Not only is Thailand known as the 'land of smiles' it is also called the Disneyland of Asia. This event has been nothing less than incredible. The people have just been so amazingly friendly, the water is as warm as bath water, the sand on the beach melts between your toes, the food is outstanding and not to forget that the temperatures are scorching hot. All riders from around the world are super thrilled to be competing in a place where such wonderful conditions exist. "We could rename Hua Hin the Disneyland of Kiteboarding." Karolina Winkoska
The air temperature today reached 37 degrees Celsius not including the humidity index, which was near 43 degrees Celsius. Some of the event crew could not keep the water cooler stocked with enough bottles of water to keep all the riders hydrated. It was an upsetting day for the men freestyle world champion Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) who lost two competition heats today.
The first losing heat was a 4 to 1 decision in favor of Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS). It was a very close heat, however both competitors had completely different riding styles. The second loss today was versus fellow Dutchmen Youri Zoon (Slingshot, NED) who took third place overall in the single eliminations.
It was a winning day for Alex Pastor (Airush, ESP) who won the men's freestyle single eliminations followed by Andy Yates (Slingshot, AUS) who came in second. Gisela Pulido (Airush, ESP) had something to smile about today as she took the number one position in the women's freestyle single eliminations. Pulido was on fire landing numerous complex tricks with great style and execution. Karolina Winkowska (Slingshot, POL) came in second followed by the current women's freestyle world champion Bruna Kajiya (Flexifoil, BRA) who finished in third place.
The freestyle disciplines have been the major focus the past couple of days, however the eager racers got the chance to compete in two races today. It is no surprise that Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha, FRA) jolted his way first past the finish line in both races today followed by Abel Lago (RRD,ESP) in second place and Sky Solbach (North, USA) who powered his way into the third position in the first race of the competition.
Many riders had problems at the start line due to line entanglements and were unable to start or finish the race. The second race of the day wrapped up near 5:00pm with Bruno Sroka (Cabrinha, FRA) taking first place followed by fellow French racer Olivier Dansin (North, FRA) in second place and Bjoern Rune Jensen (Cabrinha, DEN) from Denmark who finished in third place.
The mandatory riders meeting is scheduled for 10:00am this morning. All live result updates available here.
Click for video action and reaction from the beach on days one and two
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