July 8th ? July 12th, Lanzarote, Spain.
The Spanish kiteboard championship promised sun, wind and waves. And like a hearty dose of well liquored up sangria, things didn't disappoint. The previous few days saw winds reaching up to 25 knots at the practise spot at Famara giving participants a sweet taste of things to come.
On the first day of the championship the first Wave rounds started after lunch, with fair 17 to 20 knots edging people on. The competition lasted until 8pm and provided a great atmosphere for riders and spectators alike. Admittedly the waves could have been bigger but were certainly big enough to allow for some good jumps and sick manoeuvres. Abel Lago and José Manuel Luengo led the pack in men's heat while Ainhoa García turned heads in the women's.
Cesar Portas stood out like a dragon on a Christmas tree on the second day's Freestyle rounds. Also Sergio Perera, Gorka Ahedo and Jo Ciastula performed superbly and were the talk of the beach. In women's singles, Olga Fita from Ibiza got the better of Ainhoa Garcia, Nuria Gomá and the Canarian Clara Calvo. In juniors, promising kiteboarder Patric Blank beat Michele Ratti and also last years Spanish champion Felip Timoner. Nice work Blank!
Racing events took place on the third morning with hot shot Abel Lago and Sami Galli winning in their categories. Unfortunately the end of the competition was cut short due to an unexpected lack of wind.
22 knots blessed the fourth day as well as a warm sun that allowed all the competitions to go on until late afternoon. There were qualifying rounds for the men's and women's double Freestyle, and also the final wave rounds. Cesar Portas again won the Male Freestyle final against Dani Alvarez who, despite the loss, did not make it easy for Portas pulling off some incredible manoeuvres. Both riders pushed themselves to their limit for the duration of the seven minute final. Dani Alvarez and Gorka Ahedo also put on a great show against each other along with Sergio Perera and Jo Ciastula in their rounds.
Ainhoa Garcia beat Olga Fita, earning her the sexy title of 'Freestyle Feminine'. There were no surprises in men's wave competition as both Abel Lago and José Luengo reached the final and each imposed some sick world class manoeuvres. In the end it was crazy haired Abel Lago who earned the victory. Another highlight was the brilliant performance of the Canarian, Guillermo Jimenez.
Almudena Naranjo gave the surprise of the day when she won the women's wave final against the world champion Ainhoa García. Naranjo was stoked and it will be interesting to see if she can build on this epic win. The wind decided to calm down in the fifth and last day of competition and because of this the double junior Freestyle eliminator had to be suspended. Two more rounds of racing replaced it and saw Abel Lago being victorious twice and winning the title of National Racing Champion.
In women's heat Gina Esteva dominated herself over second place Ainhoa Garcia and third place Nuria Gomá. Finally Sergio Perera dodged two dangerous bullets from Dani Álvarez and Gorka Ahedo taking home the big W. Ainhoa Garcia did the same against Nuria Gomá and Elena Antón in the women's event. In the afternoon the prize giving was celebrated and Almudena Naranjo received a standing ovation after becoming Spanish Wave Champion.
Javier Gimenez, the young 8 year old rider from Fuerteventura, also deserves a special mention after delighting the public with some incredible jumps. The kid seems to be a promising National competitor so watch this space for more on the wonder boy as it happens.
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