LIVETICKER DAY 3 (GMT+1)
Current discipline: Freestyle
Judging Criteria: Pure freestyle (4 tricks from 4 different trick families count from 7 attempts. Riders take turns to perform one trick in a minute)
Format: Women’s dingle elimination.
Wind: Really ramped up this afternoon – strong at 25 – 30 for the semis and final.
Note: This liveticker automatically updates every couple of minutes if ticker is online!
Once the action is running, you’ll find the live heats, ladders and livestream by scrolling down this page.
Report: Jim Gaunt
17.00 – THE FINAL
M Sol (BRA) / P Novotna (CZE) / B Kajiya (BRA) / C Leon (ESP)
Conditions remained strong here, but perhaps just a bit steadier and somewhat lighter than the difficult semis. The women were still riding 6 and 7m kites.
Once again, as we say at the last event in Mauritius, after storming her first round and then delivering a below par performance to squeak through the semi-finals with just three scoring tricks, Mikaili Sol was seeded lowest for the final, which meant that she had the supposed disadvantage of taking her tricks first in rotation.
However, as she managed to do in Mauritius, it was the solid side of Mikaili that came out of the blocks, and she started the heat with an 8 point trick; 8.23 for a superb grabbed slim. She led from trick one and never looked back. Novotna was up next and couldn’t ride out of a fast 313 landing while Kajiya then missed an S1 attempt. Leon gritted her teeth and held on tightly to a hard backside 313 landing and got good 6 point score.
On her second trick, once again Mikaili threw her manoeuvre within the first ten seconds of her allowed minute, just yards from the beach. She’d obviously seen that the water was a bit flatter there, and somehow she seems to need virtually no trick set-up time to stabilise herself.
Bruna picked up a 5.67 for an s-bend to blind before a stunning slim chance gifted her the highest trick score of the heat with 8.77 points. She popped hard and travelled a great distance. Her kite remained perfectly parked in these windy conditions while she visibly strained to make the pass, held on with her fingertips as the kite pulled her forward with force and somehow she rode out the landing. That was a valiant move and proof of her freestyle stature – male of female. She looked relieved to grab the chicken-loop to release the pressure and hook back in. She was back within touching distance of Mikaili at the top.
Bruna was barely back on the beach though before the younger Brazilian, Sol, turned the screw on the heat. A tidy backside 313 was followed by a backmobe 5 as good as any man would do; kite super low and body whipping round. Tough in these conditions and scored 7.87.
As she was first in the rotation, Mikaili also took her final trick first and saved her best for last, just to drive home the win, with a big 315, scoring 8.5 points and powering her over the 30 point mark, to finish on 31.4.
Bruna had looked the smoothest rider in the field at the start of the day, but as the wind picked up just couldn’t hang on to Mikaili’s coat tails in the finals. Bruna only successfully landed three scoring tricks, but regardless was still more than a full trick score behind Mikaili, so a perfect ten wouldn’t have changed the result by the end.
Novotna won the battle for the final podium spot through her considerably greater experience than the young Spaniard Leon. Paula landed four tricks while Claudia only managed to stick two – although in reality she was super close to all those crashed scores on her heat card…
So it’s a top two finish for the top two title contenders!
Winner: Sol: 31.4
2 Kajiya: 20.57
3 Novotna: 20.4
4 Leon: 11.2
15.50 – THE FINAL will begin at 16.00
15.40 – SEMI FINAL 2
N Lambrecht (SWE) / C Leon (ESP) / R Arnaus (ESP) / M Sol (BRA)
Surprise winner of the heat: Claudi Leon from Spain. In truth she improved her performance from the earlier rounds and worked the scoreboard well. She only had four scoring moves out of seven, but it’s only four moves that get counted from seven attempts anyway, and she goes through with 24.31 points, the highlight of which was a 7.07 S1
Mikaili Sol came through in second with only three completed tricks – once again a wobble in consistency in the semi finals and just managed to squeeze through with luck as we’ve seen before this season. But on the other hand, when she lands, she’s on another level with a good 8 point score and an 8.93 for a huge 315. Her scorecard shows four ‘crashes’, but she still rode most of those out with great speed, but just lost the bar at the end. Her coach will be telling her she should have made sure she got four scores on the board, though because Bruna’s coming next.
