Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour 2022
Qatar Airways GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Neom
Spot: Neom, Saudi Arabia – hosted by the NEOM Beach Games 2022

LIVETICKER Day 5 – Sunday 23rd October 2022 (GMT+3)

Today is the last day of the event, but with the competition finals running yesterday, the riders are at the spot getting in some extra training in the good conditions ahead of the final podium celebrations later this afternoon. You can read all about yesterday’s finals and watch the highlight video here

LIVETICKER Day 4 – Saturday 22nd October 2022 (GMT+3)

Current discipline: Freestyle
Heat duration: 15 -20m (depending on how quickly riders do each trick)
Format: 7 trick attempts, top 4 count. Riders need to do tricks from different trick families for best scores. Riders have 40 seconds each to perform their tricks, taking turns
Wind: 20 knots / riders on around 11m kites – perfect freestyle conditions!
Waves: Flat water lagoon

13.55 – WOMEN’S FINAL – Result: Leon win / Sol / Arnaus / Kajiya
Claudia Leon (ESP) / Rita Arnaus (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA)

Wow, this final was a real topsy turvy, up and down, back and forth pressure cooker from which Leon’s better consistency prevailed!

Trick 1
Backside 313s a piece and very close scores for the Spaniards, Leon and Arnaus. Kajiya dropped a sweetly executed slim chance… not looking very clean in these conditions that should be suiting her better.

Sol surprisingly crashed her first trick, a front blind mobe attempt.

Trick 2
Backside 315 for Leon and she punched the air, very happy with that. 5.77.

Rita’s hinterberger 3 was a very useful score of 5.13.

Bruna then crashed a front to blind and lost the kite, a stressful kite change ensured for her.

315 from Mika, no sweat and no panic from the world champion after heavily butt checking her first trick. Still plenty of time left.

Trick 3
Claudia Leon kept things clean with an S-bend to toeside, not quite what she wanted only scoring a 1.77.

Rita powered in into the beach and went down on a slim chance.

Bruna, having had to switch to a smaller kite, looked to be down on power going for a back mobe and only managed a back to toe without the tension she needed.

Mika Sol looked to be struggling too, not even making a pass on her front roll. This heat was wide open now.

Trick 4
Heat leader Claudia Leon rode out of an S-3 and couldn’t contain her excitement to be leading the heat at this stage with world champions having all sorts of difficulties behind her. A 7.70 score, that’s a big one!

Rita Arnaus with only two low scores was somehow still in contention. She stuck a slim, which was an important landing for her.

Whooosh, this was getting important now. Bruna calmly checked the score, took a breath and went very quickly into a hinter mobe, landing it cleanly, scoring 7.10 and she pinged from last into second.

Focus went back on Mika, no real panic yet for her with four tricks still to come, so her fourth position in the heat hard to read too much into at that stage. Calm and collected she landed an S-bend to blind. That was the sign of a world champ and the 5.77 score moved her up to second.

Trick 5
Leon sadly crashed on a slim attempt, her first wobble, but she still had two tricks to come for the Spaniard.

Rita threw an S-bend to blind but without her usual height, but it was an important score of 6.17, which moved her to lead the heat. But the Brazilians were still to go on their fifth attempts.

Kajiya missed the bar on a front to blind, very uncharacteristically! What was going on?

Mika, usually so good under pressure, took a big butt check on a slim 5. Far from the typical performance from her so far.

Trick 6
As it stood, Arnaus in first, followed by Leon, Sol and Kajiya.

Leon pulled her socks back up and this time made the slim she tried last time – a 5.90 and she re-took the lead!

Back to Rita – the vice world champ went over the front rail on a 315.

Bruna Kajiya scored the highest heat score of the competition in her semis but once again dropped the bar on landing a back mobe – very rare for her having made her way round the rotation.

A front to blind came next from Mikaili with a stutter on landing, not quite a butt check, but a 5.20 was a really important score but she was still in third!

Trick 7 – last trick!
Leon in front, Arnaus second, followed by Sol and Kajiya.

Leon stuck yet another trick, landing a 313 that improved the lowest of her four counting scores… she got a 5.5 and moved four points clear!

Rita looked for a reply, it didn’t work out and only managed a rotation without a pass, just missing the tension with a gust, so no improvement to her scores.

Bruna in fourth, needed a 2,87 to go second and somehow, yet again, missed the bar pass on her back to blind. Wow.

So, it all came down to Mikaili Sol on the last trick, needing an 8.28 to take the lead. She needed an absolute boomer and landed a hintermobe 5 on the outside. Very clean. A second place in the overall scheme of world championship points on top of her win, was maybe the sensible thing to go for rather than risk everything on the win.

And that was it, the results were finally added and Mika got a 7.33 for that hintermobe 5 and that confirmed that Claudia Leon would take her first event win!! Sol looked on at the scoreboard, perhaps wishing she’d tried the gamble for that extra 180 that could have given her the win…


Claudia Leon (ESP) 24.87
Mikaili Sol (BRA) 24.13
Rita Arnaus (ESP) 20.97
Bruna Kajiya (BRA) 18.10

Interview with Claudia Leon:
“Oh my god, I really have no words now. I was waiting for so long for this moment, I’ve worked so hard with my training and my family who have supported me so much through up and downs, this is for you.”

She then spoke words of thanks to her family in Spanish, offering thanks and love.


MEN’S FINAL – Result: Soares win / Guillebert / Coccoluto / Rodriguez
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA)

As usual, seven trick attempts, the top four counting…

Trick 1
Gianmaria Coccoluto first ride in rotation due to qualifying with the lowest heat score of these four riders in the semi-finals, so pressure was on him first and for the first time in the event he didn’t go for his solid grabbed front blind mobe. His heart attack wasn’t his best.

