Pumping winds and kickers
But on the water the stage is set for a firing first day of the 2023 GKA Big Air Worlds, which return to Balneario beach for a second straight year. It boasts pumping cross-offshore winds, flat waters and kickers that ensure the athletes can send it to the moon.
The 27 men and women from 14 nations in the Surfboard and Hydrofoil fields, selected by their world rankings and wild card video entries, had their inscription on Thursday evening, 1 June, just ahead of their initial riders’ meeting.
The eight men in the Hydrofoil fleet may take to the water earliest on Friday, with 09.30 the first possible start, as they can still go massive in slightly lighter wind than the other disciplines.
Reigning Hydrofoil Big Air title holder, France’s Charles Brodel, is seeded number one and has been training hard to defend his crown, even throwing down mind-boggling double kite loops on his foil in training.
“My goal is to enjoy this event,” said Brodel. “From last year the level is getting really a lot better. Young guys like Jamie [Overbeek] can land double loops and doobie loops, so the level’s gone up.”
The Netherlands’ teenager, Overbeek, last year’s runner up in Tarifa, definitely his eyes on the prize. The 17-year-old holder of the WOO world record jump, made on his foil kite, may use that formidable weapon in the contest. He is competing in Twin-Tip and Hydrofoil.