Rita Arnaus sadly never pushed beyond the 5 points trick category for her tricks on her small six metre kite, though did get kudos for the biggest 313 attempt on trick six!
Nathalie Lambrecht could have qualified if she’d got the 4.84 she needed on her last trick, but she missed the landing on a slim chance. Highlight for her was the 6.77 points she scored in the quarter final for her stylish front roll to wrapped, so with a bit more consistency, expect to see her reaching these final stages more often.
Leon: 24.31 (Through to the final)
Sol: 23 (Through to the final)
Arnaus: 19.24 (out)
Lambrecht: 18.74 (out)
15.00 – SEMI FINAL 1
A Torres (ESP) / P Novotna (CZE) / P van Iersel (NED) / B Kajiya (BRA)
After all riders crashed on their first trick, Novotna looked the most quickly settled into these stronger conditions. Remember she took her first win in super challenging conditions in Sotavento this year, so it’s becoming a domain for her once the wind gets stronger…
However, Bruna was soon in control, moving ahead on trick three and progressing her scores higher and higher as the heat went on.
Torres may be a new name, but she showed glimpses of brilliance and every now and again lodges some serious trick scores, including a 6.47 for a s-bend 2 blind.
Once again this year we see Pippa van Iersel just losing her way in the bigger heats. She struggles with her consistency – perhaps because she’s a real all-or-nothing rider. Sometimes that full-tilt approach seems to trip her up… but we like the way she approaches the sport. She started getting it together on her fourth trick with a 7.23 for a very big backside 313 and jumped from fourth to second.
Coming into the last trick, anyone could have won – last placed Torres needed a 6.31 for first – she’d already had a 6.47 for her s-bend 2 blind, so would have been possible, but she crashed on her back-to-blind.
Novotna went next, she was leading narrowly by just 0.61 points… and she crashed.
So progression to the final was well and truly in the hands of Pippa and Bruna. Pippa needed just a 0.62 – so first and foremost she just needed to do something safe. Oh dear, she crashed! That’s going to be expensive for her as she’s currently equal second in the championship.
Bruna, last to go, she only needed less than 3 points to go first – and she got a 5.57 for a good 313 and took first. That’s how you stay cool. She exclaimed that it was tight on the livestream!
Kajiya: 22.56 (Through to the final)
Novotna: 19.7 (Through to the final)
van Iersel: 19.09 (out)
Torres: 13.4 (out)
14.15 – We’re on a 15 minute break now until the start of the semi-finals, at 14.30pm
14.10 – ROUND 2, HEAT #6 (Second of two heats in round 2
A Torres (ESP) / C Leon (ESP) / T Taabbel (SWE)
A very scrappy, low scoring heat in stronger, gusty wind that came down to the last trick with the most inexperienced rider, Alexandra Torres, leading the heat by a small margin. It was all then in the hands of Claudia Leon and Therese Taabbel to complete their last tricks and neither needed more than two points to progress. Claudia went first, playing it a little riskier than she needed to getting 5.83 for a front 2 wrapped. Taabbel decided to go too easy and only did an unhooked back roll! She got 0.8 and will likely be annoyed with herself. Claudia and Alexandra through to the semis.
Leon: 17.13 (Directly through to semi-final)
Torres: 12.22 (Also through to semi-final)
Taabbel: 11.64 (out)
13.45 – ROUND 2, HEAT #5 (First of two heats in round 2)
H Brochocka (POL) / N Lambrecht (SWE) / P Novotna (CZE)
In this the first of two heats featuring the non-winners from round one, Paula Novotna safely comes through as her seeding would dictate in first. A high scoring slim chance earning 7.47 helped her advance to round 3 with the better seeding, meaning she will avoid current tour leader Sol in the semi-final, but will still have to deal with Bruna Kajiya and Pippa van Iersel. So still not easy at all!
Also through is Nathalie Lambrecht and she will go up against Mikaili Sol once again as well as Rita Arnaus, heat winners from round one.
Sadly it’s goodbye to Helena Brochocka who we’ve enjoyed seeing on her return to competition after a couple of seasons away.
12.50 – Women’s Round 2 to start at 13.00 (GMT +1), so in around ten mins time.