Soares launched a solid 319, and then Rodriguez got caught up in his leash on a backside 317 himself. Arthur Guillebert’s backside 317 was however lovely – earning 7.43, and he moved into second behind Soares.

Trick 2
Coccoluto fully slick this time with a massive and super powered backside 317 for 8.5 points. Wow, that sent a message. Moments later Soares, this time on the way out right foot forward, slotted a backside 317 scoring 7.7. He was still ahead of Cocco.

Third ranked rider Juan Rodriguez has been more or less faultless in the competition so far, made his second mistake in this heat, landing too powered and heavily butt checking his landing. Feeling the pressure too Arthur Guillebert just over rotated a 319 and landed too heavily on his heelside

Trick 3
Back to the Italian and a very decent 319 on the inside, left foot forward, beautifully spinning backside to land toeside. He looked to have put his first trick wobble well and truly behind him. A 7.23 score pretty decent.

Brazilain Soares (tour leader) heartattack 7 – they loved it on the beach. Big, fast, three rotations, kept his shorts dry on landing… 8.73 – Soares in full control of the heat.

Rodriguez really needing to pick things up missed the bar on his heart attack 7. Frustrated he hit the water but once again Guillebert followed him moments later and crashed the same trick.

Trick 4
Missing the bar pass on landing for Coccoluto, the pressure really telling here after all the riders had barely made any mistakes in their previous heats – the final was becoming a fight to hold it together.

Soares eased his way round a slim 7, spinning forward, then back, and further solidifying his lead and was through the 30 point barrier – 31.43.

Rodriguez another crash and then Guillebert got his head back on with an 8.47 score for a huge heart attack 7 projecting him to second ahead of Cocco! Game on.

Trick 5
Heart attack 5 for Cocco, as fluide as we’re used to seeing him. 7.23 for that, still gives him a shot.

Soares, another slim 7, taking him far across the competition zone, but didn’t increase his score on the last one he threw.

Rodriguez, now under real pressure with just two low scores on the board… but his tough time continues with another crash on a heart attack 9 with his kite too high.

Guillebert now back in contention, but a bit butt check on a hinter 7, which could take some energy from him.

Trick 6
Coccoluto tried to put his stalefish grab into his heart attack 5. Big butt check.

Soares tried to keep his scoreboard moving, this time into the KGB family, but butt checked.

Rodriguez more luck this time with a clean 317, only rewarded with a 6.17 as not the highest he’s capable of.

Guillebert another crash… and suddenly the 7th move with Soares way ahead.

Trick 7
Coccoluto aimed for his signature KGB with a stalefish but caught a big butt check.

Soares had it wrapped up already! KGB 5 to seal it.

Juan Rodriguez was unfortunately rooted in last whatever, and he crashed another slim.

So, Guillebert on the last trick was in third and knew second was possible, needing a 5.53 to steal second from Coccoluto – he went for a safe trick that he has fully locked, and got a 6.27! Great work from his team to advise that trick and that’s it!

Soares interviewed after the heat broke down on the stream, thanked god for being able to be here, and was just obviously so happy and grateful. Congrats to him, who is unbelievably unsponsored! 

Manoel Soares (BRA) 31.43
Arthur Guillebert (FRA) 27.94
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) 27.19
Juan Rodriguez (COL) 13.17


12.25 – Coming up first, men’s finals! 
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) 

12.20 – It’s almost time! Press play on the stream below as the action will begin soon!

12.05 – Competition on hold as we prepare for the upcoming Freestyle Finals. We hope to re-start the stream in about ten minutes just before the heats commence. 

11.23 – We now switch focus back to the main event – the Freestyle Finals – we’ve started a new stream – find it embedded in the page below. News on start times coming very soon. 

Claudia Leon (ESP) / Rita Arnaus (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA)

Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) 


We ran a big air competition before the main event – the Freestyle finals run around 11am

The main event Freestyle Finals will run after the finals of the Big Air… 


2 tricks will count
15 riders in the men competing in the big air (3 heats of 5 riders).
Riders will take it in turns to do their tricks.
Top 2 tricks will count for each rider.
Only the top 6 scoring riders from those 3 heats going through to the final


Valentin Garat (FRA) (WINNER)
Posito Martinez (DOM)
Hamza Nasser (EGP)
Carlos Mario (BRA)
Youssef Moussa (EGP)
Mateo Dorotini (ITA)

Val Garat opened up with big high handle-pass – possibly the perfect move here in the now dropping 22-25 knots winds and he never looked back, seemingly the most complete rider in this heat!

Valentin: “You had to really look at the gusts, and I managed moves like boogie loop board offs, so I’m really happy. The other riders were on 9s, I was on my 8, so I really had to look for the gusts.”

Garat managed to keep his landings cleanest with Posito Martinez looking promising but crashed three landings,though finished in second. In third Hamza Nasser from Egypt is thrilled!

– Carlos Mario (BRA)
– Youssef Moussa (EGP)
– Valentin Garat (FRA)
– Posito Martinez (DOM)
– Mateo Dorotini (ITA)
– Hamza Nasser (EGP)

Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE)
Karlie Thoma (HAW)
Alexandra Torres (ESP) 
Nais Balbinot (ITA)

A great battle here throughout that turned into a fight between the top two and then for third and fourth. The lead swayed between Karlie Thoma and Nathalie Lambrecht with both women throwing excellent megaloop front and back rolls, as well as mega loop one footers and board off attempts. In the end Nathalie Lambrecht took the win on her last trick and came out on top, reinforcing her big air rise after her podium finish at the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Championships in Tarifa earlier this year!

