The Route to the Freestyle World Championship

Published 19th November 2019 by Andrea Susanne Opielka



** Six round one heats ran today on day one (Tuesday) – read the heat reports HERE on the event live page **


Winning the World Championship has been a fight between four riders for most of the season. Going into round five in Mauritius, Maxime Chabloz was leading but lost in the quarter finals, and then did the same at the sixth event in Dakhla, just after Carlos Mario had withdrawn through injury at the same stage in both those events, too.

Adeuri Corniel pipped Valentin Rodriguez to the win in Mauritius, taking the Championship lead, before Valentin struck back in Dakhla to win his first ever event. The Colombian closed the gap in the Dominican at the top and now the 2019 title is only open to Adeuri or Valentin.

GKA Kite World Tour Freestyle finals
The battle in Brazil: Tour leader Adeuri Corniel (left) had his already narrow points lead diminished by 17 year-old Colombian Valentin Rodriguez who is hoping to take the crown in his debut World Championship season

Head Judge Mallory de la Villemarque has swatted up on the following scenarios to whet your appetite:

  • If Adeuri ends up 4th or worse in Brazil, Valentin needs to finish 3rd or better to claim the title.
  • If Adeuri ends up 3rd, Valentin needs to be at least 2nd to claim the title.
  • If Adeuri ends up 2nd, Valentin needs to win to claim the title.

It could be very close in points with several tiebreak situations in Valentin’s favour if Val finishes one place ahead of Adeuri. In short, Valentin needs to finish in at least 3rd place and ahead of Adeuri in Brazil to claim the title.


There may be fewer competitors, but the situation is far from finalised for the women, apart from who’s taking the top prize, of course! 

  • Mikaili Sol is World Champion no matter what.
  • Paula Novotna and Pippa van Iersel both need to win in Brazil in order to take second overall and be Vice World Champion.
  • If Pippa van Iersel finishes in 2nd and Bruna gets better than 7th, Bruna will hold her 2nd position and be Vice World Champ.
  • If Paula or Pippa get 2nd in Brazil and Bruna gets 4th, they would end up with the same points again and Paula would win on the tiebreak over Bruna, but Pippa would lose to Bruna.

Things are quite complicated in the run-up for the Vice title for the women!



If you think battling for the World Championship podium is difficult and super tight, then spare a thought for the judges and officials whose job it is to pick through the rule book and regulations when assessing the final point tally for all riders.

This year was the first year of unified GKA Freestyle World Cups and scheduled within the seven event calendar were three events (Gran Canaria, Tarifa and Fuerteventura) that would run the more mixed big air format if the usual winds came in for those spots.

In order to make the transition smooth between pure unhooked freestyle and allowing for more big air events, it was agreed with the riders that three of the seven events this season could be discarded. In effect, it was still possible therefore to be a pure freestyle World Champion as they can discard all the big air events if they need to.

So, the male Freestylers will have competed in seven events this season and be able to discard their three worst event results. There was also no result in Tarifa for the women (this was one of the mixed events), so they will still only get just two discards this season from the six events they completed.

As yet, after six calendar events, currently counting two discards, the rankings look like this:
See the full rankings here



Sadly for Maxime, even if the Swiss rider manages to win in Brazil and Adeuri doesn’t make the final, they would end up with the same points, but Maxime would lose on the tiebreak rule (counting back last results).

In reality, becoming Vice World Champ is now Maxime’s best hope. Here’s how it could work:

  • If Val doesn’t reach the final and Maxime finishes 2nd, he can be Vice World Champ — but that’s if Carlos Mario or Liam Whaley don’t win the event (unfortunately Carlos Mario won’t ride after sustaining injury in Dakhla).
  • If Valentin finishes 4th, Maxime needs to win in Brazil to be Vice World Champ.

Of course the remaining podium steps are wide open. For the rest there are too many scenarios, and this article could go on forever. But be sure that the likes of Liam Whaley, Gianmaria Coccoluto and other stars from this season will be doing their best to win the final event and see if they can force their way onto the 2019 GKA Kite World Tour Freestyle championship podium.

It’s best to let the action unfold and we’ll keep you fully up to speed with how those situations change on the livestream as the competition runs.

The Freestyle finals in Cumbuco run from this afternoon, 19 – 23rd November.

Watch everything on the event live page here! 

Image for Moona Whyte doubles up with perfect tens

Moona Whyte doubles up with perfect tens

Hawaii-based world champion blows away the field with stunning riding to win season opener in Cape Verde

Read this article
Image for Cozzolino lands emotional win in Ponta Preta

Cozzolino lands emotional win in Ponta Preta

All-Cape Verdean final was dramatic climax to epic contest fought out in stellar conditions

Read this article
Image for Ponta Preta teases athletes on a tricky day

Ponta Preta teases athletes on a tricky day

Forecast swell failed to materialise allowing only one heat late in the session after a day of waiting

Read this article
Image for Athletes charge waves in season tour opener

Athletes charge waves in season tour opener

Big name favourites survive early jeopardy as year's first stop in Cape Verde opens with thrilling contests

Read this article