Best girls making the whole podium at VKWC Tarifa Big Air!
The Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) third stop in Tarifa saw impressive battles that enthralled the crowds. After moving the event location to Belnario, Levante really kicked in and with gusts up to 40 knots, all riders rode hard to try and make their way to the finals.
On day one, Christophe Tack performed the highest score of the day, nailing a massive 317, a Slim 7 and a Back Side 317 sending him straight to Round 3. Posito Martinez managed to obtain the second highest score, showing the crowds and judges some incredibly high and powerful double Handle Passes. Best rider Youri Zoon also advanced straight to round 3, same as current leader Liam Whaley. The female competition saw our Gisela Pulido in great shape - playing at home and enjoying the support of her local fans - dealing with her opponents with strength and commitment. The nine-time world champion put on a well-constructed heat that sent her directly to Round 3! Surprise of the day was Paula Novotna, scoring the second highest score of the day and moving straight to round 3.
On day three the great wind conditions of Levante allowed riders to continue through freestyle male and female rounds 3. The fifth day of competition was then completed by Round 1 of big air discipline where competitors delivered a real show.
Females were the first to get down to business with Gisela Pulido, who put on a very good heat and advanced to the semi-finals. Same did Bruna Kajiya. Competition continued with Paula Novotna riding against Dioneia Vieira. Still motivated from her performance in round 1, Paula made it into the semi-finals and then had to face Karolina Winkoswka
As soon as girls came out of the water, guys got in. Brazilian youngster Carlos Mario went for a "go-for-broke" approach against fellow countryman and Best team rider Alex Neto. Mario performed in an outstanding way considering the strong conditions and managed to advance to the next round. Also, reigning world champion Christophe Tack took the victory against Sergei Borisov whilst Stefan Spiessberger was taken out of the competition by Eudazio Da Silva. After both Aaron Hadlow and Marc Jacobs won their respective heats, Youri Zoon and Alex Pastor put on a great show. Finally, Best rider Youri Zoon managed to make a better overall performance and moved on to the next round. In the second to last heat of round 3, our wildcard Noe Font did a fantastic job and advanced to round 4. Then, local rider and current VKWC number one Liam Whaley was up against Jerome Cloetens. Liam stayed focused and landed massive moves, delivering an amazing heat.
With gusts attaining up to 35 knots, race director Erik Troostheide decided to switch to big Air discipline to take advantage of the stronger winds. To the delight of the numerous spectators who gathered on the beach to watch the show, competitors took to the water with bigger kites to jump as high as possible and perform aerial manoeuvres such as mega loops, massive rotations, board offs and few extremely high handle passes.
The day of the freestyle finals saw impressive battles that enthralled the crowds. With gusts up to 40 knots, the conditions were getting really tough. In the female competition, reigning world champion Karolina Winkowska claimed the victory for the third time this season. As for males, Carlos Mario dominated the day and took his second event win ever after Argentina 2013. On his way to the final, he advanced against both Christophe Tack and Aaron Hadlow. Marc Jacobs managed to eliminate Youri Zoon and Liam Whaley to take the second spot in the final, where he put on a strong performance but eventually had to leave first place to the young Bebe.
In the girls final, the crowds were cheering for local champion Gisela Pulido as soon as she took to the water. Unfortunately, she suffered a host of crashes that prevented her from competing properly, even if she still landed a great S-Mobe and a S-Bend to Blind. In the meantime, Karolina kept on adding points to her score putting on a display of consistency and great variety of tricks. Her well-executed and powerful Back to Blind, Front to Blind and Slim 5 allowed her to claim her third victory of the season.
The last day of competition of the VKWC third stop in Tarifa took place under a blazing sun at the stunning spot of Balneario.The conditions were excellent for the big air discipline as the gusts attained 40 knots when the competition kicked off. In the male category, Kevin Langeree took the victory for the second time this season after Dakhla’s stop. On the female side, Gisela Pulido earned her third crown in a row. While Levante wind blew the whole day, it unfortunately dropped when it came to the final. Experienced Kevin Langeree still performed a very impressive Kite Loop with a late Back Roll that wowed spectators. Lewis Crathern also throw some impressive moves and managed to become fourth overall. Congratulations!
And the the Best female riders Gisela Pulido, Hannah Whiteley and Rita Arnaus started their Big Air final, joined by Isabeau Galiart. They suffered the same problem as men, confronting a dropping wind that prevented them from jumping as high as on the previous heats. Rita acutally pulled her first kite loop on her way to the finals and was leaving the water with a great smile on her face, finishing the competition as overall third. With their great performance, for the first time ever the podium was dominated by riders of one Brand - we are indeed super proud of our girls. Congratulations yet again!
Text content: VKWC/Best
Photo credit to Svetlana Romantsova