Matteo Dorotini (ITA)
Rashid Almansoori (QAT)
Lorenzo Calcano (DOM)
Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM)
Jhon Perez (VEN)

Matteo Dorotini winning this one by far and making it to the final as one of the top six overall scorers from all three heats!

Pierfrancesco Rizzello (ITA)
Valentin Garat (FRA)
Posito Martinez (DOM)
Finn Flugel (GER)
Carlos Mario (BRA)

Tight between Val Garat and Posito Martinez at the top – with plenty of King of the Air riders in this heat!

09.30 –

Hamsa Nasser (EGP) 14.73
Peyo Cremades (FRA) 10.17
Eros Balbinot (ITA) 6.33
Greg Willcocks (RSA) 4.10
Youssef Moossaf (EGP)

The Egyptian riders dominated this heat with front and back roll mega loops and big combinations. Riding pretty much in their backyard on the opposite Red Sea shoreline, they ripped! (We will update the scores when we have them for Youssef.)

08.50 – The livestream is on now and the big air heats will begin soon. These heats are for fun and don’t count towards the word championship. The main event – the Freestyle Finals – should start in perfect conditions around 11am. Scroll down on this liveticker to see who is in the finals. 

Saturday will be Freestyle finals day, but first we hope to run a big air expression session on the livestream while the winds are strong in the morning! We are hoping to kick the stream off at 08.45 local time with the first heats around 9am. Freestyle finals will hopefully then run in optimal conditions around 11am. Find the stream already set-up below on this page. See you then! 

Set a reminder for the livestream here 

LIVETICKER Day 3 – 21st October 2022 (GMT+3)

Current discipline: Freestyle
Heat duration: 15 -20m (depending on how quickly riders do each trick)
Format: 7 trick attempts, top 4 count. Riders need to do tricks from different trick families for best scores. Riders have 40 seconds each to perform their tricks, taking turns
Wind: 20 knots from early morning
Waves: Flat water lagoon

As the wind has dropped too much, we will be back in the morning for the usually stronger conditions to complete the men’s and women’s finals:

Claudia Leon (ESP) / Rita Arnaus (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA)

Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) 

13.45 – Semi final 02 – Result: Sol win / Leon in second (both qualify for the final)

Karlie Thoma (HAW) / Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) / Claudia Leon (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA)

Conditions pretty light, but still ok at the start of the heat for these freestylers.

Mikaili Sol started out with a perfect back mobe, nice landing, great kite position – and brought out a purrring sound from co-commentator and competitor Francesca Bagnoli. Really big score of 7.97 for that.

Nathalie Lambrecht has surprised a lot of people to reach this level, a 5.50 for her back mobe, moved her above Claudia Leon who had registered a 4.47.

Trick two and Sol took a big crash on a front blind mobe, but looked to be enjoying it, really knowing that she’s so strong in freestyle and has some leeway to experiment.

Lambrecht’s back to blind showed superb control on landing with just one hand on the bar, well rewarded with a 5.23.

Trick three and Sol focused on registering a trick, not such a special one for her, but retook the lead with a 3.67 for a front blind mobe but with a high kite.

Riders up to 13 metre kites now as Lambrecht showed she had enough power for the heat to continue, but things were getting tough. Still staying upwind though, Lambrecht landed a 313 and managed to ride out a bit of a wobble on landing. In these tough conditions, every landing becomes important.

Claudia Leon worked hard to land an S bend to blind on trick 4 to stay in contention and move into second.

Sol looked still able to generate power with a front to blind on the inside, solidified her lead, and followed that with a grabbed KGB on trick 5, using her skills to compensate for the lighter winds with a higher kite… but at this stage it was about just completing tricks.

Sadly for Karlie Thoma who is more of a big air specialist, these conditions were really not in her favour. Claudia Leon was also forced into two crashes while trying to overly force her way through manouevres.

Surely the heat was on the verge of being postponed due to dropping wind on trick five, but with Sol and Lambrecht still able to land tricks, then these were still contestable conditions. Nathalies’s raley to blind wasn’t a show stopper, but looked to help her qualify in second…

But back came Leon who reasserted herself with a back to blind on the outside and moved into second, crucial.

Lambrecht found a good pop for a slim, but just missed the bar. Back to Leon and the heat was in her hands, but could she find a gust – she did and managed to land an S-mobe and moved into second.

Sol was safe and despite the light winds, still had a very good heat score of 22.58, but crashed the last trick, which didn’t affect her scores.


Sol: “That was actually really fun, and I was happier in those lighter winds than the really strong winds this morning.”

Leon: “So tough because was hard to go upwind, but I could still land what I wanted.”


Mikaili Sol (BRA) 22.58
Claudia Leon (ESP) 20.07
Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) 18.37
Karlie Thoma (HAW) 1.94

13.10 – Semi final 01 – Result Kajiya win / Arnaus second (both qualify for the final)
Alexandra Torres (ESP) / Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA) / Rita Arnaus (ESP)

Wind conditions settled to around 18 knots – very good for unhooked freestyle.

Uncharacteristically dropping her kite after a frontblind mobe, Bruna Kajiya was the only rider waiting to score after the first trick, with Rita Arnaus taking the early advantage with a backside 315.

Francesca Bagnoli (ITA), no stranger to competition,is back after a two year break. She was certainly enjoying herself as the crowd whooped and she waved her appreciation after landing a big slim chance on her second trick, projecting her to the top of the heat. Kajiya answered with her own slim chance, which never looked in doubt such is the reliability of her technique. Scoring 6.77 she was up to second.

Arnaus’ hinterberger was a safe competition heat trick for her – the vice world champion certainly understands how to work a heat and keep pressure on her opponents.

