09/01/06 - Kristin secures World Title after winning PKRA Canada
Congratulations to Kristin Boese, whose first place win in Canada this past week has sealed her position in the point rankings as World Champion for the second year in a row.
After winning first place in Venezuela, Belgium, Portugal, and Cabarete, a 4th in Fuerte, and a 3rd place in Germany, Kristin's first place win in Canada, at the seventh stop of the 2006 PKRA World Tour, has earned her enough points to guarantee her the new Women's World Champion. Regardless of what happens in the remaining two tour stops, she can finally relax.
Although August was a grueling month for all the riders, with 3 tour stops in 3 different countries within a 31 day period (Fuerte, Germany, Canada), for Kristin, the stop in Germany came with an additional bag of stress and pressure: an onslaught of more TV and magazine coverage than ever, and the pressure to do well in her home country.
Unfortunately, in the singles, against none other than teammate Bruna Kajiya, Kristin became overpowered, lost her board. Bruna, on the other hand, was on fire, landing a technical raley to blind to surface handlepass, advancing into the finals and beating Ania Grzelinska (North) to take first place in the singles. Had the wind cooperated, Kristin would have had a chance to fight back (a second place finish overall would have secured her title), but on the last day of the competition, the wind died during the middle of the doubles. Unable to complete the doubles, the results for the singles stood, Bruna 1st, Kristin 3rd . Disappointing for Kristin, but for Bruna, it was an exciting moment, her first first place finish in a PKRA stop … and two Best girls on the podium at once.
And if anyone finally deserved a first place win, it was Bruna. From the beginning, we've watched her struggle with bad luck, questionable judging, sub-optimal weather, even airline strikes and airplane failure. She's worked long and hard this season, both physically and mentally, and has come a long way since the first stop in Venezuela . Her "don't give up" attitude and her strong, consistent riding has finally started to pay off. With her first place win in Germany, and most recently, her 3rd place finish in Canada, she is currently ranked third overall in 2006.
After a disappointing finish at the first stop in Venezuela left Bruna frustrated and confused over the judging. She was advised to talk to the judges, in a professional environment, and find out what they're looking for from the riders, what it will take to win a competition. Taking this advice, she came away from a conversation with PKRA judge Carlos Saez, with a clear understanding of what the judges are looking for … riders that have more power and impressive riding (overall impression) … which gave her something to work on for the next stop at the end of May, Belgium.
Krisitn meanwhile was extending her form into the slider compettion as well,where she picked up her second 1st place of the week, and showing all the other competitors that she means business, all year.
Belgium, however, came with its own set of problems, mostly the weather. People were bundled up in their cold weather raingear, and the temperature and pelting rain made for some of the most challenging conditions ever experienced in a PKRA event. Overpowered on a 5, Bruna came in 4th in the singles, but slipped into 5th place after the doubles. "I'm still in Belgium now," she wrote, "And we had a very difficult competition. The days that they ran the single and double were super windy, cloudy, rainy, and cold! Seriously I've never kited and such extreme conditions. I was on my 5m yarga…..overpowerd! I'm really not use to his cold weather and the contest was exausting for me…..right now I have an infection in my throat and I'm on antibiotics. But since here is so cold I'm not getting better."
Meanwhile Krisitn was suffering from no such bad luck, once again dominating the womens heat to gain 1st place with style and consistency.
In Portugal, Bruna again finished 4th in the singles, losing to Karolina Winkowska (Naish). Although she performed her smooth, mainstay moves such as railey to blind and s bend in difficult chop, Karolina happened to nail the most innovative move for the women for the 2006 season so far, a wrapped NIS. In the doubles, Bruna again slipped into 5th, when a close 3-2 judge's vote went to Ania Grzelinska. Although the two seemed to match trick for trick, Ania edged out the victory, displaying more moves on both tacks and riding with confidence and power.
Once again, on form and fired Kiristin rode away with 1st place after firing on all cylinders and landing aqn impressive array of powered moves.
Then came Cabarete, at the end of June, which seemed to be a turning point for Bruna's run of bad luck. After nailing a battery of tricks including a downloop raley, a downloop front, a kiteloop backloop and a one-handed backroll against Morgan Skiperdene, she finished 3rd in the singles. Beating out Morgan again in the Doubles, she held onto her 3rd place win, but lost against Ania Grzelinska in the next heat.
It was another very close (3-2) decision from the judges, and Ania advanced, meeting (and losing to) Kristin Boese in the finals. For the first time in 2006, Bruna was on the podium in 3rd place … and two Best girls on the podium for the first time.
Then came Fuerte, at the beginning of August, a contest that, for Bruna, was doomed from the very beginning. Her flight to Madrid was delayed 2 hours, causing her to miss her connection to Fuerte. All the other flights to Fuerte were full and she had to stay overnight in Madrid. The next day the airplane broke and it took them another 2 1/2 hours to leave again, causing her to miss the singles completely. She went immediately into the doubles, leaving her with one chance only to advance. In the first heat of the day, she advanced past Gabi Steindl (North), sticking a smooth Sbend and a powered raley … and then went onto face what seems to be her nemesis, Ania Grzelinska. In a close match with Ania, Bruna had an excellent run, even nailing a perfect blind judge, though in the end, Ania moved on to the next round with nice variety of kiteloops and a Vulcan.
Determined, however, to focus and transform her frustration into strength, Bruna went at it in Germany with everything she had. In possibly the best day of her competitive career, she nailed an s-bend and krypt to win against Jalou Langeree (Naish), and then went up against teammate Kristin Boese. Kristin, really powered up, nailed a one-handed front, then lost her board and couldn't get back to it. Bruna, on fire, landed a technical raley to blind to surface handlepass, and advanced to the finals where she faced off against Ania Grzelinska yet again. Although Ania seemed to be winning the match, Bruna pulled off a really nice and high blind judge, impressing the judges as she added on a powered raley to blind, ending Ania's personal winning streak and taking first place in the singles.
The weather also threw her another streak of good luck … unable to finish the doubles due to lack of wind, the results from the singles stood. Bruna took the top position on the podium for the first time in her PKRA competitive history … with teammate Kristin on the podium as well … two Best girls for the second time. Bruna also managing a 3rd place finish in boardercross.
In Canada, fresh off her first place win in Germany, Bruna faced Ania again in the singles, pulling off the most innovative trick of the day for the women, sticking an S1, or s bend to blind with airpass, for the first time in competition, and moved into the winners final against teammate Kristin Boese. Kristin, determined to earn her spot back at the top of the podium, however, was on a mission, showing off smooth, technical riding, landed a back to wrapped, a front and raley to blind and a downloop to blind.
Although Bruna nailed her signature raley to blind and downloop frontloop in both directions, she appeared underpowered and finished 2nd place after the singles. Then in the doubles, it was Bruna against Ania yet again, in another super close heat, but this time Ania was determined as well, and apparently pulled off a smoother and more powered performance, advancing into the finals against Kristin, for an eventual 2nd place finish.
Final results for Canada: two Best girls on the podium for the 3rd time … Kristin #1. Bruna #3. Bruna also won first place win in course racing.
It hasn't been easy, for either of them. But they've both done an excellent job. Congratulations to Kristin, for securing the world title, and congratulations to Bruna for her excellent results, hard work, and overall improvement. Keep it up!!!