As you have all probably experienced at some stage, there is no guarantee of smooth sailing with any introduction. The unfamiliar often feel’s uncomfortable until it’s not.
“It’s more mentally challenging, but once you do it you’re like; oh that was easy.” – affirms the GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa champion Mikaili Sol (BRA).
By the finals, the brave ladies had been watching the men struggle to hold on to their smallest kites all morning, building their nerves heat at a time.
“It was more stressful being out of the water and seeing the guys go in with that wind… But once you go out there you realize that you can hold it as long as you’re confident of yourself.”- confirms Rita Arnaus (ESP).
Young Mikaili Sol (BRA) showed her dominance in the sport once again, totalling 20+ point averages back to back. Without looking back, Mika fearlessly claimed her way to the first place on the podium!
Pippa Van Iersel (NLD) looped back strong, giving the Brazilian a run for her money. She managed to gain enough height to take her up to second place.
Hannah Whiteley (GBR) held her ground throughout the competition, consistently pulling powerful executions that gave her what she needed to progress to third place.
Rita Arnaus (ESP) coming in with Spanish fire from the semi-finals, but couldn’t quite maintain the heat that Sol was emitting this time, leaving her in fourth place.
These ladies proved to us the only limits are those you set in your mind as they took on the battlefield throughout the event. Mad respect for all of these incredible women.
The Levante may have driven us crazy on the nuking shores of Tarifa, but what we just saw in the following was downright INSANE. By the men’s final, the riders took the scores stratospherical.
Arthur Guillebert (FRA) had been in flames since the beginning of the event, showing that he can handle any conditions thrown at him. The flipping Frenchman hasn’t messed a beat since the first green flag that rose, and proceeded to claim the first World Cup title of his career!
Jeremy Burlando (ITA) taking an early lead, a new rookie on tour pulling a move from move-in his dance with the big names in the final. Italian Stallion had got glimpses of the glistening crown as he boosted his way up the ladder to second place.
Ewan Jaspan (AUS) clearly had no jet lag from his journey from Australia staying wide awake whilst taking a very smooth lead, really impressing the judges with the technical difficulty of his executed tricks throughout the competition claiming his way to a solid third place.
The Dominican Adeuri Corniel (DOM) throwing kite loop after kite loop, taking him up above the skylines of Morrocco all the way to fourth place.
The wind was nuking beyond the pro’s anticipation and the spectators were in between excited and nervous, as they attempt to keep their eyes open through the blasting sand storm. The primary battle was between the Riders and the wind but they adapted and performed to the new format above and beyond our expectations taking the level of riding to whole new heights.
Ewan Jaspan (AUS) originally coming from a freestyle background began venturing to the Park riding scene seeking variety was extremely stoked with the implementation of the Mixed format.
“It was kind of narrowing into one category of freestyle where all you could do was focus on going huge and spinning lots. The guys who were at the top were getting younger and younger cause that’s the only age you can cop that kind of stuff. I’m not old but I’m 27 and I can’t do that kind of stuff anymore…
It’s nice to see the judges rewarding not just the spin to win stuff, but being able to go out and focus on different things. And hopefully, they keep that up!” – says Ewan Jaspan.
Although it may not seem it, the risk of riding Freestyle in strong conditions is higher than Big Air.
“Every landing is like grinding you don’t in freestyle, whereas Big Air is mellow unless you have a really bad crash.” – explains Ewan.
“If they wanted us to do Freestyle in that wind, I would have been like; no, let’s do big air. Freestyle would have been an even bigger risk.” – confirms Mikaili.
These riders have been persevering to climb up the ladder for 2 solid days hanging on strongly through the gnarly Levante. Up and above their comfort zone from the first day with the pure Big Air format the conditions required. Each and every one of them showed up with courage, bringing everything they had to the roaring shores of this event and invited us to be entertained.
Meet The GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa 2021 | BIG AIR podium!
1. A. Guillebert (FRA)
2. J. Burlando (ITA)
3. E. Jaspan (AUS)
1. M. Sol (BRA)
2. P. Van Iersel (NLD)
3. H. Whiteley (GBR)
Thanks to all of the sponsors, organizers, and crew for hosting the GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa event. Despite the challenging wind conditions, it was amazing to have all the riders coming together at this iconic spot. See you next year Tarifa!
The next stop is the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt, in Germany, 17-22 August.