Kajiya then landed the front blind mobe that evaded her earlier in the heat, took the lead and never looked back.

Rita Arnaus had her caddies with a 9, 10 and an 11 in the air so she could get just the right kite size – evidence of the slightly dropping wind. Opting for the 11 metre she crashed a slim chance and never looked quite comfortable on her set up for that trick.

Rita pushed her way up to second on trick four with a clean slim. A hinterberger on trick six was tidy and further solidified her second position. Finishing very solidly with a back mobe, Rita proved again that she’s a competitive force.

Kajiya continued to assert her authority, with a classy back mobe giving her a commanding lead after four tricks, and pretty sure of reaching the final at that stage.

Torres is a big improver this season and the most inexperienced at this level. She maintained focus on style and height, but came unstuck on a few landings. Her fifth trick was a beauty though, an S-bend to blind and moved her ahead of Bagnoli on trick four, with these two engaged in a ding-dong battle back and fourth.

Come the last trick, Bagnoli had a shot at claiming second if she could score a 9 point trick, but with too much riding on it, she crashed her last attempt as the winds continued to drop back a bit.


Bruna: “Im very happy that was a very exciting heat. I found good gusts on the way out and managed to make the most of them. The girls were killing it and I’m very happy to be in the final.”

Rita: “Oh yeah i’m glad I made it. The conditions were tricky. It’s the first time i’ve used three different kites in a heat, but I managed to remain focused and made my tricks.”


Bruna Kajiya (BRA) 26.16
Rita Arnaus (ESP) 22.56
Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) 16.20
Alexandra Torres (ESP) 11.07

12.35 – Women semis on the water now… 

12.30 – Semi final 02 – Result Guillebert win / Second Soares (both qualify for the final)
Maxime Chabloz (SUI) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) / Carlos Mario (BRA)

What a heat in which three riders broke through the 30 point barrier!

Chabloz first in rotation and registered his intent here with an 8.17 for a clean heart attack 7. He’d need to be on song in this heat against two Brazilian freestyle machines and the 2021 World Champion!

Guillebert’s stylish front blind mobe paled in first trick scores compared to Soares’ 319 and Mario’s backside 317.

So after one trick each, the Swiss rider still had the lead. His second trick matched Soares with stunningly smooth 319. Massive – and well rewarded with another 8.17. Rarely see two same scores like that from a rider! The Freeride Ski World Champion on fire.

Guillebert butt checked his own backside 315 – and in this company he’d need to avoid those imperfections. Soares followed and kept his shorts dry with a backside 317. Mario’s hinterberg 7 on the inside not as fluid as he’d like, scoring just a 6.40, putting him in third.

Chabloz, with his nose in front on his third trick attempt, accelerated into the box with his trademark sunhat just failed on the final pass on a backmobe 7. The first crash of the heat! Guillebert followed obviously sniffing a chance and stomped a truly massive 319 with bags of time on the last rotation – rewarded with an 8.70 – one of the highest scores of the whole event.

But how must it feel to know that two mechanically trained Brazilians follow you? Soares got a 9.20 for a heart attack 7 (highest tricks score of the event) and then Mario got an 8.30 for a 319 and with that both riders moved to first and second place and into the provisional qualifying positions for the final.

The heat had been upended, Chabloz now in fourth tried the back mobe 7 for the second time and crashed again. Guillebert threw the baton back with a backside 317.

A slim 9 with a punch to the sky on landing for Manoel Soares on trick four earned an 8.80 – wow, highest trick score and highest heat score (33.20) already for the tour leader. Mario’s not used to chasing another Brazilian and the multiple world champion looked rattled, butt checking a heart attack 7. Still second.

Trick 5 and Chabloz under pressure decided not to go for the backmobe 7 again, but this time a super slick grabbed slim 7. He needed a fourth score to go alongside two other good scores. Guillebert stuck a clean heart attack 7 and this was turning into a battle for second.

Trick 6 and the beach held their breath at what Soares could possibly deliver next… a front blind mobe with a grab – good height, super clean, he was looking to add some variety. The 6.47 didn’t improve his four point heat score.

Mario’s slim 7 left him still chasing Arthur Guillebert who’s power and style had improved continuously through the heat. He had three 8+ point scores and a 6.7 for a front blind mobe, so that’s the trick family he was looking to improve. He took a crash on a big hinterberger, and that was costly with Mario up next – he doesn’t mess up twice and landed double heart attack cleanly, but still trailed Guillebert who was on an impressive 32.44 heat score.

So last trick, Chabloz looking to improve his backmobe 7 on his last attempt – and he did it, and the relief on his face very evident. All the riders had their eyes fixed on the scores, but the 7.90 only moved Chabloz to third. Guillebert still in second – qualifying for the final, and now needed to keep Carlo Mario at bay. Guillebert landed a massive hinterberger 9 – what a way to keep your cool, he scored 8.23 and took the lead with the highest heat score of the event!

Soares went next, likely safe in second, a KGB 5 with a clean landing, but all eyes were on the last rider to go, Carlos Mario, quite simply needing a huge score of pretty much a 10 to qualify, but he looked like he knew it was too big an ask, and perhaps decided to go safe and earn third place in this semi-final, earning better points for his overall ranking than finishing in fourth.

Arthur Guillebert: “I hurt my knee but managed to do all my tricks and I’m so happy to be in the final.”


Arthur Guillebert (FRA) 33.97
Manoel Soares (BRA) 33.20
Maxime Chabloz (SUI) 31.94
Carlo Mario (BRA) 28.67

12.00 – Semi final 01 – Result Rodriguez win / Coccoluto second (both qualify for the final)
Matteo Dorotini (ITA) / Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA)

Coccoluto started as he’d done in each heat – grabbed front blind mobe, and says when he lands that first trick, he’s well set mentally to land everything in the heat. He must have felt good because his second trick, an 8.13 score for an absolute banger backside 317.

