Freestyle Finals – DAY4 – GKA MAURITIUS


“Going for tricks that need a score of 9 or above for a lot of the heat is so much pressure.” a deflated Liam Whaley admitted to the crowd from third place on the podium. The Spaniard was reflecting after a day of super tight competition in both the men and women’s Freestyle discipline at the GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius, taking place in front of the Heritage Hotel’s C-Beach Club and the Kite Globing centre, in Bel Ombre.

Photos: Ydwer van der Heide and Svetlana Romantsova
Videos: Mintautas Grigas



Day 4 started at the quarter final stage for the Freestyle men’s division, while the women had already progressed to the semis.

The heats were packed with incredibly high trick scores throughout, but there was heartbreak. Long-term competitor, Stefan Spiessberger, re-dislocated his shoulder at the start of the second quarter final. Very out of character, reigning champion Carlos Mario also injured his knee during the warm-up for his semi-final…


an injury gave a rare opportunity to the rest of the fleet

Mario’s sudden withdrawal offered the chance to this year’s new tour leader, Maxime Chabloz, to really capitalise on points. Could he take advantage?

liam goes large


In the first men’s semi-final Posito Martinez scored the day’s joint highest trick score with a 9.9 for a heart attack 7, but the Dominican would finish in third, agonisingly just 0.27 off qualifying for the final.

Liam Whaley’s 9.6 for a KGB7 on his penultimate trick had moved him into first, where he finished, just ahead of brave Valentin Rodrigues who was repeatedly landing incredible manoeuvres.

They both progressed to the final.


semifinal GKA freestlye mauritius


The second semi-final would have been the best heat of the event, had it not been for semi-final number 1. In the end Adeuri Corniel took it after a super close heat throughout, with the top three riders all finishing on 33 points, with the decimals making the difference. Adeuri beat Delmas by 0.3, while Maxime Chabloz was left to rue the chance to extend his lead at the top of the championship by missing a good take-off and getting a really low trick score on his final attempt, missing out on the final by 0.7 points!


GKA freestyle semi final


Valentin Rodriguez / Nicolas Delmas / Liam Whaley / Adeuri Corniel

All four were all worthy finalists, and once again it came down to the last trick.

Adeuri had led the whole final up to the last trick when Rodriguez had slipped into the lead. Adeuri needed a straight 9 to win… and somehow he did it! Scoring a sweet 9 for a heart attack 7. He robbed the young Columbian of his first win, beating him by just 0.01! So close!


corniel backside 317



The women’s event re-started from the semi final stage.

Rising star and probably most improved female this season, Spaniard Claudia Leon, led much of the heat, but on trick six she opened the door for Brazilian championship chaser Kajiya with a poor Hinterberger 5. Bruna capitalised with a superb front roll to wrapped to take first, but Leon followed her through to the final in second.


Bruna grabbed KGB mauritius


In the second semi final Mikaili Sol overcame a scare after finding herself on zero points after four tricks! She switched on and made her remaining three tricks count very highly, eventually going through alongside an on-form Rita Arnaus.


semi final Mika


Mikaili Sol / Claudia Leon / Bruna Kajiya / Rita Arnaus 

A different Mikaili came out for the final and she put on a flawless display of well timed hammer-blows to her opponents.

Bruna stayed with her for the first half of the heat before she crashed a crucial front blind mobe on trick four. Mikaili turned the screw with a neat and technical KGB, scoring 8.53. She went on to become uncatchable on trick six with a super cool slim 5, earning her a whopping 9.13 points.


Spectators go wild for women's freestyle final


Rita Arnaus continued to impress and what a day she had – cool and consistent but, above all, very clean with her kite low. The pocket-sized Spaniard dropped a very fluid heart attack, scoring 8.37, which meant she regained second place and pushed Bruna into third, with Leon fourth.



So, that’s the Freestyle wrapped up, and we’ll be back on Tuesday when the focus switches to the Kite-Surf wave discipline.


bruna kajia mikalili sol rita arnaus claudia leon

all finalists for gka freestyle world cup mauritius

For more detail, including a further look at how it came down to 0.01 points between first and second place in the men’s final, head to the GKA site here

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