Kitesurfing Grand Slam 2008 results
The Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2008 draws to a conclusion with an exciting final day of competition under a perfect Fuerteventura weather. Aaron Hadlow and Gisela Pulido wo the freestyle-titles.
The temperature played between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius but the wind was back in greater force similar to the conditions two days ago. The wind packed a sustained speed of 22 to 36 knots with strong gusts which made it more difficult for some of the riders to land their moves. And if that wasn’t enough, the strong current also wrecked havoc on the racing buoys set on the course for the racing event. This prompted event director Olaf Van Tol to abandon the racing competition in the afternoon.
“We planned two races in the afternoon. In the first attempt to get a starting sequence, I saw one buoy was drifting so we had to reach for the buoy and fix it. So I went back to check for a second starting sequence then I noticed the buoy on the starting line was drifting also so that caused another delay. Looking at the time it needed to reset buoy no 1, the second buoy would take much longer to reset and in much deeper water. The buoy probably lost its anchor so, given the time, we cancelled the games and called it a day. It was a bit disappointing but other than that, we had a great day,” said Van Tol.
The mandatory skippers meeting was held at 11:00 am then the last ten heats of the freestyle double eliminations were held. After two hours, the freestyle wrapped up then a short one-hour break was held for lunch. After the series of technical difficulties on the racing course, the competition was called off at 3:30 pm.
Angela Peral (ESP, North) defeated Jalou Langeree (NED, Naish) in the 15th heat of the women’s freestyle. Peral took the win with a higher technical difficulty score, landing a raley to blind and back to wrapped over Langeree’s krypt to surface pass. In the ensuing heat, Peral was knocked down by Jo Wilson (GBR, Naish) with a couple of high handle passes (although slightly butt-checked) and a vulcan surface pass. The Spanish kiteboarder managed a raley to blind and a downloop but no aerial passes which lead to her loss.
Meanwhile after that heat, Wilson was left out in the water requiring some rescue from the rescue crew which they didn’t notice somehow so the event director had to call a 10-minute break to let Wilson setup again and be ready. She went for her big handle passes again but not landing any and with only a krypt to surface pass and a few back rolls to match against Susi Mai’s (GER, Cabrinha) raley to blind heat opener, a big front and back spins and a big front roll to down loop, Wilson would have to bow down on this heat. In the battle for third place podium spot, Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Best) triumphed over Mai with more power in her unhooked moves and more technical difficulty level. Kajiya landed a blind judge, front to blind, and a few ront and back rolls while Mai landed a raley to blind, a less powered front to blind, a one-footer and a high double back.
The first place podium battle ended up between Gisela Pulido (ESP, Slingshot) and Kajiya. A blind judge with aerial handle pass from Pulido and a powered blind judge from Kajiya opened up the heat and set the level high immediately. However, it was only Pulido who could back up her start with a front mobe, slim and raley to wrapped while Kajiya struggled in the conditions. Going for more power in her moves she took risks going for s-bend to blinds and non-inverted slim chances but the risks didn’t pay off and the crashes set her back. Pulido decided to reduce the risk in each move and be intent on landing them - a rather important requirement for a heat. She took the win with more technical moves.
“The event today was really good for me because the conditions here in Fuerteventura is like in Tarifa which is gusty and strong. I feel comfortable in these conditions so I kited with a really small kite and so for me it’s good because when I train home in Tarifa I train with 4-meter and 5-meter kites,” said the young champion. After Fuerteventura, Pulido will go back to Tarifa for training and then will be seen at the German stop of the PKRA.
Meanwhile, Tom Hebert (New Caledonia, Airush) rode very strongly with some very smooth regular and switch moves in his heat against Cesar Portas (ESP, North) who landed a nice slim and blind judge with aerial handle pass and front mobe but crashed several moves. Hebert won on cleaner execution and more power but lost to Alex Pastor (ESP, Naish) in the next heat because he crashed several moves in the tough conditions. Pastor pulled out all the moves in this heat eventually taking an easy win with more technical difficulty and variation. Aaron Hadlow (GBR, Flexifoil) too had his share of the difficult conditions here in Fuerteventura. In a rather tight heat for the world champion, he eventually would pull this one though based on strength throughout his moves and switch variety on a 3-2 judges decision against Pastor who bowed out of the game.
The UK champion appeared to be on a mission today. After getting by Pastor, he was immediately up against his rival for the PKRA title, Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish). Both top ranked athletes opened up their heat with a huge blind judge with aerial handle pass. Langeree went on to a big 313 and then a super powered KGB where the kite was so low it crashed before he did. After that first crash, Langeree struggled with the rest of his following moves including a mobe, non-inverted slim, double back mobe, KGB and s-bend to blind. However, Hadlow had his eyes set for the top podium spot and landed a hasselhoff, s-bend to blind, front mobe, regular and switch slim, front side 3, kiteloop-backloop, shifty-360, mobe and a hooked to unhooked kiteloop-backloop 3 gaining the win.
Extreme Elements.TV interviewed Langeree after the games and this is what he said. “The competition didn’t go too well for me. The conditions were super hard and I got worked a couple of times very badly but some competitions go very well and some don’t go as well, like this one as the ones before. But it still okay to have a third place at least I’m on the podium still,” said Langeree.
In the first final run, Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD) landed a front mobe, blind judge with aerial handle pass, 313 and mobe but crashed several other moves. Hadlow meanwhile, landed a blind judge with aerial handle pass, front mobe, s-bend to blind air pass, back to blind air pass, regular and switch slim, shifty-360, mobe and kiteloop handle pass. More technical variety won Hadlow the first round. Then in the second round of the final event, Garat continued to have difficulty in the tough conditions which meant that Hadlow walked away as the winner of the doubles, renewing his hopes for a 5th consecutive title.
1. Aaron Hadlow (GBR, Flexifoil)
2. Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD)
3. Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish)
1. Gisela Pulido (ESP, Slingshot)
2. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Best)
3. Susi Mai (GER, Cabrinha)
Course Racing Final Result:
1. Charles Deleau (FRA, North) – 4.9 pts.
2. Sean Farley (MEX, North) – 13.7 pts.
3. Bruno Sroka (FRA, Takoon) – 17.7 pts.
1. Fabienne D’Ortoli (FRA, Cabrinha) – 6.2 pts.
2. Steph Bridge (BGR, North) – 10.1 pts.
3. Gina Esteva (ESP, Best) – 21 pts.