Juan Rodriguez another top performer at this event popped a massive 319 on the inside after two steady opening tricks (backside 317 and hinterberger 5). That 319 shook Coccoluto who tried to mirror the trick in the same spot on the inside, but had to stop short of the last 180, settling instead for a 317. Rodriguez ahead after three tricks.

Luis Alberto Cruz, the Domincan powerhouse had a decent 317 first trick and then took two attempts to nail a slim 7, while Dorotini was the last to get into his stride in this his first semi-final with two crashes from four tricks.

Moving into the second half of the heat 3rd ranked rider on tour this year, Colombian Rodriguez powered into the box for another trick on the inside, a big slim 7, but his score was held back because of a high kite angle. Well known for his aggressive kite angle, that opened up an opportunity for Coccoluto to squeeze ahead and instead he opted for a heartattack 5 on the outside, landing wrapped with exquisite control – an 8.03 reward but he remained in second – trailing Rodriguez by just half a point in overall heat score.

Dorotini’s flow appeared to have deserted him overnight – though he was riding two metres smaller than Coccoluto for example.

Cruz continued to go absolutely massive with huge power, but butt checked his landings and didn’t add much variety on his trick families so remained locked in third.

Rodriguez went one better than Coccoluto with a heart attack 7 on the outside and edges further ahead on trick 5, breaking that evocative 30 point heat score Coccoluto answered straight back with his always attractive grabbed KGB 5 scoring 7.57. Not enough to move ahead.

Rodriguez looks a super polished rider at this event and his first slight mistake came on a small butt checked KGB5 on trick six. Coccoluto went next, this time powering up on the inside but also faltered with an imperfect landing on a slim 5.

Top two riders would qualify for the final, but the winner gets the advantage of going later in the trick rotation in the final, so is an important claim. Rodriguez however looks relaxed, dancing under his kite on the beach knowing he was in the in the final and already on one of the highest heat scores of the comp.

Following Rodriguez’ lazy front mobe, how much would Cocco risk to win the heart? First toeside trick, a Pete Rose to switch things up but it didn’t affect the score.

Winners interview:

Juan: “I’m really happy because all my hard work and training is paying off as I improved myself. Thanks god.”

Cocco: “This guy is hard in the water, but in the final I’ll take my first place.”

Juan Rodriguez (COL) 31.60
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) 29.86
Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) 28.13
Matteo Dorotini (ITA) 17.20

11.30 – Heats on! Watch the livestream below!

11.05 – Wind conditions are already very strong this morning. The wind here starts to drop down and turns into ideal freestyle conditions towards lunchtime, so event crew aiming to be able to run the final stages of the competition today when conditions are as perfect as can be. 

11.00 – Livestream is on below and quarter finalist Valentin Garat joins Lewis Crathern in the commentary box to talk you through the build up to today’s action – which should be starting soon with the men’s first semi-final:

Semi-final 1
Matteo Dorotini (ITA) / Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA)

Semi-final 2
Maxime Chabloz (SUI) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) / Carlos Mario (BRA)

10.40 – We expect commentators to be live on the stream at 10.45, first heat starting 11am. Get ready in a few mins! Find the stream below and press play to watch yesterday’s highlights. 

09.00 – Good morning from Neom on finals day where we will be jumping back into the competition at the semi-final stage for both men and women. We are on a slightly delayed schedule due to a passing weather front. First possible start time is 11.30am

HIGHLIGHTS For now catch up on yesterday’s action and watch the highlights here!

LIVETICKER Day 2 – 20th October 2022 (GMT+3)

Current discipline: Freestyle
Heat duration: 15 -17m
Format: 7 trick attempts, top 4 count. Riders need to do tricks from different trick families for best scores. Riders have one minute each to perform their tricks, taking turns
Wind: 25 knots from early morning
Waves: Flat water lagoon


15.45 END OF THE DAY: That’s it for today after several hours of competition ad we have the semi final line-ups for both the men and the women coming up tomorrow:



Semi final 01
Alexandra Torres (ESP) / Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA) / Rita Arnaus (ESP)

Semi final 02

Karlie Thoma (HAW) / Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) / Claudia Leon (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA)


Semi final 01
Matteo Dorotini (ITA) / Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA)

Semi final 02
Maxime Chabloz (SUI) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) / Carlos Mario (BRA)



R5 H4 Result – win Mario / Second Cruz
Lorenzo Colcano (DOM) / Luiz Alberto Cruz (DOM) / Valentin Rodriguez (COL) / Carlos Mario (BRA) 

Four tricks in to the heat and Carlos Mario already had a very high heat score of 29.47. He looks loose, fluid and on top form here in Saudi.

Fighting it out for the remaining qualifying position for the semi finals, Luiz Alberto Cruz pulled his heat together and laid out a nice grabbed KGB 5 with good height and style. Scoring 7.6 for that left Valentin Rodriguez neediing an 8.47 just to get into second.

Under pressure the 2021 World Champion needed a very good trick on his sixth attempt. In the lighter winds he was only able to just about make his way round a slim 7, but landing without much power he only scored 5.50.

Valentin had one more chance on the last trick, needing an 8.14 to overtake Luiz Alberto Cruz, but he failed to get a good pop and the rest of his 317 attempt crumbled from there.

On the final trick, it was the end for impressive debutant Lorenzo Calcano too, though he did have a chance of going through if he could score a 9…. but he crashed a big 319. Good effort though!