12.45 – ROUND 1, HEAT 4 (Last heat of round one)
M Sol (BRA) / N Lambrecht (SWE)
Current champion and this year’s narrow tour leader, Mikaili Sol has shown a tendency to wobbly a bit mid-competition in 2019. In fact she barely qualified for the Mauritius final by the skin of her teeth. However she’s been training here on the Dakhla lagoon for several sessions this week and she laid out one of the best heats we’ve ever seen from her. She could have hung up her kite after just four tricks – a crazy 35.9 heat score – which was second only to Men’s winner Valentin Rodriguez looking at the men’s event too.
It’s hard to ride in a heat like that when there are only two of you and qualification is guaranteed anyway, but Nathalie held her focus and finished on a good score of 25.4. Take note ladies – she landed a fantastic slim chance on trick six, scoring a high 8.8. Very, very solid and in other heats with a 25.4 score could have won!
Sol: 35.9 (Directly through to semi-final)
Lambrecht: 25.4 (Through to round 2)
12.25 – ROUND 1, HEAT 3
A Torres (ESP) / R Arnaus (ESP) / P Novotna (CZE)
Young 17 year old Alexandra Torres from the Canary Islands managed to finish seventh at Sotavento earlier in the year, so she has talent, but was drawn against two of the keenest women freestylers currently on tour.
The battle went down between Novotna and Arnaus. Novotna’s a seasoned pro, but it was only this year that she took her first event win at Sotavento. She was suitably stoked, as was Rita Arnaus with her best ever result – second position at Mauritius at the last event. So they’re riding as well as they ever have.
Rita put the hammer down on her sixth trick with a massive scoring 8.8 for a heart attack. The heat had been tight up to there, but as we saw at the last event, Rita is finding her way to some very big trick scores for execution. The 8.8 did the damage, but it must be said that the Spaniard landed six of her seven tricks very well and will be disappointed if she doesn’t reach the final today because a 28.09 heat score is excellent.
As this is round one, all riders remain in the competition, though.
Arnaus: 28.09 (Directly through to semi-final)
Novotna: 24.3 (Top seeded through to round 2)
Torres: 14.54 (Lower seeded through to round 2)
12.00 – ROUND 1, HEAT 2
C Leon (ESP) / B Kajiya (BRA)
Bruna Kajiya knows that Claudia Leon has been one of the most dangerous competitors and as a season rookie has knocked out some big names this season. The Brazil brought her A-game therefore, landing all seven of her tricks and in fact her lowest scoring trick was a 6 point score front to blind, which was higher than any of Claudia’s scores. Bruna’s heat sheet also included a 9 point score for a slim – so incredible level from the three time world champion and reached a total of 29.61 points. Are you watching Mikaili?
Kajiya: 29.61 (Directly through to semi-final)
Leon: 19.8 (Still goes through to round 2)
11.35 -ROUND 1, HEAT 1
H Brochocka (POL) / T Taabbel (DEN) / P van Iersel (NED)
Therese was wallowing in last position for much of this heat, but it’s only the end of the heat that counts once the average for the four best tricks is decided and the other three tricks are discarded. She slotted a super sweet slim chance and was rewarded with 7.17, the highest trick score of the heat. Things are tight in the women’s competition and if you can rock the 7s then it’s likely to be a big advantage in these early stages. She jumped into first.
However, it was Dutch charger and number 2 in the world right now, Pippa van Iersel who slipped into the lead on her last trick with a tidy back roll to wrapped. (H2W on the score sheet).
Helena Brochocka is making a return here like we saw from Christophe Tack in yesterday’s men’s event. Coincidence? The Pole has some stylish tricks but was up against two of this season’s leading performers. She will be back again in round two.
van Iersel: 22.77 (Directly through to semi-final)
Taabbel: 21.24 (Top seeded through to round 2)
Brochoka: 17.6 (Will ride again in round 2)
11.20 – Little power cut for the livestream out in the desert, back online in a mo, but scroll down for the live heat scores between van Iersel, Taabel and Brochocka.
11.10 – There are four women’s heats in round one and the competition will take approximately five hours to complete.
11.00 – WOMEN’S ROUND ONE, HEAT ONE
Good morning everyone, hope you’re having a great weekend. Take it easy this Sunday morning and relax into some world class women’s Freestyle, where the action will be kicking off any moment. Scroll down for the livestream feed and scroll further for the women’s live scores and heat ladders (click into the ladder widget and then scroll below the men’s info).