The Boys In Brazil.
Rui and Michael report in from the last stop of the tour.
The 2011 PKRA season finally came to a close with the last round taking place in Barra do Cunhau. A new location for the PKRA this is an excellent spot, at a river mouth. Uniquely on the tour this spot offered both flat water and surf riding all within view of the judging tower. I think it might have been my favorite location of the entire year.
All eyes were on Youri for this event. Contestants and spectators both wanted to know if he could finally bring home the championship after several seasons of compounded injuries that had previously forced him out of competition. He did, and in convincing style. Congratulations to Youri for his great riding this year and it's just too bad he doesn't have the new GP. I'd love to see the best rider in the world on what I believe is the most competitive c-kite on the market. I can only imagine what he could do with that thing.
A little further down the ladder Michael found himself in the sort of heat that no riders looks forward to- drawn against 2009 World Champion Kevin Langeree. He had a great heat. The event was very relaxed because we had great conditions everyday so no need to rush the heats, that way riders could perform their best. Mike was representing Best and using the GP on his advantage to beat 2009 World Champion Kevin with a great heat taking place. I have to say i'm very proud to see that kite finished and competing, just can't stop looking at it, or riding it.
On the other side of the event, the freeride side of it i choose to take my wakeskate out everyday on the 7m GP and i had great sessions with the small waves coming inside the river with the other judges Ian and Axel both from Belgium and with whom i've been sharing the room and laughing all day long. Now my journey continues and it's taking me south to see Rio de Janeiro and it's kite spots as well any other activities i can do there with my friend Reno Romeu local rider from that city. Lets keep the fun coming as well as great kites.
The last event of the Pkra worldcup was a great event. For me it was the best event of the year, with highs and lows that were unimaginable. You always know entering the South American events that the local level is going to be amazing. Local riders have been training all season just to kick your ass when you come and compete on their turf- and they want blood. It doesn't matter who you are, top of the ladder or bottom, these guys are out to prove to the world that they are truly world class, upsets are guaranteed.
The spot at Barra do Cunhau is one of the best freestyle spots I have ever ridden. It's such a great location on the mouth of a river; it was great to ride there. It reminds me a lot of Portugal. It's definitely the sort of place that you want to hang around after the competition ends and do some training.
In the comp I had to start in the trials and work my way up from the bottom with all the other wildcards. My first heat was against a pretty strong local rider and so I had to enter the mainevent in the second round. O be honest I was stoked to make it through the trials, honestly the level was that high. In the mainevent I wasn't that lucky with my draw and I had my first heat of the single elemination against the Brazilian Champion Madson. I had a good heat but good wasn't ever going to be enough against this kid... So I found myself in the double-elemination and in the first round I had to go against Kevin Langeree. (There's never an easy draw in the PKRA). I knew that I would have to give everything to win that heat. As long as I landed everything and threw all the tricks I had in my bag I could do it. With one of my best heats ever I won with a 5:0 desicion. I was really stocked about that and it feels sick when you know that you landed every trick you wanted to land in the heat to the satisfaction of all the judges. I was stoked, I was riding well, the GP was letting me deliver.
In the second round I was up against Reno Romeo. I had a good heat once again. I didn't feel my riding was as tight as in the previous heat against Kevin so I had no idea who would take it. The judges decided. It looked like Reno had a great heat as well and so with a close judges desicion I had to settle for 13th place. I really wanted to do more for the last event of the year, now I have the off-season to put all my new tricks together and get completely dialed on the production GP C-kite for next season.
I'm going to stay in Brazil for a while, Rui is here too. We will be doing some development work for next season and I'm going to spend some time with the guys from Limitless Productions, shooting some video and using the content to help analyze my riding. It's not all Caipirinhas and perfect sunsets; some of us have to work...