Final H4 heat scores:
Carlos Mario 30.83
Luis Alberto Cruz 27.53
Valentin Rodriguez 19.39
Lorenzo Calcano 17.02


Carlos Mario and Luiz Alberto Cruz

How easy was it to concentrate at the end?
Carlos: “I live in the best place in the world, so I have all conditions and I train a lot. I saw the other competitors, knew I had to do better and I did it.”

We’ve seen you in the sport in the finals for over 10 years, how do you stay motivted at this level?

Luis: “I’m very happy I thanks god, and I’m very proud to be here and still be one of the best.”

R5 H3 – Result win Soares / Dorotini second
Valentin Garat (FRA) / Matteo Dorotini (ITA) / Manoel Soares (BRA) / Posito Martinez (DOM)

Matteo Dorotini has come virtually out of nowhere, the North rider is adding grabs to his tricks and landing super accomplished tricks of the highest order. Manoel Soares, tour leader after his win in Colombia, just mechanically turned the screw and eeked out a lead, despite a couple of messy landings on heart attack 5 attempts at the end.

Dorotini kept coming back though with an impressive KGB5 and led the heat after five tricks, including a stunning heart attack 5.

Trick 6 was important all round. Soares finally registered his fourth trick score on his sixth trick and moved ahead… who looking fairly at ease on the lagoon, high scoring with an 8.23 for a backside 317, finishing on 30.06 – another high heat score from him.

Dorotini goes through impressively in second: 26.66

Garat and Martinez battled it out for third and fourth, though both had chances on their last tricks to make it into second, but didn’t score highly enough.

Wind started to drop quickly in this heat, but came into ideal 11m freestyle conditions for these guys.

R5 H2 – Result Coccoluto win / Guillebert second
Adeuri Corniel (DOM) / Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Robin Goetgebuer (BEL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA)

Corniel blasted out a big backside 315 to open the heat but then Cocco’s tail grab front blind mobe – absolutely massive, a real beauty. 7.23 rewarded for style.
Guillebert started equally cool but then a couple of stumbles on 317 attempts left him trailing in third.

After four tricks Coccoluto was in command, Corniel was second but still had a fourth score to register after a crash on attempt three. Guillebert a fraction of a point behind Corniel, again with just three tricks on the board.

Of course Corniel and Guillebert nailed four good tricks by the end, but couldn’t get near the still peerless Coccoluto who looks set on making good on his promise to ‘win this event.’

Coccoluto advances with a heat score of 28.67 / best trick grabbed KGB 5 scoring 8.03

In second, Guillebert (28.03) had moved ahead of Corniel (26.63) on trick six with a massive double heart attack and just squeaked through to the semis. Goetgebuer finished in fourth on 7.80.

R5 H1 – Result win Rodriguez / 2nd Chabloz 
Pierfrancesco Rizzello (BRA) / Finn Flugel (GER) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Maxime Chabloz (SUI)

Sadly Pierfrancesco Rizzello had to pull out of this heat with an injury early on, leaving 13 year old Finn Flugel with his work cut out against 3rd ranked rider Rodriguez and freestyle heavyweight and leading contender Chabloz.

Flugel remained bravely in contention and could have overtaken Chabloz who was in second with his final trick had he managed to score more than a 5.90, but the pressure told and after a solid heat with some great scores, including a big backside 315, he lost out to Rodriguez who won the heat and looks a big threat, while Chabloz looks as clinically adept as ever and went through in second. 

Trick highlight, Rodrigues’ 317 that scored 8.0 


R4 H2 – Result: Lambrecht win
Estefania Rosa (BRA) / Alexandra Torres (ESP) / Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE)

Nathalie Lambrecht has switched something up in her training this year. She’s an entirely different athlete and looking a strong contender here. 313 and 315 in both directions showed how she’s worked on her complete approach as a professional and she advanced to the semis in first position from this heat. She also added style with S-bend to blind while also keeping things safe in these difficult, gusty conditions.

The battle to remain in the competition by finishing in second place was tight between Alexandra Torres and Estefania Rosa and in the end came down to more clean landings from Torres, including a very nice back to wrapped.

It’s the end of the road for Estafania Rosa.

R4 H1 Result: Bagnoli win
Nais Balbinot (ITA) / Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) / Karlie Thoma (HAW)

Once again, Karlie Thoma riding to her preferred speciality of big air in these windy 25 knot conditions, but sadly the rulebook and judges didn’t favour her approach.

Bagnoli – a tour regular two seasons ago – called on her experience and took the win to advance to the semi-finals. Hawaii’s Karlie Thomas also goes through and will be hoping for even more wind if her big air approach is to get her any further.

Women’s round 3 complete – now a 5 minute heat break
R3 H4 – Result: Sol win

Mikaili Sol (BRA) / Nais Balbinot

Steady morning at the office for reigning world Champion, Sol, against a vastly more inexperienced rider. Sol’s highest score 8.33 for a heart attack worth mentioning in these difficult conditions!

13.30 – WE ARE SWITCHING BACK TO MEN’S QUARTER FINALS – Women’s R4 heats below:

R3 H3 – Result: Leon win
Karlie Thoma (HAW) / Claudia Leon (ESP) / Estefania Rosa (BRA)

Karlie Thoma was throwing some tasty kite loops – which this liveticker scribbler likes to see! Almost as if she was making a statement to the judges that the wind had moved into big air territory. A beautiful mega loop with a late back roll on trick three still looked like the right call on the moves as she maintained her lead (though super low scores as not really in the criteria), while the other riders continued to struggle to unhook against the lunchtime gusts.

