Welcome to the Canary Islands for the 4th tour stop of the PKRA World Tour in Fuerteventura, Spain. This is the 10th anniversary of the Kiteboarding Grand Slam for the Freestyle discipline.
So far athletes from all around the world came to partake on 3 continents. The PKRA started in Thailand, followed by Morocco and then France with a wide variety of conditions which showcased the best overall rider.
Registration took place in the massive event tent today, the riders were welcome by a couple of nice girls presenting them to the public and giving them their lycras for the competition tomorrow. A total of 9 women and 33 men registered for this event.
Riders from all continents came to register, among them are Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot), the current leader of the tour and winner of every single event so far, closely followed by Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) and Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha).
Various other nationalities are here, the Dominican riders made a big impression at the last event in France: Alex Soto (DOM, F-ONE) and Ariel Corniel (DOM, Ozone), Thomas Paris recently got crowned French champion over Garat (FRA, RRD) and Hebert (FRA, North). In total 15 different nationalities are present for this event.
In the women's division, Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush) will be defending her title at home and is currently leading the tour over Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil). Bruna has been training a lot on sliders and with boots to show the wakestyle side of the sport followed very closely by Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot) who has been training up north on the island.
After a 3 month break a few riders injured themselves while training and won't be partaking in this event. 2010 World Champion Andy Yates hurt his shoulder as well as Cesar Portas currently 7th on the ranking who hurt his arm during a wakeboard event at a cable park in Barcelona. ' I started my heat very well (?) but I went for a Whirly bird on the kicker and I got more height than normal, I ended up over rotating and the impact on the water was very hard, I landed on my arm. The doctor's feedback has been positive and I need to stay with my arm immobilized for a few weeks. I hope to be training soon and back for the event in Brazil.'
The event will start tomorrow on the beach of Sotavento, renown for being one of the windiest spots on the planet. The conditions for the week are looking very promising with at least a 25 knots side off shore wind every day.
Thanks to the sponsors for making this event happen: the Canary Islands, the Island of Fuerteventura, Playas de Jandia, René Egli center, The Hotel Melia Gorriones, Cabrinha, NeilPryde, Surf Magazine and Fuerte Action.