Fired-up for Friday!

Published 15th November 2019 by Andrea Susanne Opielka


GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Prea – The Finals:
Women’s Single Elimination & Men’s Doubles Update

Yesterday’s highlight: 15 year-old 3 x FREESTYLE World Champion, Mikaili Sol, makes surprise switch to strapless Kite-Surf discipline to win women’s single elimination! 

Friday 14th November 2019
Location: Prea, Brazil
Words: Jim Gaunt
Photos: Svetlana Romantsova
Video: Mintautas Grigas

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
No need to blink, that's Mikaili on top of a strapless freestyle podium... Single elimination winner: Mikaili Sol, 2nd Marcela Witt, 3rd Carla Herrera-Oria, 4th Charlotte Carpentier

Current discipline: Strapless Freestyle
Location: Rancho do Peixe, Prea, Brazil

Get up to speed with the race for the final season’s podium for both the men and women on this page – Livestream coverage continues today on what should be the biggest day of the season!

First possible start today: 10.30am local time / GMT -3
Continuation of the men’s doubles and the start of the women’s doubles.
There is enough time to aim for a big finish to the 2019 Kite-Surf season today! 


Having already sealed the deal on this year’s GKA FREESTYLE World Championship with one more round to come (also in Brazil, next week), 15-year-old Mikaili Sol decided that, as the Kite-Surf discipline was wrapping up at her home spot in Prea, she’d have nothing to lose by throwing her hat into the ring.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
That's the front roll dialled in, then!

Compared to the more established men’s scene, as a professional movement the women’s strapless freestyle discipline is still in its infancy. This being only the second full female tour season, Mikaili has perhaps spotted a way of catching up to Spaniard Gisela Pulido’s massive haul of ten official World Titles (that she had achieved by 2014) by potentially trying to win two titles next year!

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
It was all just fun in the home sun for Sol

The young Brazilian only decided to start training properly for strapless freestyle two weeks ago, but such are the consistency of conditions here in Prea that she was able to dedicate six hours on the water each day for that fortnight.

Against Canadian tour regular, Frances Kelly, she opened up with her first trick attempt in her first heat by scoring the season’s highest women’s trick score, getting a 9.4 for a front roll, popping harder than anyone else and yet showing beautiful control throughout the rotation and landing with speed. Sure, she’s young and has incredible freestyle acumen and body kinaesthetics, but that’s just a bit rude!

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Mikaili's rodeo kite loop

Carla Herrera-Oria has already done enough to secure the women’s Kite-Surf world title and she showed all the resilience we’ve come to respect from this hard working competitor. A kitesurfing instructor from Tarifa, the Ocean Rodeo rider developed a pure enjoyment for this discipline three years ago and pushed hard for more women to take it up and create a regular tour fleet.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Carla - always up for the fight

Carla drew Mikaili in the semi-final: 2019 Freestyle World Champion against 2019 Kite-Surf World Champion. Clearly there was more pressure on Carla as the specialist in this discipline, but the scale of facing a truly prodigious, younger talent who was riding relaxed at her home spot, quickly became apparent.

Carla is so consistent in her array of tricks, you have to respect the way she has set about becoming a competitor and learning to nail tricks across five different categories – whatever the conditions. As the highest ranked rider she had a bye in round one. Her three single elimination heat scores yesterday (with five tricks counting from different trick families / ten attempts allowed) were 26.57, 24.83 and 23.04; the smooth back roll rodeo being her key weapon, frequently securing her more than six points each time.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Young fans were impressed

However, Mikaili’s comfort with high speed technical freestyle gave her the edge and it’s amazing to see how she’s managed to transfer that into the strapless discipline. Her semi-final performance against Carla gave the Brazilian her highest heat score of the day, 38.27; made up with 6.5 for a back roll board-off, 9.67 for a front roll board-off, 3.27 for a big straight air, 9.33 for a front roll and 9.5 for a back roll rodeo.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Carla and Charlotte

Carla went on to claim third step on the single elimination podium, convincingly beating French rider Charlotte Carpentier in the mini-final, while Mikaili went on to meet another Brazilian rising star in the final.

Marcela Witt
Marcela Witt

We last saw Marcela Witt at the event here in Prea last year and with just a few years kiting under her belt, this Rio resident (but regular Prea visitor) (who also has her own show on Brazilian TV!) demonstrated an impressive ability to perform her tricks with more height and amplitude than most.

Marcela has also confirmed that she will be attending more events outside of Brazil next year.

Neither rider achieved their biggest heat score in the final, but Mikaili reserved her highest individual tricks score, laying down a perfect 10 for a slick front roll right as the starting horn sounded… and she finished a full ten points ahead of Marcela.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
The finalists frolic!
GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Marcela and Mika on the mic


1 Mikaili Sol (BRA)
2 Marcela Witt (BRA)
3 Carla Herrera-Oria (ESP)
4 Charlotte Carpentier (FRA)

Click here to follow more action today on the live event page.

Women's singles


On conclusion of the women’s single elimination, the men hit the water again late yesterday afternoon to get their double elimination underway.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Francesco Capuzzo

Most notably fighting their way back from disappointing early exits in the singles were Jan Marcos Riveras, Francesco Capuzzo and, deserving special mention, 19 year-old Kiko Roig Torres from Spain.

Young Kiko put together a couple of superb heat performances and even managed to score two nines along the way when he took a front roll tick-tack (a hot move-of-the-moment) a step further, by adding a double tick-tick (double board spin). Super fluid, one of the tour’s favourite young riders drew howls from his fellow competitors on the beach.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Kiko on fire in the late evening sunshine


Getting things kicked-off for the men will be:

Yaris Dell Omo (ITA) V Simon Joosten (BAR)
Jan Marcos Riveras (DR) V Reece Myerscough (CAN)
Kiko Roig (ESP) V Pedro Matos (BRA)
Francesco Capuzzo (ITA) V Anderson Reboucas (BRA)

From there, four of those riders will make up two heats in round five before the double elimination ladder collapses to become a single line of heats with riders then going up against the highest ranked riders from the single elimination, starting with Mitu Monteiro. The winner of that will then face Camille Delannoy, then James Carew and, finally, Airton Cozzolino, who as the single elimination winner is already waiting in the final… and must be beaten twice.


First possible start for today is scheduled for 10.30am local Prea time (GMT -3) with race officer Olaf van Tol lining up a heat order that will see the men’s and women’s double elimination take turns for roughly three-and-a-half hours, by which time, all being well, we should have our final event champions of the year… and crucially, the final 2019 season podium positions decided!


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