In the end though, the greater world tour experience of Claudia Leon paid off with better reward from the judges for sticking with the discipline criteria. The wind backed a little in the second half of the heat and Leon’s greater freestyle prowess saw her stack a slim and backside 3 to catapult her scores up.

R3 H2 – Result Arnaus win
Alexandra Torres (ESP) / Rita Arnaus (ESP)

Steadier heat after the excitement of the first. Not much to comment on here as both riders had a bit of a struggle. Rita’s highest score raley-to-wrapped lets you know how strong the conditions were during this heat. Rita started to step it up but crashed a slim on trick 6. She won 9.90 vs 2.76. On with the next!

Rita: “Quite intense, i’m exhausted, I was so overpowered on my eight, the wind came up so much and so gusty. I just tried to keep calm and stay as safe as possible. You need to consider the conditions and I couldn’t go as big as I like to, but I’m through.”

Women: R3 H1 – Result Kajiya win
Bruna Kajiya (BRA) / Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) / Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE)

Nathalie Lambrecht came into this event looking confident after her podium finish at the Qatar Airways Big Air World Championships in Tarifa! Stylish and controlled, with some safe but impressively styled moves putting her in first place halfway through the heat. She further improved her position with a crow mobe, rare in the women’s competition, scoring 7.83!

Multiple world champion Bruna Kajiya looked super powered in the gusts, but with such incredible experience managed to pick out the prime moments for her to be able to trick. She just kept working the water and the heat. No huge scores or classic Bruna tricks, but an absolute pro. She eventually took the win at the end with a 7.30 for a slim chance out back in the windy area, where it’s tough. Classy!

Good to see Bagnoli back on tour and the Italian looked to be really enjoying herself but down on competition time compared to the other two. We’ll see her again in round 4.

Bruna: “I’m filled with joy. It was really strong, I was battling the whole heat and I really needed that last trick. I couldn’t believe I landed it. Adrenaline, joy, surprise, that’s what i’m feeling. I’m a competitor and I can go all in, but first I knew I needed to build a good base, and I did that.”


11.30 – R4 H4 – Result: Corniel win
Peyo Cremades (FRA) / Greg Willcocks (RSA) / Adeuri Corniel (DOM) / Matteo Dorotini (ITA)

Although it was windy at 25 – 30 knots, the judging format is still pure freestyle, so Willcocks’ big air approach was ill rewarded.

Once again the power of Dominican Corniel was hard for the other riders to deal with in these strong freestyle conditions. He goes as high on his unhooked tricks as Willcocks does on his sent big airs. Unreal. Corniel cruised through in the end with a heat score of 26.03

Matteo Dorotini cleverly built his heat with clean and grabbed tricks and overtook Corniel to go through to the quarters after showing a very gritty performance to end on a 20.80 heat score from four good tricks.

Peyo couldn’t touch the others in this heat.

11.05 – R4 H3 Result: Flugel win
Luca Seer (AUT) / Hamza Nasser (EGY) / Lorenzo Calcano (DOM) / Finn Flugel (GER)

Lorenzo Calcano once again showed so much more power, height and control. Real Dominican shredder.

13 year old Flugal steadily racked up a solid collection of tricks and with his last trick a hinterberger frontside 5 just snuck ahead of the Dominican and goes though to the quarter finals as winner, along with Lorenzo too.

Hamza Nasser’s big crash and kite tangle on trick two caused some drama in the competition box but he managed to get back in sequence. Luca Seer showed signs of real freestyle ability but too many crashes kept his heat score too low.

10.35 – R4 H2 Result: Cruz win
Yousiff Moussa (EGY) / Eros Balbinot (ITA) / Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) / Pierfrancesco Rizello (BRA)

Wind was strong for this heat – a heat in which riders are battling in their last chance to stay in the comp. Luis Alberto Cruz was way out front from the start, but the battle between 12 year old Rizzello, Balbinot and Moussa was tight and came down to the last trick where almost any landing could send them through to round five. Rizzello kept his nose in front and also advances alongside Cruz who was having fun with some big air moves at the end of the heat.

09.15 – Round 4 Heat 1 Result: Garat win
Robin Goetgebuer (BEL) / Jhon Perez (COL) / Rashid Almansoori (QAT) / Valentin Garat (FRA)

Round 4 features the second chance for riders who didn’t win their round three heats and this was an easy win for Valentin Garat who far greater experience made him a cut above the rest.

Robin Goetgebuer also goes through to round five. It’s the end of the road for Perez and Almansoori.

09.45 – Round 3 complete

R3 H8 Result: – Mario Win.
Hamza Nasser (EGP) / Matteo Dorotini (ITA) / Carlos Mario (BRA)

Mario textbook from the start – double heart attack and then double hinterberger 5 – he just has so much time in the air. Italian Dorotini looked to be going at the heat with nothing to lose and was in contention with Mario after three tricks, though the Brazilian was in cruise control and not throwing doubles every trick.

Dorotini continued to push hard, and looks like a promising up and coming rider, but ran out of steam with some big efforts towards the end of the heat. Mario never broke sweat. Hamza Nasser looked a bit too powered in this morning’s strong conditions.

09.25 – Re-start R3 H7 result: – Rodriguez win
Tight battle resumed with Valentin Rodriguez and Adeuri Corniel locked closely 24.86 v 24.10 in Valentin’s favour with one more trick attempt to come. Adeuri sadly crashed his last attempt to left Valentin to take the win, with Luca Seer trailing in third.

09.08Livestream is on – watch it below!

09.00 – Red flag should go up at 09.10 to go into sequence for the re-start of Men’s R3 H7: Luca Seer (AUT) / Adeuri Corniel (DOM) / Valentin Rodriguez (COL) Livestream starting very soon too.

