Report by: Sensi Graves Photos by: Lukas K Stiller
It’s another beautiful day in Colombia! Clear skies dawned bright and early and once again, a strong breeze flowed over the competition area. With a full day of heats on tap, the 2022 GKA Kite World Cup commenced quickly. It was the windiest start to a day so far and tensions started to build as the competition began to get serious. Today was the first day that riders started actually being eliminated and now the pressure really began to build.
Despite the chance to be eliminated, the energy on the beach was absolutely off the charts, with riders cheering one another on. “Everyone is supporting one another.” -said current vice World Champion Jeremy Burlando. With an action-packed day ahead of them, the riders showed up with power and stoke and prepared to put on an amazing show.
DAY THREE HEAT RESULTS
The competition started with the semi-final heat for the women. Ladies were powered on 7’s, 8’s and 9’s. Claudia Leon battled against Estefania Rosa, Suami Cavallo and Bruna Kajiya. Claudia and Estefania started out strong, with powered 315’s. Bruna answered back with a 315 of her own followed by a huge slim chance, scoring a solid 8.5 points. She then threw a perfectly executed back mobe to secure a solid first place into the women’s final. After a few failed attempts, Claudia landed an excellent slim chance, scoring 7.17. While Bruna established herself firmly in the lead, Claudia and Estefania battled for the second spot to move into the final, almost going trick for trick. Estefania landed a hinterberger mobe scoring a massive 5.93 to edge out Claudia who couldn’t quite hold it together on her landings.
The original plan was to run the Women’s Final and yet the progressively increasing winds dictated a change in the heat order. Race director Rui Meira pushed the Women’s Final to tomorrow and Men’s Round Five proceeded to commence.
Men’s Round Four heats progressed throughout the morning with four riders in each heat. Stand-outs from Round Four were a mega unhooked double backroll kiteloop from local rider Duvan Macías. Also, one of our youngest competitors Finn Flugel, at just twelve years old, made it into the quarter-final round, just beating out Carlito Martinez by 1.4 points.
After the first round of eliminations, Men’s Round Five took to the water with 16 competitors battling it out to advance to the semi-final rounds. The wind continued to build throughout the day and by the time the afternoon hit, a solid 25-28 knots were blowing. Every rider was going absolutely huge! The wind was strong, with men on 9 meters, sending it to the moon!
In Round Five, Heat One, the crowd went absolutely bonkers for Maxime Chabloz’s seatbelt mobe 5. The judges rewarded his stylish execution with a 7.33. He ended this heat with a total score of 30.43. Luis Cruz landed a textbook Slim Chance 9 that was insanely huge–the biggest trick of the day, said GKA judge Sam Medysky. Carlos Mario just managed to beat Cruz out with a massive 319 and Hinterberger Frontside 720 for a total heat score of 28.73 over Cruz’s 28.10.
The heats became more and more stacked as we progressed through the competition ladder. Manoel Soares landed a Heart Attack 720 for the highest score of the competition for a whopping 9.27! Local Colombian rider Juan Rodriguez threw down a solid heat, demonstrating to everyone that home-court advantage is real. Jeremy Burlando couldn’t quite keep it together and didn’t land any of his biggest tricks. Manoel Soares and Juan Rodriguez advanced to the semi-finals!
Landings were difficult in the choppy water and the gusty wind made for some interesting situations as Men’s Heat Three took to the water. Nelson Gomez, a local Colombian rider who was going big and giving it all of his heart, crashed on a double heart attack and had to be carried off the water. Unfortunately, directly thereafter, Adeuri Corniel came down hard off a massive and the impact hurt his knee. With two riders down, Guilherme Costa and Posito Martinez automatically advanced.
The final heat of the day was Gianmaria Coccoluto versus 12-year old Finn Flugel, former World Champion Valentin Rodriguez and current World Champion Arthur Guillebert. Finn Flugel landed some solid tricks and the judges were all super impressed with his young talent. Valentin Rodriguez landed a huge, clean 319 to wow the judges and score a 9.0. Coccoluto answered back with a perfectly executed 319 for a 9.3!! It was an upset with Arthur Guillebert being eliminated by Coccoluto and Rodriquez.
Tomorrow is going to be the day to watch!! With the Men’s Semi Final Heats kicking off first followed by the Women’s Final and then the Men’s Finals. “The quarter finals are where you can win if you calculate. The semis are about putting down the best tricks you have. No more calculations.”-Maxime Chabloz. Tune in tomorrow on the GKA instagram for all the action!
We’ll be back in action tomorrow with a first possible start of 10:00am.
Here’s how to stay up-to-date with all the event happenings.
- Check the Liveticker which will show heat by heat action and live scoring (unfortunately we don’t have livestream video at this event).
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- Check out our youtube channel for daily highlight videos