08.20 – Riders are out in the rigging area, pumping the full range, from 7m kite upwards!

08.10 – Good morning from the Neam Beach Games kite competition site where the wind is already up to around 25 knots. Rider’s briefing is on at 8.30 with a first possible start of 08.45. Stay tuned!


LIVETICKER Day 1 – 19th October 2022 (GMT+3)

Current discipline: Freestyle
Heat duration: 15  -17m
Format: 7 trick attempts, top 4 count. Riders need to do tricks from different trick families for best scores. Riders have one minute each to perform their tricks, taking turns
Wind: Gusting up to 25 knots earlier in the day / dropping to 16 – 18 around 1pm
Waves: Flat water lagoon


As predicted the winds dropped away in the early afternoon. Tomorrow we will be ready for an early start again to catch the morning stronger winds. Join us back here!


CURRENT HEAT: H7 Luca Seer (AUT) / Adeuri Corniel (DOM) / Valentin Rodriguez (COL)

As we closed in on the end of R3 heat 7, the wind dropped to such a light level that riders were unable to plane quickly enough to pop, so the heat was abandoned with riders waiting to take their final tricks.

Adeuri had built a lead after two crashes for Valentin. Luca Seer was missing for part of the heat, choosing too small a kite to be able to stay upwind.

The heat will restart from trick attempt number 5 for each rider.

13.10 – R3 H6 Posito Martinez (DOM) / Finn Flugel (GER) / Greg Willcocks (RSA)
The physical difference between the Dominican and the 13 year old young German is immense, exhibited most notably as Posito powered through the sky for a heart attack, fully committed and stretched out forward rotation. So much strength allowed him to not rely so much on core technicality and raw power, which eventually paid off in this heat.

Flugel’s heart attack by contrast so much more quick and whippy, very interesting to see the differences in approach. Finn’s got a bright future in the sport as he progresses in strength and showed a lot of ability in every one of his tricks, which included 7.13 for a 317… which with two tricks to go left Posito trailing.

First crash for Finn came on a backside 5 on trick 6 and then it was last moves each. Posito had moved ahead and then nailed a backside 317 to further improve his top score. The heat was then in Finn’s hands, needing only a 3.52 score to win the heat. Sadly he only made a backside 313, which wasn’t enough. So Posito had a free run on his last trick. Greg Willcocks found the pace of world tour competition a bit too hot to handle in this his wildcard debut appearance with several crashes throughout the heat.

Postito: “I’m feeling super nice at this new spot. I was against this young kid who is doing really well and in the end I had to pull out some doubles. But the spot is nice and the wind is good at the moment. But I have to say congrats to Finn Flugel because soon he is going to be one of the top-top riders.”

12.50 – R3 H5 result: Soares win – Manoel Soares (BRA) / Lorenzo Calcano (DOM) / Peyo Cremades (FRA)
Welcome to the competition Lorenzo Calcano – looking very sharp and powerful from the Dom Rep. Super clean front blind mobe opened up the heat, but he quickly dropped adrift of current tour leader Manoel Soares. Soares and Calcano successfully landed all their tricks but, although not pushing himself too hard, Soares’ technicality an obvious cut above and he eases through with a bunch of 7 point scores – fairly average for him at this stage.

12.30 – R3 H4 result: Guillebert win –  Rashid Almasoori (QAT) / Pierfrancesco Rizzello (BRA) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA)
2021 World Champ Arthur Guillebert extends and stretches all his moves beautifully. Breezed through this one without pushing himself, against 13 year old Rizzello and Qatari debut maker, Almasoori.

12.05 – R3 H3 result: Win for Gianmaria Coccoluto who had interesting back and forth battle with Luiz Cruz. Jhon Perez unable to hold onto these two. Evenly matched until Cocco found the difference with a sublime KGB7 scoring a monstrous 8.87. Luis Alberto Cruz looked over powered and just couldn’t add in the extra poise and style we know him for. Cocco had this locked in after the first few tricks and looked very relaxed coming back to the beach.

Cocco interview with Lewis on the stream:
“Wind was good, I did almost all my tricks, KGB7, 317 so I was super happy.”

Why do you take a bigger kite?
“I take always one metre more so I can have my kite extra low, for more points, and add an extra grab.”

What are your goals here?
“I’m going to win this event, bro.”

11.45 – R3 H2 result: Win for Maxime Chabloz – from the first moment with the tail grab BM5 never looked back really, so stylish. An easy trick for him he says Surely a rider set on quality, not quantity. How far will it take him? Top trick score for him 8.33 for a 319 and overall heat score very healthy at 30.77.

He said:

“Conditions are good. We have flat water, it’s a bit gusty, but I like having flat water best. I started off with easy trick and went for heart attack 7 which I have like 99% of the time, but I guess I hit the one percent and crashed. I wanted to try something new, so look out for later in the heats.”

11.30 – Indeed Juan Rodriguez first rider to hop directly to R5 from R3, easily winning the first heat, with a highest trick score of 8.0 for a BS317.

11.20 – Stream is back on and you re-join the competition in the first heat of round 3, with 3rd ranked riders on tour, Juan Rodriguez, the first big name into the competition and has a commanding lead already having done 6 of his 7 tricks attempts.

10.35 – Round two has just begun. There are two heats in this round, so we expect to be live again for round three around 11.15am local time (GMT +3)

09.55 – We apologise for the pause in the stream while we amend some technicalities. Expected time for the stream to re-start for round three: 10.30am (GMT +3)

09.51 – The livestream has been cut and will rejoin at the start of round three, the first main event of the competition when all the top seeds enter the elimination. See the progress of the few heats in rounds one and two in the live ladders below on this page.

09.00 – Round one is underway